Copyright at USU

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Classroom Exemptions


There are several exemptions to copyright law designed to facilitate educational use of copyrighted materials. Because these activities are specifically sanctioned by law, they shield the instructor from the dangers posed by infringement. Most significantly for the classroom instructor, Section 110(1) of the Copyright Act exempts performances and displays of copyrighted works in a face-to-face course provided:

  • The course is offered by a non-profit educational institution
  • Teaching takes place in a location devoted to instruction (e.g. in a classroom)

Specifically, it is fine to display texts and images (including photographs, maps, charts, graphs) in the course of a face to face class. It is also acceptable to read and perform dramatic works in the classroom.  Finally, with regard to film and sound recordings, it is also acceptable to play the complete work in the classroom, provided there is an educational purpose and the instructor believes that the copy has been lawfully made.

NOTE: Section 110(2), the TEACH Act addresses the digital transmission of copyrighted materials to students outside the face to face environment.