Digital Delivery in the Classroom

When the Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act was enacted in 2002, librarians hoped that it would provide some clarity on copyright exceptions for the digital delivery of content for distance education. In reality, understanding what is permitted under the TEACH Act in combination with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and existing exceptions like fair use have become more confusing to many practitioners.  As a result, there are many more questions from the field about what is permitted.  This piece was written in hopes of clarifying one aspect of the confusion—digital delivery of content to the “physical” classroom. Our thanks to Jonathan Band legal counsel to ALA and ARL, Peter Jaszi, Professor of Law, Faculty Director of the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Clinic at American University Washington College of Law and Kenneth D. Crews, Director of the Copyright Advisory Office at Columbia University for assistance in the drafting of and commenting on this document.