The TEACH Act provides teachers some exceptions to copyright to accommodate use of copyrighted works in online course management systems. Complete "non-dramatic" musical and literary works can be performed, and "reasonable and limited portions" of other works, such as films and plays and dramatic music can be performed. As well, displays of works such as image, text, and multimedia can be shown in an amount that would be shown in a single in-person class session.
“What constitutes a ‘‘reasonable and limited’’ portion should take into account both the nature of the market for that type of work and the pedagogical purposes of the performance.”
-U.S. Congress, Senate, Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2001. 107th Cong., 1st sess., 2001, S. Doc. 7, serial 107-31
“The exhibition of an entire film may possibly constitute a ‘reasonable and limited’ demonstration if the film’s entire viewing is exceedingly relevant toward achieving a educational goal; however, the likelihood of an entire film portrayal being ‘reasonable and limited” may be rare.”
-Copyright Exemptions for Distance Education: 17 U.S.C. § 110(2), the Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2002 (Congressional Research Service)
"Video that is streamed for e-reserves also could fall under the TEACH Act because videos are works that are performed. The TEACH Act does not permit the performance of entire audiovisual works without a license but only a 'reasonable and limited portion' of a work.... Copying the entire copyright video...would constitute an unlawful reproduction."
-Copyright Questions and Answers for Information Professionals, Laura N. Gasaway
The TEACH Act is a recent addition to U.S. copyright law that permits the use of some copyrighted materials in online education.