Melissa Eckhause

Melissa Eckhause

Co-Director, Arts & Entertainment Law Clinic
Assistant Professor of Law

Melissa Eckhause
Contact Info:
Campus: Riverfront Campus
Building: Dowling Hall
Room: 221
Phone: 313-596-0215
Melissa Eckhause
Areas of Expertise:
Art Law
Entertainment and Media Law
Fashion Law
Legal Writing
Legal Research


  • LL.M. University of California, Berkeley School of Law
  • J.D. University of Detroit Mercy School of Law
  • B.A. University of Wisconsin


Melissa Eckhause’s research lies at the intersection of technology, intellectual property law, and art, and focuses on the rights of visual artists, musicians, and other creators in the digital age. Prior to entering academia, for over ten years, she represented music and film producers, Fortune 500 companies, start-ups, entertainment professionals, and professional athletes.   

Professor Eckhause joined the Detroit Mercy Law faculty in 2020 as a Visiting Professor of Law.In 2022, she was promoted to Assistant Professor of Law and founded Detroit Mercy Law’s Arts & Entertainment Law Clinic. She previously taught at the University of Southern California, Golden Gate University School of Law, and Texas A&M University School of Law.  

Professor Eckhause enjoys biking, skiing, and traveling with her family.  In her free time, she also writes screenplays, and her script “Manny’s Mutts” won a screenwriting award. 


    Courses Taught

    Applied Legal Theoryand Analysis I and II

    Arts & Entertainment Law Clinic

    Copyright Law

    Entertainment Law

    Trademark Law


    Selected Publications

    A Year in the Life of the Copyright Claims Board:  Pro Se Parties’ Experiences (work in progress).

    Copyright Troll, Elgar Encyclopedia of Intellectual Property Law (forthcoming 2024).

    Fighting Image Piracy or Copyright Trolling? An Empirical Study of Photography Copyright Infringement Lawsuits, 86 Alb. L. Rev. 111 (2023).

    Digital Sampling v. Appropriation Art:  Why is One Stealing and the Other Fair Use? A Proposal for a Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Digital Music Sampling, 84 Mo. L. Rev. 371 (2019).


    Selected Presentations

    “Copyright Claims Board Roundtable Discussion,” The Copyright Society (Speaker, virtual appearance, May 2023)

    “Fighting Image Piracy or Copyright Trolling?: An Empirical Study of Photography Copyright Infringement Lawsuits,” 7th Annual Copyright Scholarship Roundtable, hosted by Columbia Law School (Presenter, New York, NY, June 2022)

    “Image Making, Image Taking:  Copyright & Fair Use for Artists and Art Historians,” at the College Art Association Annual Conference, Feb. 2018, Los Angeles, California. 

    “Copyright & Music Streaming,” CLE to Dallas Bar Association and the Copyright Society of the USA, May 2016, Dallas, Texas.