On Mon, Aug 20, 2012 at 3:17 PM, geni <geni...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 20 August 2012 12:52, David Gerard <dger...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 20 August 2012 12:50, Anthony <wikim...@inbox.org> wrote:
>>> On Mon, Aug 20, 2012 at 7:47 AM, David Gerard <dger...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> I'm sure that collectively we can bloviate with the best of 'em on the
>>>> topic - but do we have any case law whatsoever anywhere on the topic
>>>> that might give real-world pointers?
>>> It's a question of fact, not a question of law.
>> Then any real-world examples of the question arising.
> I doubt it. Most X-rays aren't worth enough to be worth suing over and
> the handful that are mostly derive for the scientific community who
> tend not to sue people over the issue of copyright.

>From what I've seen, copyright doesn't even enter into the
institutional perspective here. The framework is all about controlling
the flow of patient information.

My partner (a doctor doing residency at the main hospital system in
Pittsburgh) would have to go through the Institutional Review Board
system to publish medical images, even ones nominally free of
identifying information. She'd be able to have them published for
certain purposes (case studies and other things that are about medical
practice, but are not research per se) without patient permission. For
research and other purposes, she would need permission of the patients
even for nominally non-identifying medical info. But there aren't any
additional hurdles regarding assignment of copyright to the

On the other hand, medical technicians and doctors who create
ultrasound images for pregnant women distribute them to the women (and
even intentionally frame some as "portraits", with at least a little
bit of creativity involved) to do with as they please.

I'd say, whatever the copyright status, she'd risk her job by
distributing something like X-rays without going through the IRB
system. And if she got IRB permission, asserting PD status or copyleft
status or whatever wouldn't likely be a problem.


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