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Using New Technologies


As the cliche goes: technology seems to change overnight. While sometimes overstated this cliche still reflects a good amount of reality. This is especially true in terms of educators trying to balance their own research and teaching along with attempting to figure out what new technologies are out there to use in the classroom.

"Web 2.0"

"The Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act (TEACH Act), passed in 2002, was intended to update copyright law (specifically, Section 110(2)) pertaining to transmissions of performances and displays of copyrighted materials. Although the act never uses the phrase "distance education" or "online courses", this is the part of the copyright act that addresses it through use of the word "transmission".

Thus, any time a performance (music, movies, etc.) or display (image, text, etc.) is transmitted (cable television, over the web), the TEACH exception might be an option for our faculty. However, if the shoe doesn't fit, other options may be available, like fair use." - North Carolina State University, TEACH Act Toolkit, Retreived October 27, 2008. (NOTE: The below links will open in a new browser tab or window)

Checklist for Compliance with the TEACH Act (NOTE: The below links will open in a new browser tab or window)

Fair Use:

Educational use of copyrighted material can sometimes be justified through the "fair use" clause in federal copyright law. The goal of this page is to briefly define the elements of "fair use" and to lead you to more substantial sources for information about how copyright law applies to teaching with the Internet.

Factors of Fair Use-If you use a piece of copyrighted material in your teaching, four factors will determine whether or not your use of that material qualifies as "fair use." Note that ALL FOUR of these factors must be evaluated for fair use to apply.
  1. The nature of the use
    Is the reproduction or the distribution for education or for commercial gain?
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work
    Fiction, high-level analysis, works of art, and musical composition are considered the most creative and therefore receive the most protection from infringement.   Compilations and derivative works are usually not protected by copyright at all (except possibly in their format or user interface).
  3. The quantity of the work used
    If you use 3% of the total substance of the work or less, you are probably safely within fair use. If you use more than 10%, you are in uncertain territory.
  4. The potential impact on the copyright holder's market
    If your use of some material could materially reduce the creator's ability to profit from it, this factor would point toward your use not being "fair".

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors. The U.S. Copyright Office - Fair Use (PDF logoPDF File) provides more information on each of the four Fair Use criteria. (NOTE: The below links will open in a new browser tab or window)

Some other sources for information about the guidelines: