SALUTING NIMMER ON COPYRIGHT

Like so many, I came of age as a copyright lawyer reading Nimmer on Copyright. Today I have an online subscription to the treatise, but I still keep a set on my bookshelf. Perhaps a little dog-eared, perhaps a little chaotic because of too many sticky notes, the treatise with its deep-blue cover and multiple volumes stands proudly at attention near my desk, ready to be called upon at any moment, no matter the lateness of the hour or the reason at hand. In an office like mine, everyone shares books freely, but I don’t like it much when my Nimmer volumes go missing.

Whatever Melville Nimmer was thinking when he started the treatise, whatever compelled him to trade the life of a practitioner for one of a scribe, the real value of his work, in my opinion, is not the dense and brilliant content, but the sheer scale of his commitment to copyright — the range of issues, the dizzying detail, and the poignant reflections. His love of copyright law comes through in abundance. More importantly, so does his respect for it.