VCU Libraries

Research Guides

Copyright for Faculty

Face-to-Face Instruction Exceptions

Face-to-face instruction exceptions (17 U.S. Code § 110(1)) permit the performance and display of copyrighted works without permission or payment when all of the following requirements are met:

  1. The instruction must occur in a place dedicated to instruction where the teaching and learning takes place at the same time (such as a classroom). 
  2. The instruction must occur at a non-profit educational institution. 
  3. All materials used for performance or display must be legally acquired. These materials include works such as music, text, images, and video.

This exception does not, however, apply to making or distributing copies of copyrighted works. When making or distributing copies, instructors must rely on fair use or seek permission from copyright holders.

Virtual Instruction Exceptions

Virtual instruction is when a course is taught entirely online or when components of a face-to-face course are taught online (such as with Blackboard) and frequently includes digitally transmitting class materials to students. Transmitting performances or displays of copyrighted works may be authorized under the TEACH Act (17 U.S. Code § 110(1)), which was enacted to allow comparable instruction in the online environment as to what takes place in a traditional classroom or face-to-face instruction. There are numerous requirements for teaching, technology, and course materials that instructors must meet to qualify for the TEACH Act exceptions. 

See UNC Charlotte's TEACH Act Toolkit for more information.