Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Copyright : For Instructors

Resources pertaining to copyright compliance and copyright law.


The biggest thing to keep in mind when using materials under the TEACH Act is that the "transmission" of the materials must be limited to students enrolled in the class.  

The law allows specifically for the following copyrighted works to be used by instructors: 

  • Performances of nondramatic literary works. 
  • Performances of nondramatic musical works. 
  • Performances of any other work, including dramatic works and audiovisual works, but only in “reasonable and limited portions.” 
  • Displays of any work “in an amount comparable to that which is typically displayed in the course of a live classroom session.”

It also specially set down works that are not permitted;

  • Works that are marketed “primarily for performance or display as part of mediated instructional activities transmitted via digital networks.” 
  • Performances or displays given by means of copies “not lawfully made and acquired” under the U.S. Copyright Act, if the educational institution “knew or had reason to believe” that they were not lawfully made and acquired.

When using a copyrighted item an instructor must follow certain requirements; 

  • The performance or display “is made by, at the direction of, or under the actual supervision of an instructor.” 
  •  The materials are transmitted “as an integral part of a class session offered as a regular part of the systematic mediated instructional activities” of the educational institution. 
  • The copyrighted materials are “directly related and of material assistance to the teaching content of the transmission.”

Author Rights

Authors may not realize when they sign a contract with a publisher that they are assigning their copyright to the publisher.  Retaining your rights as an author is important to ensure that you can you your writings in your teaching.  Attaching an author addendum will help ensure you retain your rights.

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) works to enable open sharing or research outputs and educational materials.  The following SPARC resources will help authors retain their rights on published material:

Electronic Resources

Instructors must consider copyright compliance when making electronic materials available to students in a course management system, such as Canvas.  Instructional materials may be posted to Canvas under the following circumstances:

  • The faculty member is the copyright owner of the material,
  • A link is provided to the material rather than posting a copy,
  • The faculty member has obtained permission from the copyright owner,
  • The material has been designated open access,
  • The material is in the public domain,
  • The use of the material is considered fair use under copyright law.

Visiting the following pages for more information:

Source for Electronic Resources information:

Copyright on Campus