L. Ray Patterson: A Tribute

David Lange

I am delighted to offer these words of appreciation and congratulations to Professor L. Ray Patterson on this occasion. The American Library Association could not have selected a person more deserving of honor and respect for his life of service and devotion to the cause of copyright fair use than Ray Patterson. Through the years his voice has served as the conscience of the copyright movement. His calls for restraint in the relentless extension of protection have never flagged. His courage and good cheer in the teeth of resistance and indifference has never wavered. His name will be included in any list of those who have made a significant contribution to the field. And so it is entirely fitting that the award given to him for the first time this year will continue to bear his name as it is given to others who may follow in his footsteps.

Professor Patterson's contributions are too numerous to catalog in these brief remarks. But I shall always remember them especially for the way in which he has managed to see, and then to enable others of us to see with him, the connections between copyright and its historical antecedents, copyright and the original constitution, copyright and the first amendment, copyright and the legislative process, and perhaps above all, copyright and its relationship with its own evolving jurisprudence. With Benjamin Kaplan and Melville Bernard Nimmer as his only true peers, Ray Patterson has constructed a body of work that will serve to guide those who follow him in understanding both the origins and the limits of copyright. His achievement is a monument to scholarly endeavor.

I join in thanking Library Association for recognizing Professor Patterson. The recognition is fitting and fully deserved.

David Lange, Professor of Law, Duke University Law School

An article from the forum, "On the Shoulders of Giants: Tributes to L. Ray Patterson "
Published October 2002 at info-commons.org. Copyright © David Lange


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