As I'm running out the door, two things to point out factually:

1) people who work in U.S. hospitals are very often independent
contractors, especially physicians.
2) much medical diagnostic imaging is done on an outpatient basis at an
independent imager. Even if the imager has copyright, there's no way to
know whether there is a standing assignment agreement or not.

Additionally to confuse things, HIPAA mandates access to (but not
necessarily copyright in, though I haven't really looked at it) medical
records, as well as disclosure and protection requirements.

Dan Rosenthal

On Mon, Aug 20, 2012 at 3:33 PM, Anthony <> wrote:

> On Mon, Aug 20, 2012 at 8:20 AM, Max Harmony <>
> wrote:
> > 2012/8/20 Anthony <>:
> >> 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.
> > But the copyright of a work for hire goes to the employer. The X-ray
> > tech would get the copyright, but they're employed by the hospital.
> > The hospital, in turn, is employed by the patient. As such, I would
> > think the patient does own the copyright.
> If the X-ray tech is an employee (and the work is created within the
> scope of his employment, which I am assuming), then, under US law, the
> tech never "gets the copyright".  The employer is the author.  The
> tech is completely out of the loop.
> As for the hospital being "employed by the patient", not in the sense
> of work for hire law.
> For the patient to get the copyright, they would need to enter into a
> work for hire agreement, the details of which are long and which you
> can easily find online.
> > Is a similar logic not
> > applied to, say, wedding photos, in which an photographer is employed
> > by a company which is in turn employed by the couple?
> Wedding photos are more complicated.  I could see an argument, under
> some factual circumstances, that the couple  (and/or the decorator,
> etc) might own copyright as a joint author.  Or they may have employed
> the photographer directly.  Or they may have commissioned the work
> under a work for hire agreement.  Or they might have purchased the
> copyright in a copyright transfer.  Or they might just not own the
> copyright in the work at all.
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