Ownership of Records & X-rays


While the Copyright Act does not specifically address the question of the ownership of radiographs it does cover the ownership of photographs. The general proposition is that the author of a work is the owner of any copyright to that work. An Author of a work is the person who created it. Therefore a person who takes a photograph (radiograph) is generally the owner of the copyright to the photograph. An exception to this is if the photograph is made in the course of employment. In this case it is the employer who owns the copyright.

The question of who owns the radiograph therefore depends on whether a client requested the radiograph to be taken. Provided they agree to pay for it, unless contrary agreement has be reached the person commissioning the radiographs is the first owner, If a veterinarian takes a radiograph as a diagnostic aid or as an incidental part of what the veterinarian is requested to do, the veterinarian is the owner of the copyright.



The Copyright Act states that the copyright to an original work belongs to the author of the work. A literary work is defined as any work other than dramatic or musical work that is written…and includes a table or compilation and a computer programme”.

If an employee makes an original literary work in the course of employment, the employer is the owner of the copyright of the work.