Under US law (I know very little about the law of other countries):

Unless the patient somehow contributed creatively to the image (broke
his bones in a certain creative pattern), it's certainly not the HMO
or patient.  If the X-ray tech is an employee, then it's certainly not
the X-ray tech.

The possibilities would be:

1) Public domain
2) Anyone who contributed creatively to the image (I guess that would
be the X-ray tech?), if they weren't an employee
3) The employer of 2, if they were an employee.
4) Someone who commissioned the work of 2 or 3 for part of a
collective work or compilation.
5) Someone who was assigned copyright in a written transfer.

I would say 2 or 3 would probably be the most likely.

On Mon, Aug 20, 2012 at 7:08 AM, James Heilman <jmh...@gmail.com> wrote:
> A question about copyright, who owns the copyright on Xrays and are they
> even copyrightable? I have uploaded a few of them and no one seems to know
> the answer. I guess the options would be:
>
> 1) They are in the public domain
> https://open.umich.edu/wiki/Casebook#Radiograph_.28X-Ray.29 and
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_law_of_the_United_Kingdom#Works_eligible_for_protection
>
> 2) The X ray tech who took the image
> 3) The person / institution who paid to have the image taken
>  a) The HMO or patient if in the USA
>  b) The government if in many parts of the world
> 4) The doctor who ordered the image
> 5) The doctor who read the image
> 6) The hospital / shareholders of the hospital who owns the equipment
> 7) All of the above / some of the above / none of the above
>
> Would be good to have a legal position on this.
> --
> James Heilman
> MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
>
> The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
> www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
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