Copyright: Teach Act Permissions

A Libguide to inform faculty about copyright

Permitted under Teach Act

Permitted: Performance of a nondramatic literary work, a nondramatic musical work, or reasonable portions of any other work. 

Permitted: Displays of any other work in an amount comparable to that typically displayed in a live classroom setting.

Not Permitted: Using works produced or marketed primarily for performance/display as part of mediated instructional activities (e.g. Course packs).


Teach Act allows teachers to show the full performance of a nondramatic literary or musical work or display the following types of materials (partial list):

       •a sound recording of a poem

       •a sound recording of a piece of literature

       •a recorded symphony

       •still images, photographs (these are considered "displays")

       •still images from subscription databases if allowed by license

       •text if it is something that would normally be "displayed" in a face  to face class.

Teachers may only display reasonable and limited portions of dramatic works. Use only the portions that are necessary to make a point. (Teachers in  face to face classrooms may use the following works in their entirety). The following are examples:

  • dramatic works
  • musicals
  • operas
  • commercial films
  • music videos

Not Permitted under Teach Act

Teachers may not transmit or display instructional materials, without permission or licensing, which students are commonly expected to purchase such as:

•course packs
•digital educational work (made for the purpose of performance or display for use in mediated instruction)