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60 J. Copyright Soc'y U.S.A. 149 (2012-2013)
A Story of Two Anniversaries: Nimmer and the Bulletin/Journal of the Copyright Society

handle is hein.journals/jocoso60 and id is 175 raw text is: A Story of Two Anniversaries


We are honored to assemble this group of essays relating to Nimmer
on Copyright (the Treatise) to commemorate its fiftieth anniversary.
Astute readers will have noted that this is Volume 60 of the Journal of the
Copyright Society of the USA, and, hence, it is also the Journal's sixtieth
anniversary. I would like to celebrate both occasions by discussing the
relationship between Mel Nimmer, the Journal (which was the Bulletin of
the Copyright Society of the USA for its first twenty-eight volumes, becom-
ing the Journal for Volume 29) and the Treatise. We have a complete set
of the Bulletin/Journal in the Loyola Law School Law Library, so I con-
ducted some casual research as to when Mel first appeared in the Bulletin,
his involvement with the Society and the Bulletin, and the relationship be-
tween the original Treatise and the Bulletin. By focusing on Mel Nimmer I
don't want to ignore the incredible work his son, David Nimmer, has done
on the treatise. Indeed, David has been responsible for the treatise for
longer than his esteemed father was! But for this brief essay, I want to
focus on historical origins, so will primarily reference Nimmer pare's con-
nections with the Bulletin.
Before I describe the results of my review of the early Bulletins, I
would like to make a personal comment. I was fortunate to have met
Professor Nimmer in early 1985, when he, his wife, Gloria, and UCLA
were gracious hosts of the Mid-Year Meeting of the Copyright Society. I
had been a member of the Society since law school days in New York, and
had moved to California only months before that meeting. After the pro-
gram at UCLA, everyone was invited to the Nimmer's house to socialize,
and for me, as a young lawyer with a love of copyright, it was as memora-
ble as the time I bumped into John Lennon and Yoko Ono walking down
72nd Street in New York a week after moving to the City from New Ha-
ven. One of my first tasks at Paul, Weiss a few years later was to assess the
status of the Lennon/McCartney publishing catalogue, which had become
complicated by the untimely death of John a year or so earlier. Of course,
my first reference in digging into arcane questions of work made for hire
and corporate body works under the 1909 Act was Nimmer on Copy-
right. When I first taught copyright and entertainment law at USC Law
Center in 1987, I used the Nimmer casebook and of course the treatise was
*Professor of Law, Director, Entertainment & Media Law Institute, Loyola Law
School, Los Angeles.

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