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TEACH Act

The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act attempts to improve upon some of the restrictive nature of the DMCA by offering many improvements over the previous version of Section 110(2) of copyright legislation.

In addition, this act updates copyright law in the area of digital online education and, if the requirements are met, facilitates the use of copyrighted materials in digital online education efforts without having to obtain prior permission from the copyright owner.

The TEACH Act makes five basic changes to previous copyright legislation.

  1. "it expands the categories of works that can be performed in distance education beyond nondramatic literacy and musical works to reasonable and limited portions of other works, with the exception of works produced primarily for the educational market
  2. it removes the concept of the physical classroom and recognizes that a student should be able to access the digital content of a course wherever he or she has access to a computer
  3. it allows storage of copyrighted materials on a server to permit asynchronous performances and displays
  4. it permits institutions to digitize works to use in distance education when digital versions do not already exist and when the digital work is not subject to protection measures that prevent its use
  5. it clarified that participants in authorized distance education courses and programs are not liable for infringement for any transient or temporary reproductions that occurs during the automatic technical process of digital transmission"  (Gasaway, 2001, p 83)

References:  Gasaway, L. N. (2001, November).  Balancing copyright concerns:  The TEACH Act of 2001.  EDUCAUSE Review, 36(6).  82-83