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Academic Technology Support


1st Floor, Library

Ph: 484-365-7888
Fax: 484-365-8117
Hours: 8-5, Mon-Fri

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Teaching with Technology

ATS Mission and Goals

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Serving the Lincoln University community by supporting the effective use of technology in instruction.


Multimedia, Fair Use & Copyright

Fair Use Checklist

There is no perfect definition of "fair use" in education without going to a federal court. However, one can use four guiding factors as prepared by the Campus Guide to Copyright Compliance.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Indiana University has been a leader in copyright and fair use awareness and is an excellent resource for understanding the nature of copyright infringement and how to avoid it.

How to Avoid Copyright Law Infringement with Digital Media

Another resource from IU-Bloominton explains the Digital Millennium Copyright Act enacted by Congress in 1998, changing the US Copyright Act.

Fair Use Checklist from the Copyright Advisory Office, Columbia University

Temple University Media Education Lab Research and Scholarship site, under the direction of Renee Hobbs, has some of the best resources on copyright and Fair Use, and media literacy, particularly for use in Teacher Education.

Hobbs, R.. (2010, April). Copyright Clarity. Corwin/Sage, 2010. This link is to Dr. Hobbs resource site for her book, Copyright Clarity. The site contains links to presentations, best practices, and supporting multimedia.

Copyright And Fair Use: Lesson Plans for High School, College and Graduate Education. Lessons plans and materials to help you teach about copyright and Fair Use.

TEACH Act, signed by President Bush on November 2, 2002

A Brief Guide to TEACH
Although copyright law generally treats digital and non-digital copyright-protected works in a similar manner, special digital uses, such as online distance learning and course management systems, require special attention. Some of the special copyright requirements of online distance learning are specifically addressed by the TEACH Act.

The TEACH Act facilitates and enables the performance and display of copyrighted materials for distance education by accredited, non-profit educational institutions (and some government entities) that meet the Act's qualifying requirements. Its primary purpose is to balance the needs of distance learners and educators with the rights of copyright holders. TEACH applies to distance education that includes the participation of any enrolled student, on or off campus.

  • Instructors may use a wider range of works in distance learning environments.
  • Students may participate in distance learning sessions from virtually any location.
  • All participants enjoy greater latitude when it comes to storing, copying and digitizing materials.

TEACH Requirements
In exchange for unprecedented access to copyright-protected material for distance education, TEACH requires that the academic institution meet specific requirements for copyright compliance and education. For the full list of requirements, refer to the TEACH Act at

In order for the use of copyrighted materials in distance education to qualify for the TEACH exemptions, the following criteria must be met:

  • The institution must be an accredited, non-profit educational institution.
  • The use must be part of mediated instructional activities.
  • The use must be limited to a specific number of students enrolled in a specific class.
  • The use must either be for 'live' or asynchronous class sessions.
    The use must not include the transmission of textbook materials, materials "typically purchased or acquired by students," or works developed specifically for online uses.
  • Only "reasonable and limited portions," such as might be performed or displayed during a typical live classroom session, may be used.
  • The institution must have developed and publicized its copyright policies, specifically informing students that course content may be covered by copyright, and include a notice of copyright on the online materials.
  • The institution must implement some technological measures to ensure compliance with these policies, beyond merely assigning a password. Ensuring compliance through technological means may include user and location authentication through Internet Protocol (IP) checking, content timeouts, print-disabling, cut & paste disabling, etc.

What TEACH Does Not Allow
The new exemptions under TEACH specifically do not extend to:

  • Electronic reserves, coursepacks (electronic or paper) or interlibrary loan (ILL).
  • Commercial document delivery.
  • Textbooks or other digital content provided under license from the author, publisher, aggregator or other entity.
  • Conversion of materials from analog to digital formats, except when the converted material is used solely for authorized transmissions and when a digital version of a work is unavailable or protected by technological measures.

It is also important to note that TEACH does not supersede fair use or existing digital license agreements.

-Taken directly from "Copyright Basics: The TEACH Act. Copyright Clearance Center, Inc.