Before our copyright class I knew very little about the process, rights, and fair use. With that disclaimer to my ignorance it seems to me that the TEACH act restricts user rights in a distance ed context.
The second issue is that I think that it is more restrictive than the more general fair use act. Part of the benefits of distance education is that it can be very different from the learning that happens F2F yet the TEACH act seems to assume that a distance ed course should use resources like they would be used F2F.
There are also many restrictions. Here are a couple of examples:
Many things that are NOT DONE in a F2F setting are also being required such as:
*Provide accurate copyright information and promote copyright compliance
*Provide notice to students that course materials may be protected by copyright
*Perhaps this is necessary but if we don't do it F2F why require it online?
Another thing required that does not seem to be enforced at all are the following:
*Retention of the work in accessible form by students for longer than the class session; and
*Unauthorized further dissemination of the work in accessible form by such recipients to others.
It seems that one of the benefits of distance ed is that you could access previous materials that were helpful. I know that has been the case for me with some classes that have posted the class syllabus with links and references on an open site.
I agree with Clark that the TEACH act didn't help us a whole lot. In fact it may not have been all that necessary. It seems to me that the general guidelines in the fair use act covered all the uses with exception of one or two that could have been easily clarified rather than creating a new act and revising a whole section of code 110 (2).
If I knew more I may not have this view but from what I know this is how I see it.