Classroom Teaching Exemption

Do you want to perform or display a copyrighted work in your classroom?  If so, your use might be allowed under the Classroom Teaching Exception, Section 110(1) of U.S. Copyright Law.

You can apply this exemption when:

  • you are teaching your students face-to-face/in-person,
  • you are in a classroom on campus (or "similar place devoted to instruction”),
  • you are part of a nonprofit educational institution, and
  • the copy of the work you want to use was legally obtained (i.e., not a pirated or bootlegged copy)


If you meet all of these conditions, you and your students are allowed to perform or display a work (including music, text, images, and video).

Examples of permitted uses:

  • Show a full-length video that you checked out from the library.
  • Have your students act out a scene from a play.
  • Show news coverage of a current event.
  • Display images of modern artwork.
  • Read and discuss an editorial on a recent political issue.


NOTE: This exemption does not apply to sharing copies of works with your students. Course Reserves can help you share readings and other copyrighted materials with your class.