Distribution of TLS/CTAC Materials Guidelines

Man at podium 2 July 2011

Guide for the Use and Dissemination of TLS/CTAC Materials


Teaching Learning Solutions (TLS) and the Community Training and Assistance Center, Inc. (CTAC), to support the NY State Education Department’s initiatives related to training on the topics of Teacher Evaluation—including Teacher Observation, Student Learning Objectives, and Inter-rater Reliability—have developed materials.  The materials will be distributed to all network team participants using a secured password to access the EngageNY web-site. Materials provided to participants will include training documents, resources and guides prepared for participants for use during training sessions and in the field, materials for the turn-key trainers, and access to web-platforms for use in work relative to teacher evaluation and student learning objectives.

TLS and CTAC respectively own the intellectual property and copyrights to the materials that are being provided, and have granted the NYSED, and through the NYSED the participants of the nti training, a royalty-free license to use the material for educational purposes. This license is granted for use in the state of New York only. Participants, NYSED,  and network leaders do not have license to distribute, share, use or loan materials beyond the state of New York.

How can institute participants and network leaders use the materials?

Generally, participants are advised to follow the US Copyright Office Fair Use guidelines, which can be found at http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html. Fair use is determined by reviewing four factors:

  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work (US Copyright Office FL-102, November 2009)

As noted previously, network leaders and participants have the license to use the materials in their capacity facilitating professional learning opportunities intended to build educators’ skills and knowledge of evidenced-based teacher evaluation and student learning outcomes.   This license is given for non-commercial, non-profit educational purposes. Materials can be used in their original form, or to create revisions for use in specific professional development context; e.g., trainings, coaching at school sites, or similar professional development contexts that may differ in length of time, skills level of participants, or in other ways.

Stamford University further explains “Educational Use” as follows:

The educational fair use guidelines apply to material used in educational institutions and for educational purposes. Examples of “educational institutions” include K-12 schools, colleges, and universities. Libraries, museums, hospitals, and other nonprofit institutions also are considered educational institutions under most educational fair use guidelines when they engage in nonprofit instructional, research, or scholarly activities for educational purposes.

“Educational purposes” are:

  • noncommercial instruction or curriculum-based teaching by educators to students at nonprofit educational institutions
  • planned noncommercial study or investigation directed toward making a contribution to a field of knowledge, or
  • presentation of research findings at noncommercial peer conferences, workshops, or seminars.


Network participants have been given license to use True North Logic software as part of the training, and as a training tool. Commercial software such as the TNL platform is copyright protected. Georgetown University policy provides the following guidelines for the use of licensed software.

When you purchase commercial software, you purchase a specific number of licenses to use the software. The conditions and restrictions of purchase will vary, so read the purchase agreement carefully. Distributing commercial software in excess of a license agreement is illegal. Increasingly commercial software comes with a shrinkwrap license and a prohibition against breaking the technological barriers to re-use that have been incorporated into the software. According to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, it is illegal to circumvent those barriers.

(Georgetown University, 1993-2007, http://policies.georgetown.edu/copyright/sections/resources)

Software programs may be used for similar professional development purposes, however, may not be revised.

What action should be taken to protect the intellectual property and copyrights of TLS and CTAC?

TLS and CTAC ownership and copyright of any duplicated material should be acknowledged when making reproductions, or revisions of any materials, for distribution and use in professional development. Ownership and copyright is acknowledged by ensuring that the Ó symbol is present and appears on all reproduced material, and includes language that identifies TLS and CTAC as owners of the material and inform recipients that duplication beyond the scope of this work in New York cannot be made with out written permission.

  • A typical acknowledgement statement at the conclusion of a reproduced document would be as follows; ÓCommunity Training and Assistance Center, Inc. (CTAC) All Rights Reserved
  • A similar statement can be made on a title or table of contents page (document header or footer) acknowledging TLS or CTAC ownership with the statement used by permission.

What type of use is restricted?

Any use of the material for commercial profit, or non-educational use is prohibited. That includes providing TLS and CTAC materials, metrics, methodologies or other intellectual property to third party vendors (e.g., software providers) who have been hired to provide support, software platforms, or facilitate professional development under their own name and brand and are not acknowledged partners of TLS or CTAC. As service providers who would profit from use of the material, their use is restricted. Distribution to a third party vendor, and use of protected material by the vendor, is not allowed in any form without a license agreement with TLS or CTAC.

For example: A district has an existing relationship with a third party software support provider and wishes to incorporate TLS metrics to calculate administrators’ inter-rater reliability after viewing and scoring a teaching video. Those metrics and the methodology of their use are protected, so the software provider must establish a license agreement with TLS prior to developing a software module that would incorporate those metrics. This is not the only example of how copyright could be infringed. The best way to protect against infringement is to contact TLS or CTAC when copying materials, and acquire permission or license if warranted.

NY state license holders are obligated to inform third party vendors that they must obtain licenses to use any protected materials, and should not provide any copyrighted or IP material until the vendor provides proof that the necessary permissions and licenses have been attained.

In utilizing any of the exclusive rights provided to the copyright holder without his permission, you may be violating or infringing on his rights under the Copyright Act. If the copyright holder has registered the infringed work with the U.S. Copyright Office prior to the infringement, the copyright holder may be entitled to compensation for his loss. Compensation may include damages, such as lost profits from the infringing activity, or statutory damages ranging from $250 to $150,000 for each infringing copy or higher if the court feels that the infringement was committed "willfully."

You may also be criminally liable if you willfully copy a work for profit or financial gain, or if the work has a value of more than $1,000. Penalties can include a one year jail sentence plus fines. If the value is more than $2,500, you may be sentenced to five years in jail plus fines. Criminal penalties generally apply to large-scale commercial piracy.


Downloadable Resources

Resources may contain links to sites external to the EngageNY.org website. These sites may not be within the jurisdiction of NYSED and in such cases NYSED is not responsible for its content.