Copyright law allows for the "performance or display of a work by instructors or pupils in the course of face-to-face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction..." (§110(1), emphasis added). This must be done with a lawfully acquired copy of the work. If the conditions in this section are met, there is no infringement of copyright and no permission is needed to use the work.
Keep in mind that this section does not apply to online courses or when making a recording of a class that also captures the work.
The TEACH Act (Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act) of 2002 updated copyright law to better address the performance or display of copyrighted work in digital distance education (or as the law puts it, when it is being transmitted) (§§110(2) and 112(f)).
But there is still a considerable gap between what the statute authorizes for face-to-face teaching and for distance education. An educator would more than likely have to pare down materials used in a face-to-face class under §110(1) in order to show them online to distant students under §110(2).
Course management systems, such as Canvas, make implementing the TEACH Act more straightforward. However, if you are not able to meet all of the criteria in §110, consider whether fair use would apply, obtain a licensed copy, or request permission from the copyright holder.
To digitally transmit the display or performance of a copyrighted work for instructional purposes through the TEACH Act (§110(2) of copyright law), you must meet all of the following conditions. Conditions that are met at the institutional level by the University of Northern Colorado or that may be facilitated by use of a learning management system (LMS), such as Canvas, are noted.
This work was adapted from the University of Texas Libraries Copyright Crash Course