There are several limitations on the exclusive rights of copyright holders, which means that under certain circumstances, no permission is needed when using a work.
Three that apply in educational settings are:
In-class performances and displays - Title 17, §110(1) of the U.S. Copyright Code
The U.S. Copyright Code allows for some performances and displays of copyrighted materials without needing permission.
§110(1) allows for in-class performances of certain works during face-to-face teaching.
To claim this exemption and use a work without gaining the copyright holder's permisison, all provisions listed below must apply:
If all of the above provisions apply, there is no infringement of copyright and no permission is needed to use the work.
Points to consider:
When recording class sessions,
When recording student musicals or plays,
Reserve readings are not intended for in-classroom use, so they are not be covered by §110(1) (but may be fair use).
When using student work in class,
TEACH Act (Online Performances/Distance Education) - Title 17, §110(2)
The TEACH Act (Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act) was implemented in 2002 and replaced the previous §110(2). It applies to digital transmission of a work. It allows for the transmission of copyrighted performances or displays as part of a course as long as certain provisions are met.
To claim this exception and use a work without gaining the copyright holder's permisison, ALL provisions listed below must apply:
Electronic reserves are not meant to be read or performed in class, so they do not fall under §110(2) (but may be fair use).
Please see "The Original TEACH Act Toolkit" by UNC Charlotte for more detailed information including an overview of the TEACH Act requirements, compliance checklists, permissions guide, and FAQs.