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The Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2001 (TEACH Act or S.487) is an act that revises U.S. federal copyright law to extend the infringement liability for instructional broadcasting liability to digital distance education and learning.
On March 7, 2001, the TEACH Act was introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and four cosponsors. In November 2002, President George W. Bush signed the TEACH Act into law. It was incorporated with similar bills into the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act (H.R. 2215).
U.S. copyright law provides educators with fair use rights, in addition to rights under Section 110(1) of the Copyright Act, providing for the display and performance of an author's work inside a classroom. With the rise and expansion of distance learning, these terms became restrictive.
In 1998, the U.S. Copyright Office provided Congress with a report with detailed recommendations and proposed changes that would facilitate the use of digital technology in distance education. This report evolved into the TEACH Act, which expanded the scope of an educator's rights to display and perform works, regardless of medium, effectively bridging the gap between distance learning and face-to-face teaching.