TEACH Act Compliance
LTU adheres to the provisions of the "Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act" (TEACH Act) of 2002. LTU Online staff work with faculty members to insure that materials posted in LTU's BlackboardTM course management system follows the provisions of the TEACH Act.
The American Library Association provides an excellent resource on TEACH Act compliance in Blackboard on their web site. It is adapted here per ALA's copyright policy (see below).
What is the TEACH Act?
On November 2, 2002, the "Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act" (TEACH Act), part of H.R. 2215, was signed into law. This Act revised Section 110(2) and 112 of the U.S. Copyright Law governing the conditions under which accredited, non profit educational institutions in the U.S. may use copyrighted materials without permission from the copyright owner and without payment of royalties. All quotations below are taken from this online copy of the law.
Specific Technological Requirements of the Act Relevant to Blackboard
If instructors and/or institutions wish to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the TEACH Act for using copyrighted materials, they must reasonably:
- limit access to copyrighted works to students currently enrolled in the class;
- limit access only for the time needed to complete the class session or course;
- inform instructors, students, and staff of copyright laws and policies;
- prevent further copying or redistribution of copyrighted works; and
- not interfere with copy protection mechanisms
The Language and Meaning of the Act
"SEC. 13301.EDUCATIONAL USE COPYRIGHT EXEMPTION.
(b) Exemption of Certain Performances and Displays for Educational Uses. - Section 110 of title 17, United States Code, is amended - … [to allow] the performance of a nondramatic literary or musical work or reasonable and limited portions of any other work, or display of a work in an amount comparable to that which is typically displayed in the course of a live classroom session, by or in the course of a transmission, if…"
What does it mean? U.S. Copyright Law has been amended to provide additional opportunities for using copyrighted works as part of the "distance learning" component of courses at accredited institutions, if the performance or display meets the criteria below. Blackboard™ can provide a means of distribution and display of these materials.
"(A) the performance or display is made by, at the direction of, or under the actual supervision of an instructor as an integral part of a class session offered as a regular part of the systematic mediated instructional activities of a governmental body or an accredited nonprofit educational institution"
What does it mean? Use of copyrighted materials must be under the supervision of a faculty member. Blackboard course shells provide a context in which the instructor's role and his/her control over the materials are clearly defined.
"(B) the performance or display is directly related and of material assistance to the teaching content of the transmission"
What does it mean? The materials used must be relevant to the course. This relevancy is determined by the instructor, and can be controlled by the instructor within the Blackboard course.
"(C) the transmission is made solely for, and, to the extent technologically feasible, the reception of such transmission is limited to-(i) students officially enrolled in the course for which the transmission is made; or (ii) officers or employees of governmental bodies as a part of their official duties or employment"
What does it mean? Only students enrolled in the course should have access to the copyrighted materials. At LTU, students are rostered into Blackboard course shells only after registering for the course using Banner Web. Instructors must ensure that copyrighted materials are available only to students enrolled in the course, not guests or observers. This is easily accomplished by placing copyrighted materials into specific course content areas and making those content areas unavailable to guests and observers.
"(D) the transmitting body or institution-- (i) institutes policies regarding copyright, provides informational materials to faculty, students, and relevant staff members that accurately describe, and promote compliance with, the laws of the United States relating to copyright, and provides notice to students that materials used in connection with the course may be subject to copyright protection"
What does it mean? The institution is responsible for educating its faculty, students, and staff regarding copyright. This web page is one way that LTU educates its faculty, students, and staff about copyright. All LTU Online courses are created with standardized information about copyright law and policies. Furthermore, information about copyright laws and policies are included in each course syllabus.
"(I) applies technological measures that reasonably prevent-- (aa) retention of the work in accessible form by recipients of the transmission from the transmitting body or institution for longer than the class session"
What does it mean? The copyrighted materials should not be available to students after the class session or course is complete. At LTU, Blackboard courses are made unavailable several weeks after the end of a semester to accommodate closing course activities. The instructor can also limit the availability of course folders containing copyrighted information.
"(bb) unauthorized further dissemination of the work in accessible form by such recipients to others"
What does it mean? Copyrighted materials should not be copied and redistributed to others, even when it is posted in a Blackboard course shell. Copying and redistributing Web accessible content is a general characteristic of the Web which is not easily prevented by current technological methods. While there are expensive technological measures available to secure content, a "reasonable" solution for the instructor is to provide a warning message in the description of the content that notifies students that copying and redistributing these materials is a breach of U.S. copyright law.
"(II) does not engage in conduct that could reasonably be expected to interfere with technological measures used by copyright owners to prevent such retention or unauthorized further dissemination"
What does it mean? If the copyrighted materials have their own copyright protections built in, the users of those materials should not attempt to interfere with those protections. Blackboard does not provide any mechanisms that interfere with copyright protection measures. Instructors should not interfere with built-in copyright protections prior to loading copyrighted materials into a Blackboard course shell.
What Are LTU's Practices?
LTU adheres to the provisions of the TEACH Act by:
Limiting access to Blackboard materials to students rostered only into Blackboard shells for courses in which they are formally enrolled;
Taking down Blackboard shells several weeks after the class has ended;
Linking copyrighted materials from within Blackboard to external sites managed by copyright holders;
Using persistent URLs from digital resources managed by the LTU Library;
Informing instructors, students, and staff about copyright laws and policies; and
Posting warnings within Blackboard regarding redistribution and tampering with copy protection mechanisms.
For More Information
See the American Library Association background materials and guidelines for more information.
To assess the fair use status of a particular work, please use the excellent Teach Act Checklist developed by Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis.
© Some information on this page has been adapted. Copyright 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 American Library Association. This document may be reprinted and distributed for non-commercial and educational purposes only, and not for resale. No resale use may be made of material on this web site at any time. All other rights reserved.