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Copyright & Teach Act

What Lawrence Tech is Doing

TEACH Act Compliance

LTU adheres to the provisions of the "Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act" (TEACH Act) of 2002. LTU Online staff and the Library staff work with faculty members to insure that materials posted in LTU's Canvas course management system and other locations follow the provisions of the TEACH Act.

Specific Technological Requirements of the Act Relevant to Canvas at LTU

If instructors 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 to 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

(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 non-dramatic 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. Canvas 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. Canvas 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 Canvas course pages.

"(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 Canvas 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, Canvas course pages 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 Canvas 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. Canvas 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 Canvas course shell.