Copyright Exceptions for Teaching

There are three major exceptions to the copyright law that permit instructors to use copyrighted material in their classrooms without permission. See this post for a summary of the situations in which each exception applies and the conditions on the application of each.

For a graphic representation of the decision about digitizing material for TEACH Act use, please see our Scholarly Communications toolkit.

Classroom Use Cases

Applying the teaching exceptions properly in classroom situations is very fact-specific, dependent on a wide variety of particular circumstances and not amenable to general answers. The following “classroom use cases” are intended to illustrate the analysis involved in resolving specific situations; if they prompt concerns or questions regarding your situation, please request a consultation with the Office of Copyright and Scholarly Communication.

Q – Students in my language class are doing performances of plays and recitals of poetry that are being recorded. May I place these recordings where students in the class can watch them repeatedly to help reinforce the learning? Can I put them on the open Web to showcase my students’ talent?

Q – Since I am allowed to show a video in class to my students, can I also put a digital version of that same film into my course Sakai site where enrolled students can watch at their convenience?

Q – Are there rules about what articles and other text I can scan myself and make available to students using my Sakai course management website?

Q – I have two journal articles that I want every student in my class to read. May I make enough copies for everyone and hand them out? What about putting them in the Library’s e-Reserves system? The Library subscribes to both of the journals from which the articles are taken.

Web Resources

Click here for a list of helpful resources on the Web.