TEACH Act: Technical Compliance
The use of copyrighted still images is explicitly addressed in the TEACH Act, and specific procedures have to be followed to comply with the law. Images that, in a face-to-face classroom setting, could be photocopied and handed out to students need to be treated differently when placed online. The fact that the images may be placed on a limited-access website (such as within a WebCT class) does not alleviate the need to follow the TEACH Act guidelines. Fairfield University's Copyright Committee has determined that in order not to place the University at any legal risk, all instructors should follow the procedure below:
- Obtain a copy of the program iWatermark from Computing & Network Services (this will run on Windows 98SE, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Mac OS X), along with the accompanying instruction sheet. Install the program and launch it, and place the following watermark text: Fairfield University / For online educational use only.
- Collect all images that you intend to use on your class site, and divide them into two categories: those that you know are not copyrighted (e.g., public domain photos, pictures you took yourself), and those that may be copyrighted.
- Use iWatermark to take your folder of possibly copyrighted images and create a new folder of the same images with an overlay of the appropriate disclaimer (see iWatermark instruction sheet for exact process.
- You can now move the watermarked versions of the image to WebCT or other distance ed website.
The use of digitized video is explicitly addressed in the TEACH Act, and specific procedures have to be followed to comply with the law. Videos material that is available for purchase in a digitized format must be purchased for use as streaming video, even if you already own an analog version (e.g., VHS video) of the program. Only those programs that have not been released in a digitized version may be converted by University faculty/staff for streaming purposes.
Once a video is in the correct format for streaming, two basic requirements must be met: the administrator of the video server must place a text notice within each stream designating it as Fairfield University / For online educational use only, and the stream must be explicitly limited to only those students who are registered for the online course. For faculty members, this means that a complete class list, including e-mail addresses, must be provided to the administrator of the video server before any materials can be put online. The administrator will then create usernames and passwords for the students and e-mail the access information to each one. The streaming video material must also be accessible only for that time that is absolutely necessary for instruction. Faculty should therefore provide the administrator the beginning and ending dates for each video to be available.