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ASU Online ascribes to the specifications of the TEACH Act in its use of audio, video, and images in course content delivery.


The Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act is a provision of US Copyright law that regulates the use of copyrighted materials in distance education courses. It should not be confused with Fair Use which is another and separate provision of US Copyright law. Although the TEACH Act provides greater latitude regarding usage of media materials in distance education courses, it also is accompanied by enhanced stipulations in its implementation.


Main benefits of the TEACH Act as noted by the American Library Association (ALA) are that “accredited, nonprofit educational institutions throughout the U.S. may use copyright protected materials in distance education–including on websites and by other digital means–without permission from the copyright owner and without payment of royalties” (2012, Introduction Para.1). The TEACH Act is a great resource when licensing copyrighted material or obtaining permission to use copyrighted material is not a viable option.

ASU Online Teach Act Implementation

Below you will see the stipulations for using digital media in distance learning courses as protected by the TEACH Act, and how ASU and specifically ASU Online have implemented these requirements


Accredited Nonprofit Educational Institution – Arizona State University is a public nonprofit university. All ASU graduate and undergraduate academic programs are fully accredited by the North Central Association Higher Learning Commission. Many programs also have additional accreditation through specialized accrediting agencies.

Material is Part of Systematic Mediated Instructional Activities – All course materials are delivered via specific course/class online portals that are facilitated by ASU faculty and/or staff as part of degree or certificate programs.

Notices and Education

Institutional Copyright Use Policy – Arizona State University has public published policies on copyright notices and policies. ASU policy on copyright and copyrighted materials: ASU Computer, Internet, and Electronic Communications Policy:

Copyright Education – Educational materials for both instructors and students are available regarding copyright and copyright infringement.

Copyright Resources for Instructors | Copyright Resources for Students


All digital material used in courses have not been produced by a digital education publisher – Digital material produced by entities in the business of producing educational materials with the purpose of selling those materials to the education market are not covered by the TEACH Act and therefore are not to be used in any course without the proper licensing on file. For example, it would not be covered under the TEACH Act to use a multimedia chemistry lab in a course without licensing it from the publisher.

All digital material has been lawfully made and acquired – No copies of digital material (e.g. second iteration DVD copy that was burned on a blank DVD) or material that has been illegally acquired (e.g. file sharing networks) is allowed in courses. Material submitted for use in courses should be in its original format. VHS videos (or other analog media) are not allowed to be transferred to a digital media format unless there is no commercially available digital version of the work (i.e. “out of print” media).

Access Control

Material is limited to students enrolled in course – All digital materials used for course instruction are limited to that course and to the students enrolled in that course. Students are granted access to course materials during the length of the course sessions (normally 7.5 or 15 weeks).

Reasonable copy control instituted –All videos and audio are provided in a streaming media format. At no time are students asked to download any copyrighted digital material from a course to their computer for viewing purposes. Students are granted access to course materials during the length of the course sessions.


Digital Material is integral to class session – All digital material selected for use in courses under stipulations of the TEACH Act have been deemed integral, essential, or fundamental by the instructor of the course to the lesson or material being taught in the course.

Reasonable copy control instituted – The digital material should be directly related material to teaching. In academic discourse, the digital material selected for use in the course under the TEACH Act must be directly relevant to materials, lessons, or other teaching/learning objectives of the course.

Specific Usage

Copyright notice to students present on material used in courses – Copyrighted material used in courses will be visually marked with the copyright holder information in accordance with the TEACH Act.

“Reasonable and limited” portions – Instructor uses only “the performance of a nondramatic literary or musical work or reasonable and limited portions of any other work.”

download PDF

A downloadable abbreviated version of this checklist is available here.

Reference: American Library Association. (2012). ALA Public Libraries Interest Group. Chicago, IL: Author. Retrieved March 28, 2012 at “Limitations on Exclusive Rights: Exemption of Certain Performances and Displays” U.S. Code. Title 17, Sec.110 (2)