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Copyright 4 Educators (US)

Week 4

Tara Wheatland's picture
Sat, 2010-09-04 01:07

Week 4 - Limitations to Copyright: The TEACH Act, the First Sale Doctrine and Library/Archive exceptions

This week you will learn about a few more exceptions to copyright law that may be applicable in educational context.

Background:    The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2002, known as the TEACH Act is part of the Copyright Act. The importance of the TEACH Act stems from the previous copyright laws that allow educators to copy documents or use copyrighted materials in a face-to-face classroom setting. Because of the growth of distance education that does not contain a face-to-face classroom setting revisions to these laws, particularly sections 110(2) and 112(f) of the U.S. Copyright Act, needed to be made. The TEACH Act outlines what requirements the IT staff and students of a university must abide by in order to be in compliance with the TEACH Act. While fair use covers some educational activities, the TEACH Act was designed to clarify what compliance measures must be implemented with regard to distance education. This Act permits teachers and students of accredited, nonprofit educational institutions to transmit performances and displays of copyrighted works as part of a course if certain conditions are met. If these conditions are not or cannot be met, use of the material will have to qualify as a fair use or have the permission of the copyright holder to be lawful.

The First Sale Doctrine originated as judge-made law in the early part of the 20th Century, and was codified into the Copyright Act of 1976 in section 109.   Section 109 allows the purchaser to transfer (i.e., sell or give away) a particular lawfully made copy of the copyrighted work without permission once it has been obtained. This means that the copyright holder's rights to control the change of ownership of a particular copy ends once that copy is sold, as long as no additional copies are made. This doctrine is also referred to as the "right of first sale," "first sale rule," or "exhaustion rule."

Section 108, "Limitations on Exclusive Rights: Reproduction by Libraries and Archives" of the copyright law allows libraries and archives to reproduce and distribute one copy of a work under certain circumstances. For example, libraries may photocopy journal articles, book chapters, etc. and send these copies to other libraries through interlibrary loan. Section 108 also allows libraries to make copies for preservation purposes.
Reading Assignment:

The TEACH Act text/Section 110
TEACH Act FAQs by the ALA -

First Sale/Section 109:

Library Exceptions/Section 108:
Section 108 Spinner:
ALA Information on section 108:
Optional Readings and Resources:
TEACH Act Flowchart
Guide to TEACH Act by the Copyright Clearance Center

Discussion Questions:

These are questions provided for your understanding, to be discussed with your group and with the course facilitators in office hours.  Answers to these questions do not have to be submitted and will not be part of your grade.

What might you be able to do under the TEACH Act that you could NOT do under Fair Use?

What does the First Sale doctrine allow?

Does Section 108 allow libraries to make a copy of an entire book for a teacher or student?  If so, under what circumstances?