Educators are applauding the passage of a bill that will allow teachers to use digitized portions of copyrighted materials—such as film, sound, and other media clips—in online courses and other distance-education programs without the expressed permission of the copyright holder. But a provision that requires schools to use technology to keep these materials from being copied has some school leaders worried.

The Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act, which brings a 26-year-old copyright law into the digital age, was first introduced in March 2001. Although it enjoyed bipartisan support, it was tabled last year...

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