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Copyright: TEACH Act

What is the TEACH Act?

The TEACH Act of 2002 (Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act) provides guidelines for using copyrighted material in distance education by amending sections 110(2) and 112 of the Copyright Act to provide allowances and limitations of U.S. Copyright Law for digital formats and delivery. It applies only to accredited, non-profit educational institutions and requires the cooperation of the college's administration, technical staff and faculty. In order to gain protection under terms of the Teach Act, the following requirements must be met:

The College must…

  • Be an accredited, non-profit educational institution.
  • Have instituted policies regarding copyright.
  • Provide materials to faculty, students, and staff that describe and promote U.S. Copyright Laws.
  • Provide notice to students that course materials may be subject to copyright protection.
  • Ensure that transmission of course content is made solely for students officially enrolled in the course.

The Technology Staff must…

  • Restrict student access to copyrighted works to the defined class session.
  • Deter unauthorized dissemination of copyrighted works by students.
  • Not interfere with technological measures taken by copyright owners to prevent retention or unauthorized sharing of their works.
  • Store copyrighted works on a computer system or network in such a way that it is not ordinarily accessible to unauthorized users. 
  • Only maintain a copy of copyrighted work for a period of time that is reasonably necessary to facilitate the transmissions for which it was made.
  • Ensure that copies made for the sake of transmission are retained and used solely by the college.

The Faculty Member must…

  • Ensure that the copyrighted work is integral to the class and would be used in the same way in a traditional, non-online classroom.
  • Not use works that are sold commercially for distance education purposes (ex. course packs) or works that students would normally be expected to use individually and on their own time for studying (ex. textbooks).
  • Not use works that are pirated or known to be unlawfully made.
  • Limit work to a length or amount which would reasonably be used in a real-time, traditional class session. Consider how much you would share in a traditional classroom setting and offer no more than that amount.

TEACH Act Links

For additional information on the TEACH Act, we suggest these links:

GTC Policies & Procedures

Greenville Technical College provides an administrative policy on copyright and intellectual property and a copyright compliance form to help employees, students, and others document efforts to properly use copyrighted materials and comply with United States Copyright Law (Title 17, United States Code, Sect 101, et seq.)


Contact the Greenville Technical College Copyright Officer :
Tara Weekes
Director of Learning Resources
Barton Campus, Building 105, Room 129
(864) 236-6500

Purpose & Disclaimer

Greenville Technical College Libraries maintains this guide to provide a resource for copyright-related information and services. The information presented in this guide is for information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for actual legal advice. Please consult an expert in copyright law for legal advice.

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