Vanderbilt Law School Background Image

Joseph Fishman

Assistant Professor of Law

Joseph Fishman’s research focuses on intellectual property, particularly its relationship to creativity and the creative process. He is also interested in how law shapes the production and consumption of music. His most recent article, "Music as a Matter of Law" (forthcoming in the Harvard Law Review), examines copyright law’s evolving definition of what a musical work is. Professor Fishman joined Vanderbilt’s law faculty in fall 2015 after serving as a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer in Law at Harvard Law School. He earned his A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard College with a joint major in music and religion, his M.Phil. in musicology from the University of Cambridge, and his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School. After law school, he was a law clerk for Judge Jeffrey R. Howard of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and for Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. He practiced as an associate at Jenner & Block in the firm's content, media and entertainment group, where he specialized in litigation involving the music industry, before entering the legal academy.


Research Interests

Intellectual property, entertainment law, law and creativity


Representative Publications

  • "Music as a Matter of Law," 131 Harvard Law Review (forthcoming 2018)
    Full Text | SSRN
  • "Honest Copying Practices," 93 Notre Dame Law Review (forthcoming 2017)
  • "The Copy Process," 91 New York University Law Review 855 (2016)
    Full Text | SSRN
  • "Creating Around Copyright," 128 Harvard Law Review 1333 (2015)
    Full Text | SSRN
  • "Copyright Infringement and the Separated Powers of Moral Entrepreneurship," 51 American Criminal Law Review 359 (2014) (Awarded a Sponsorship Scholarship Grant from the University of Houston Law Center, Institute for Intellectual Property and Information Law)
    Full Text | SSRN
  • "Locating the International Interest in Intranational Cultural Property Disputes," 35 Yale Journal of International Law 347 (2010)  
    Full Text | SSRN