IANAL, but my interpretation would be that X-rays are not copyrightable,
since they are not creative works, period.  Unlike non-X-ray photographs,
they (at least, the ones we care abot -- I'm sure some artists have fooled
around with X-rays as well) are always made specifically and explicitly for
healthcare or research reasons, never with creative intent, and they would
be substantially the same regardless of the identity of the machinery
operator.

But then, I'm a copyright minimalist. :)

   A.


On Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 2:12 PM, James Heilman <jmh...@gmail.com> wrote:

> From time to time there is discussion on Commons regarding the copyright
> status of radiological images. As no one has any idea if they are
> copyrightable and on the off chance they are, no one has any idea who would
> owns the copyright, there is varying degrees of support to delete images.
> (possibilities for ownership include, Xray tech, patient, ordering
> physician, radiologist, employer which could be the hospital, health
> region, government)
>
> So there are 10s of thousands of these images. They are of great
> educational importance. Having Commons delete them all would be a shame.
> Are we going to go with a copyright interpretation different than that of
> the rest of the publishing industry, which allow both physicians and
> patients to publish images? From what I remember from American law it is
> frowned upon to have a lawsuit just to determine a legal interpretation.
>
> DIscussion regarding one image is here, however there have been a bunch of
> others before this.
>
> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Deletion_requests/File:Computed_tomography_of_human_brain_-_large.png
> If
> we go with a strict interpretation the only radiological images that would
> be usable is those created by VA hospitals (maybe).
>
> --
> James Heilman
> MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
>
> The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
> www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
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