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Copyright Information

This collection of resource links is intended to provide faculty, staff, and students of the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus a framework for understanding US copyright law and fair use doctrine. (Does not constitute legal advice.)

Copyright Tools

The following links can be helpful in determining what is permissable and if your use of copyrighted work will fall under fair use.

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What is the TEACH Act?

This is an amendment to the Copyright Act of 1976 which provides clarification on how copyrighted materials can be used in an online educational format, including distance education, without permission from the owner.  There are four principles that can be followed in order to meet all TEACH requirements (you can also use the TEACH Act checklist under Copyright Tools). 

Note that if you meet the qualifications for exemption under the TEACH Act, you do not need to worry about fair use requirements. However, if you do not meet TEACH Act requirements, you still may be able to use the materials without permission if you meet all four fair use factors.

Four Steps to Best Practice:

  1. Link Up!
    When possible link directly to the source, but don’t store the source yourself. Linking is the most effective protection against liability

  2. Use Only Necessary Materials and Only Limited Parts of Those Materials.
    • Don’t put it up if you don’t cover it in class.
      • On-line access is not a reserve desk of the library for material that is “recommended” or “further” reading.
    • Use only what would be displayed in a live classroom course session, no more.
      • You may not use a performance of dramatic literary or musical works without permission. This includes narrative movies and operas.
  3. Limit Access.
    • Accessible only to enrolled students
    • Only for the necessary amount of time
    • Should be displayed as it would be for a live class session
    • Repeated access only if it is necessary to meet teaching objectives

  4. Inform Students Of Copyright Laws And Policies.
    • The materials on this course Web site are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated.


For more information, visit:

What is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act?

Works are now copyrighted at the moment of creation so before using another person's intellectual work, certain factors need to be considered.   Materials on the Internet are just as protected by copyright as other formats.  Furthermore, legislation like DMCA is further defining the responsibilities of creators, network service providers, and users of online information. 
For more information, please visit: