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"Creating, Using, and Selling Your Copyright" Online with Melynda Nuss

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Online Class

8/7/2019 From 06:30 PM CST to 09:30 PM CST


$49 for Members
$109 for Non-Members

Everyone who registers will have access to the class recording for one week. 

Registration for this class has closed.

Want answers to your most pressing literary legal questions?

This class covers the basics of protecting your copyright, using other authors’ copyrighted material (fair use), and negotiating contracts to sell your copyrighted work to publishers and others.
This class has two parts. First, we cover some common questions about copyright, including when your copyright is created, whether you have to place any sort of mark on your copyrighted material to indicate that it’s copyrighted, and whether you have to register your copyright for it to be valid. We will also talk about when you can use someone else’s copyrighted material – art, song lyrics, etc. – in your writing.
Second, we will talk about some common terms in publishing contracts and self-publishing agreements. There is no such thing as a “standard” publishing contract – especially with the explosion of small publishing houses competing for new authors. We will talk about points that you can negotiate with publishers, and things that you should watch out for in agreements to publish your book.
This class will focus on establishing copyright, using poems, song lyrics, and other copyrighted material in your work, and negotiating publishing contracts.


  • You're self-publishing and not sure about the legal aspects of publication.
  • You've asked the Writers' League staff questions about publishing law, and they said, "Well, we're not lawyers." This instructor is a lawyer.


  • "The information and expertise and personality of the instructor was terrific!"
  • "I got more clarification on exclusive and non-exclusive contract terms and learned what to obligate publishers to do for me as a writer in addition to the fact that copyright is a bundle of rights that I can split up in licensing agreements. Good stuff!"
  • "Really appreciated Her breakdown of legal elements into everyday English."


Melynda Nuss specializes in the legal needs of writers, musicians, artists, filmmakers, and other creative professionals. As a former professor, she also helps academics and other educators with their legal obligations to students, their employers and the profession. She taught literature and legal writing at the University of Texas Pan American until 2013. She is a member of the Texas State Bar Entertainment and Sports Law Section, the Writers’ League of Texas and the Austin Bar Association’s Solo and Small Firm section. She volunteers her time with the Texas Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts.



Online Class



$49 members (sign in for member pricing)

$109 nonmembers


Before purchasing, please read all policies as noted below and on our Classes page.

Online registration will close at 5 p.m. CST on Wednesday, August 7. If your browser has difficulty with our website store, or if you prefer to mail in a check, click here for a class registration form. The document provides instructions on where to mail it.

Once a purchase has been made, tickets are not refundable and registration cannot be transferred to a different class or event. No exceptions will be made. If you purchase a ticket and then find you cannot attend, someone else can attend in your stead. Simply contact us at or 512-499-8914 and let us know so that we can update the class roster.



Our classes offer a combination of lecture and practical exercises, determined by the individual instructor, on focused aspects of the craft and business of writing. Your fellow participants will come from a range of writing experience, from beginners to people with MFA degrees and published books. WLT instructors, participants, and administrators all work together to create a welcoming, supportive environment.

If you haven't taken a class with us in recent years, feel free to give us a call at 512-499-8914 if you'd like to discuss whether our programming is the right fit for your needs.


This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at


Writers' League of Texas classes and workshops are also funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts - Investing in a Creative Texas. For more information, go to


This project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit