Copyright Issues

Film and Video

Videocassettes may be shown, without license, in the home (or dorm room) or in certain narrowly defined face-to-face teaching activities. Non-classroom use in public places (i.e. TV lounge), regardless of whether an admission fee is charged, requires a license (see below). This means that student organizations cannot show films at organization events. Willful infringement for the purposes of commercial or financial gain is a federal crime and is punishable as a felony. Even inadvertent infringers are subject to substantial civil damages. Please contact Student Activities regarding ways to purchase a license.

Video Taping Events with Music

The Copyright Act also applies to the use of music. Should an organization wish to videotape one of their events with the intention of selling the recording, the use of copyrighted music will require a special license or permission from the copyright holder.

Special Licenses

Examples of situations requiring a special license or permission from copyright holder:

  • Use of cartoons or logos for flyers or party themes
  • Showing movies at a club activity
  • Sharing computer software
  • Use of music for events, performances, and the distribution and/or sale of video with music

Please contact the Office of Student Activities at with any questions.

Use of Rice Name and Logo

The use of the Rice University name and logo in the printing of t-shirts, hats, etc. is generally acceptable, provided that the design is in good taste, the items will not be distributed outside the University and the items will not be sold for a profit. However, permission to use the Rice logo must be obtained by either the Office of Public Affairs or the Office of General Counsel. In order to obtain their permission you must email the Office of Student Activities ( to assist you in the process. If your group intends to sell the items or distribute them outside the University, you must first secure approval from the Office of Student Activities.


Due to the highly regulated and complex statutes governing raffles in Texas, Rice University does not permit student organizations to conduct raffles.



Rice Memorial Center
Room 202
6100 Main Street MS-530
Houston, TX 77005
Phone: (713) 348-4097
Fax: (713) 348-5976


Monday - Friday
7:00am - Midnight

9:00am - Midnight

12:00pm - Midnight


Monday - Friday
9:00am - 5:00pm (limited staff)

Our entire staff will be available virtually Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm.