Copyright, Fair Use and TEACH Act FAQ
|What are examples of work protected by copyright?|
The following are examples of material protected by copyright:
|What happens if I violate copyright laws?|
|When assessing the seriousness of a copyright infringement, the most significant factor is often the perceived value of the material in the marketplace. In a lawsuit, the copyright holder may be awarded actual or statutory damages, to be paid by the defendant (you) or defendants (others implicated with you in a lawsuit) to the copyright holder.|
|What is the difference between “actual damages” and “statutory damages”?|
|Actual damages refer to perceived lost profits incurred by the copyright violation(s). However, the copyright holder may attempt to recover statutory damages (from $750 to $30,000) for each claimed incident of infringement.
If the copyright holder can prove that the infringement was committed "willfully," the court may order the defendant to pay up to $150,000 in addition to the statutory damages.
NOTE: Even when infringing parties are not aware that they are violating copyright laws, the court may still require payment in statutory damages for each proven infringement!
|What does "public domain" mean?|
|Works are in the public domain if they are not covered by intellectual property rights at all, if the intellectual property rights have expired, and/or if the intellectual property rights are forfeited.
Copyright law applies to material created on or after January 1, 1978 and last the duration of the life of the work's creator plus 70 years, after which they become public domain and require no permission for use.
|What does “fair use” mean?|
Fair use is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work, and allows limited use of copyrighted material without requiring permission from the copyright owner. There are four factors that must be considered to determine if use of a given work applies under fair use:
To help you evaluate whether or not your intended use of material may apply, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you please visit and use the Fair Use Evaluator from the American Library Association.
|What is the TEACH Act?|
|The TEACH Act (The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2002) is derived from copyright laws that allow educators to copy documents or use copyrighted materials and media in a face-to-face classroom setting. Because of expanding academic needs for distance education and online learning, revisions to copyright infringement conditions needed to be made.
NOTE: A legal definition of the TEACH Act can be found in its entirety at this link, or search for “Teach Act” at www.copyright.gov for more information.
|Why do we need to know about Fair Use AND the TEACH Act?|
|Copyright laws and fair use guidelines were written for traditional classroom settings and not for distance education or online learning. The TEACH Act expands on performance and display exemptions to help them apply with the technology needs of distance learning and online course delivery.
NOTE: The TEACH Act is NOT an application of fair use with its restrictions on continued reuse of the same copyrighted materials. Rather, it is a version of the exemption for public performance in the classroom.
To be more specific, the TEACH Act revisions allow (under certain restrictions and subject to specified conditions) the use of copyrighted materials in the distance education and online learning environments without requiring expressed permission of the copyright holder. Distance education and online learning gain the following:
|What IS ALLOWED under the TEACH Act?|
|In order to qualify for the TEACH Act exemptions that allow use of copyrighted material for distance education and online learning, the following criteria needs to be met:
|What is NOT ALLOWED under the TEACH Act?|
Exemptions under the TEACH Act do NOT apply to the following:
NOTE: The TEACH Act does NOT supersede fair use or existing digital license agreements.
|Who is responsible for what under the TEACH Act?|
Usage considerations of The TEACH Act can affect more than just instructors. Use the appropriate TEACH Act Checklist below to help ensure your use of copyrighted material is in compliance:
TEACH Act checklist – INSTRUCTOR
TEACH Act checklist – INSTITUTION
How do I communicate with students about copyright restrictions and our institutions’ policies?
|It is critical that students fully understand copyright restrictions while participating in distance education or online learning activities. To help ensure that students understand the institution policy, an introductory copyright statement is posted at the Blackboard login page. This statement informs students about restrictions regarding the use of copyrighted material within their courses, as well as providing a direct link to the University copyright policy web page.|
|I still have questions about copyright. Who can I talk to?|
Copyright matters can be complicated, and many need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Concordia-Chicago has several direct contacts depending on what kind of material you are working with. Feel free to call or email us directly so we can further assist.Library Resources
Media Productions /User Services
Instructional Design Team