Josh Fairfield on Music Copyright Law

In this interview, Matthias chats with Professor Joshua Fairfield on the current state of music copyright law, with a focus on how the law treats the new generation of content creators who are reacting to and utilizing existing media in creative ways, what the future may hold, and how content creators can navigate a complex legal landscape that isn't necessarily well-tailored to new technological and social advances. They discuss music copyright law, fair use, licensing, master recordings, YouTube reaction videos, DMCA take-down notices and demonetization, Tik-Tok, Minecraft concerts, and more.

Joshua Fairfield is an internationally recognized law and technology scholar, specializing in digital property, electronic contract, big data privacy, and virtual communities. He has written on the law and regulation of e-commerce and online contracts and on the application of standard economic models to virtual environments. Professor Fairfield's current research focuses on big data privacy models and the next generation of legal applications for cryptocurrencies. His articles on protecting consumer interests in an age of mass-market consumer contracting regularly appear in top law and law-and-technology journals, and policy pieces on consumer protection and technology have appeared in the New York Times, Forbes, and the Financial Times, among other outlets. Before entering the law, Professor Fairfield was a technology entrepreneur, serving as the director of research and development for language-learning software company Rosetta Stone.


You can follow Professor Fairfield on Twitter at, and look out for his new book "Runaway Technology: Can Law Keep Up" in 2021.

You can follow Matthias’s music reviews on Twitter at and listen to more episodes of the Matthias Interviews Musicians podcast at