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Nimmer on Copyright, 1st Edition – Pic of the Week

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On May 6, 2013, a reception was held in the Whittall Pavilion in the Thomas Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress to honor the 50th Anniversary of the treatise, Nimmer on Copyright. Co-sponsored by the U.S. Copyright Office, LexisNexis and the Law Library of Congress, the event celebrated the original work of Melville B. Nimmer and the current work of his son, David Nimmer.

During his remarks, David Mao, Law Librarian of Congress, said “law librarians are frequently asked for recommendations on resources for specific areas of law. A good librarian knows by heart the leading treatises on various subjects – for a question on federal procedure there is Moore’s Federal Practice, for an insurance question there is Appleman’s, and for copyright, it is of course Nimmer’s.”

First published by Melville Nimmer in 1963, Nimmer on Copyright has grown from a one volume treatise to today’s current eleven-volume set. It is an exhaustive source on all areas of copyright.  Nimmer on Copyright is cited in over 3000 federal decisions in the United States and is routinely relied on as the authoritative source in copyright litigation.

We are grateful to David Nimmer for donating his father’s first edition.  It is a rare item – very few first editions exist due to the nature of loose-leaf treatises  and how they are updated.  The Law Library received the edition when it was first registered but was later updated and replaced.  The edition received from the author is a pristine copy.


David Mao receives a first edition of Nimmer on Copyright from author David Nimmer. From left to right: Andrew O. Stein, Research Information Director, LexisNexis Legal & Professional, David Mao, David Nimmer, Maria A. Pallante, Register of Copyrights and Director of the United States Copyright Office, Kurt Carroll, Chief of the Law Library’s Collection Services Division. Photo Credit: David Rice

 Following the reception, the U.S. Copyright Office held a Copyright Matters program in the Coolidge Auditorium during which a panel of experts offered insights and observations about the treatise, including its effect on both the theory and practice of copyright law.

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