Streaming Video

Using video resources in the classroom, including descriptions of available resources, copyright information, and FAQ about finding and requesting films.

Library Research Guide

TEACH Act Basics

What is the TEACH Act?

The 2002 TEACH Act (Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act, codified as 17 USC 110(2)), expanded copyright exemptions for educators to perform and display works via online or remote instruction; however, with more requirements than the 17 USC 110(1) exemption for face-to-face classroom instruction.

Who: Teachers and students who are part of "a governmental body or an accredited nonprofit educational institution."

What: Materials that are lawfully acquired and not designed for use in online or distance education:

  • performance of nondramatic literary or musical works
  • performance of "reasonable and limited portions" of dramatic and other works
  • display of a work in an amount comparable to that typically displayed in a face-to-face class

When: The material is shown or used by/under the supervision of the instructor, confined to and comparable to that typically used in a face-to-face class, and available to students no longer than the class session.

Where: Digital transmission under the control of the instructor as an integral part of course instruction, directly related to course content, and related to mediated instructional activity.

Why: Permits some performances and displays of legally obtained works for relevant pedagogical purposes in online and remote courses.

How: “To the extent technologically feasible,” materials shared are limited to enrolled students only (not the public). Measures are enforced to prevent the retention and dissemination of materials, which are made accessible only for the duration of the class session. Copyright notices promoting copyright compliance are enforced by the institution. Platform and material licenses are followed.

Teaching in an online classroom?

Use the  TEACH (Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization) Act17 USC 110(2), and the exemptions it establishes to make use of copyrighted materials, with restrictions, in your online classroom. 

Remember for the above to hold true, the content used must be:

  • Limited in access and only for the instructor and students and enrollment limited to "the extent technologically feasible."
  • Legally obtained. 
  • Performed or displayed under the supervision of the instructor as a regular aspect of instruction. 
  • Prevented from being retained with the intention it exists for no longer than the class session in order to prevent infringing dissemination of the work. 
  • With a notice indicating the materials may be under copyright protection and in a manner that establishes policies that promote copyright

Title: "Exemptions Under the TEACH Act" 
By: Emily Finch and Ambria Shawger
Date: June 26, 2022

Exemptions Text Here

TEACH Act Resources:

Do you want to...

  • recite poetry or a short story (literary work)?
  • play a radio jingle, a ballad with your trusty guitar, or a portion of a symphony (musical work)?
Consult the TEACH Act checklist for the performance of nondramatic works!

How about...

  • show part of a documentary, play a piece of the Star Wars theme, or portions of Hamilton?
Consult the TEACH Act checklist for the performance of dramatic works!

Maybe you need to...

  • display architectural designs, fine art, video stills, or programming code?
Consult the TEACH Act checklist for the display of works!


Kenny Crews prepared a great FAQ on the TEACH Act for ALA. 

The checklists above are the second round of TEACH Act checklists created by Center for the Advancement of Digital Scholarship; these PDFs of the first version TEACH Act Checklists for Instructors may also be of use in evaluating possible uses under TEACH Act exemptions. 

Looking for a slightly different format? The TEACH Act checklist from University of Texas Libraries is another great resource for evaluating your uses relying on TEACH Act exemptions.