Past Meetup

Legal Issues for Authors: Pen to Press Issues for DIY Writers

This Meetup is past

49 people went

Next Door Cafe

659 W Diversey Parkway · Chicago, IL

How to find us

We'll be in the projection area, which is the open area outside the conference rooms at the back of the cafe

Location image of event venue


Please join us for an informative workshop on legal issues for authors, featuring attorneys from Lawyers for the Creative Arts (LCA):

Copyright – Why you should register your book's copyright and when to do it, how to protect later revisions, and what to do if someone infringes on your copyright.

Permissions and Fair Use – When to get permission to use someone else's work (words, photographs, illustrations, song lyrics, etc.), whether you need permission to quote another author, what constitutes fair use, what to do if you don't know who owns an image but you want to use it in your book, and how to credit sources.

Defamation – If writing a true-life story that shows someone in an unflattering light, how to avoid being sued for defamation, and whether fictionalizing or changing identifying details protects you from litigation.

Work for Hire – If you pay someone to create illustrations for your book and the contract doesn't address rights to the illustrations, who owns them?

Contracts – What to look for when evaluating contracts from service providers (designers, editors, publishers, etc.).

After the meeting, we'll walk down to Dunlay's on Clark (2600 N Clark Street) for self-pay food and drinks to continue the discussion. All attendees are welcome to join us.

Please RSVP here on AND register at .

NOTE: You must be registered as a Next Door Community Member to attend this event. Joining the Next Door Community is totally free and will give you access to register for any of Next Door’s classes or financial coaching, which are also free of charge. Please register at ( Once registered as a Community Member, you will receive a monthly email highlighting Next Door’s calendar of class and events. No additional solicitation or emails will be sent to you, and your information will not be shared. When checking in at the event, if you are not signed up as a Community Member, the check-in team will ask you to sign up onsite.


Steven L. Baron ( is a partner at Mendell Menkes LLC; he has a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin and a J.D. from the University of Minnesota. Tina Salvato ( is an associate attorney at Mendell Menkes LLC; she has a B.A. from Brown University and a J.D. from the University of California, Irvine School of Law. Both attorneys have extensive expertise in copyright, trademark, intellectual property, privacy, and defamation defense.

Lawyers for the Creative Arts (LCA) ( is the only pro bono legal service organization in Illinois that is expert in all areas of the arts. Now in their 43rd year, they have assisted thousands of artists and arts organizations of all kinds with their legal issues. Through LCA, artists of all kinds are free to do what it is they do—bring color, texture and wondrous sights and sounds to all of our lives.