Federal law specifically addresses the use of copyrighted works in online classes: the "Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act" (TEACH Act), 17 USC §§ 110(2) and 112. Under the TEACH Act an instructor must reasonably:
- Limit access to copyrighted works to students currently enrolled in the class;
- Limit access only for the time needed to complete the class session or course;
- Inform instructors, students, and staff of copyright laws and policies;
- Prevent further copying or redistribution of copyrighted works; and
- Not interfere with copy protection mechanisms, like DRM (digital rights management).
With this summary in mind, there are specific aspects of the TEACH Act that are relevant to Pima Community College staff and faculty using the Pima course management system, Brightspace by D2L.
Limiting access: When using Brightspace by D2L for your CRN course shell, your course is already password-protected, limited to the students that are listed on your course roster. Additionally, your students lose access to your course five days after the term officially ends.
Copyright information: The Brightspace by D2L Homepage features a “Notice to Students” widget that offers information on students using copyrighted materials. Your course syllabus should also feature a link to the PCC Student Code of Conduct that features information on the violation of copyright laws.
Preventing the copying and redistribution of digital copyrighted works: This is the responsibility of each instructor at Pima Community College. You will need to know the copyright status of any digital files you share with your students. If any are copyright-protected, you will need to make it difficult for your students to copy and/or share any of the materials you use in your class. A recommendation: You can easily add PCC Library digital materials to your class in Brightspace by D2L. The PCC Library features article databases like “EBSCO” and video databases like “Films On Demand” and “Kanopy”.
Copyright protection mechanisms: You are advised to not remove any existing copyright protections and include all copyright notices.
Should you have further questions on the TEACH Act and how it relates to your courses in Brightspace by D2L, please contact a PCC Librarian.
TEACH Act Checklist
TEACH Act Flowchart
Duke University has created a TEACH Act flowchart that can help in the decision making.