There are three exceptions to the exclusive rights in copyright that help serve educational needs:
Does NOT allow copying. This is an exception to the exclusive rights of performance and display, but not the right of reproduction.
Copying may still be allowed by fair use, however.
Performance and display in the classroom must employ a legally obtained copy – no “bootleg” copy is eligible for this exception, but borrowed copies are OK.
“Transmission” to registered students – Section 110(2), a.k.a. The TEACH Act
Allows digital copies in course management systems under a specific set of conditions.
Text and images may be transmitted (displayed) in amounts comparable to in-class teaching.
Music and video may be used in portions; entire songs may be used if “non-dramatic.”
Access must be restricted to students registered in the course, and notice that the material is protected must be given.
Technological measures to prevent the material from being retained after the course is over or copied to others are required. Streaming of music and video is a good way to meet this requirement.
The institution should have policies and educational programs about copyright in place to take advantage of this exception.
Fair Use – Section 107
A flexible exception that allows socially valuable uses of copyrighted material, including educational copying.
Fair use applies in many situations, but its application is never certain. A good faith decision in each situation is important.
Four factors are balanced to determine fair use:
For a quick overview of what you can do with copyrighted material in the classroom, see the Know your Copyrights brochure from the Association of Research Libraries.
For more information about the TEACH Act, see the TEACH Act Toolkit from North Carolina State University.
Section 110 (1) of the Copyright Act of 1976 specifies that the following is permitted: Performance or display of a work by instructors or pupils in the course of face-to- face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction, unless, in the case of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, the performance, or the display of individual images is given by means of a copy that was not lawfully made...and that the person responsible for the performance knew or had reason to believe was not lawfully made. Additional text of the Copyright Act and portions of the House Report (94-1476) combine to provide the following, more detailed list of conditions [from Virginia M. Helm, “What Educators Should Know About Copyright,” Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation, 1986]:
Agreement on Guidelines for Classroom Copying in Not-For- Profit Educational Institutions With Respect To Books And Periodicals Multiple Copies for Classroom Use:
Multiple copies (not to exceed in any event more than one copy per pupil in a course) may be made by for the teacher giving the course for classroom use or discussion, provided that: