Classrooms are defined by being a place for mediated learning in a closed (i.e. password protected) environment. Unlike the Web, which is public for all to use, closed environments restrict access of materials to those who have registered for a course. TEACH Act (2002) and the Fair Use provisions of the copyright law offer a high degree of flexibility to faculty members who wish to use copyrighted work within their online classroom. According to the TEACH Act, faculty members can use the following without seeking permission from the copyright holder:
To meet the TEACH Act requirements, the online course must be restricted to those in the class, the classroom must be moderated by an instructor, and "reasonable" technological measures must be taken to prevent illegal distribution of the materials. Instructors are encouraged to work with SCC's Copyright Officer to make sure course materials meet this requirement. Here are some suggestions to make any online course a "copyright friendly" environment:
Copyrighted content in this section is pulled from Washburn University's Copyright web site <http://www.washburn.edu/statements-disclosures/copyright/faculty-staff/online-courses/>.
Although the TEACH Act covers many uses you might have for the online classroom, the "fair use" guidelines should always be considered when you are looking at using copyrighted material to support your class.