Contact Information
Phone: 732.906.2527
Fax: 732.906.7702
Location: North Hall 214
Instructional Design
 Contact Information
Phone: 732.906.2527
Fax: 732.906.7702
Location: North Hall 214

Copyright Issues

An Interactive guide to using coyrighted media in your course – A guide by Baruck College CUNY.

Copyright Issues Online – The TEACH (Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization) Act

A video tape of this event is available for loan to faculty and staff.

Program: One 90-minute live satellite event
Producer: DALLAS TeleLearning


The legal environment for digital copyright issues is complicated, contentious, and ever-changing-making it as perilous as ever for institutions of higher education. The current top issue is the new TEACH (Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization) Act, which became law in November 2002. This act expanded the scope of educators’ rights to use certain copyrighted materials in distance learning courses, but major restrictions and conditions apply. Understanding what the new law permits and requires is vital!

In addition, the new law’s restrictions make it necessary for educators to continue to apply the “fair use” section of the 1976 copyright law accurately when creating and offering online courses.

Unfortunately, however, the concept of “fair use” for education is being narrowed by law and undermined by technology. In short, the balance of power remains with copyright holders, not instructors and students.

The opportunity

The new TEACH Act gives instructors at accredited, nonprofit educational institutions more options in using copyrighted materials in online courses. Even with the law’s restrictions, knowing what they are and how they should be applied gives faculty more latitude in teaching online. In addition, correctly applying the “fair use” provision of the copyright law remains an invaluable tool in using other people’s work in online courses legally and confidently. Also, there are useful “rules of thumb” for when instructors should get permission to use materials they did not create. Knowing how to get permissions for copyrighted materials can save a great deal of time and money.


Our panel of experts on higher education copyright law will analyze:

The implications of the new TEACH Act for teaching and learning online, including opportunities for broader usage and restrictions that limit applications

The continuing role of the “fair use” provision in analyzing copyright issues in distance education

Efficient procedures for obtaining copyright clearances for materials for online courses

The elements of an effective institutional policy on copyright and online learning


The new TEACH Act may be the most significant piece of copyright legislation for distance education in 25 years! Participants will take away vital real-world knowledge, including:

The basic provisions and limitations of the TEACH Act

Why “fair use” remains a key element in understanding and resolving copyright issues in online courses

How to get information on copyright policy into the hands of those who need it most-faculty and students

Why the Copyright Clearance Center and other such organizations are valuable

Why a college or university’s permission process should be centralized


Janis H. Bruwelheide, Ed.D.
Professor, Montana State University-Bozeman

Janis Bruwelheide is recognized nationally as an intellectual property consultant, speaker, and workshop leader. The author of numerous papers and chapters on copyright and technology, she was responsible for revising and expanding The Copyright Primer: A Handbook for the American Library Association and National Education Association. Online course design, collaboration and partnerships are the frequent topics of her workshops and conference sessions. Janis is also project director and principal investigator for the Borderless Access to Training and Education Project, which is funded by the FIPSE Learning Anywhere Anytime Partnership initiative.

Georgia K. Harper, J.D.
Manager, Intellectual Property Section

Office of General Counsel, The University of Texas System

Georgia Harper specializes in copyright law in her position with the University of Texas System. Her online publication, The Copyright Crash Course, provides guidance to faculty, students and staff concerning a wide range of copyright issues and is freely accessible to all universities and colleges. A highly popular panelist on our previous live satellite events, Georgia regularly conducts workshops and seminars on copyright issues. She has also been an advisor to numerous national higher education associations as well as to the National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage in connection with its Copyright and Fair Use Town Meetings.

Steven J. Mcdonald, J.D.
General Counsel, Rhode Island School of Design

As an attorney, Steven McDonald has handled a number of Internet-related legal matters, ranging from alleged copyright infringement on student web pages to computer break-ins. Previously associate legal counsel at The Ohio State University, Steven began his legal career in private practice at Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue, where he represented CompuServe in the first online libel case. He has taught courses in Internet law, and participants in past live events have praised his ability to explain complex legal rules in clear, understandable terms. Steven also serves on the board and edits publications for the National Association of College and University Attorneys.