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Re: Rel. of Information - Secondary release (fwd)
Dick, this is an interesting worm you just threw into the can. I'm
It seems to strengthen the case against re-release of records. If we're
going to throw "law" into the discussion, state law and precedent are
Copyright laws may apply to the physical records, but the courts have
always upheld (and some states by law) that the information in the record
belongs to the patient. Many states also have laws that require the
release of that information under very few conditions, except by direct
and informed consent of the patient.
Peggy M. Perkins, ART
On Wed, 7 Aug 1996, Dick Mills wrote:
> I don't mean to make your lives more complicated, but the law
> already did that. Not only do medical and contract laws apply,
> but also copy rights and ordinary property rights.
> In 1989, the USA signed the Bern convention with regard to copyright
> laws. Since that date, the author of any work (including documents)
> automatically becomes the copyright owner. Neither registration
> with the copyright office, nor a copyright notice in the work itself
> is necessary. All medical records are thus automatically copyrighted
> by default.
> In the context of this thread, the copyright owner is the originator
> of the records. (Sorry, the patient has no legal equity, even if we
> wished otherwise.) Hollywood movies on a video cassette and a patient's
> medical record on paper have the same legal status under copyright laws.
> If you receive a copy of records from the copyright owner, you are free
> to use the copy as needed, but without specific permission from the
> copyright owner, you are not permitted to copy it. Certain fair use
> exceptions apply, none of which are relevant here.
> This implies that you are not allowed to make copies of a medical
> record, (or a Hollywood movie), for any other third party for any reason.
> Not even a subpoena. You may, comply with a court order or a
> federal law by turning over your physical copy, or by letting
> them inspect it, but you may not make another copy.
> What about digital forms of the records soon to be zinging around
> the airways? How does copyright apply to these? I have no idea.
> Property right laws may also come into play. If the doctor dies, the
> copy rights, and the property rights of the physical records go to the
> heirs who may sell them just like any other property. Since neither
> the heirs nor the ultimate buyers need be health care providers or
> trustees, I presume that they are unencumbered by any confidentiality
> laws. Medical records are just like office furniture in this case;
> just ordinary property.
> I hasten to add that I'm not a lawyer. For actual legal advice you
> should consult your own attorney. You may also with to consult the
> "Copyright Myths FAQ: 10 big myths about copyright explained",
> Chicago-Kent College of Law
> Dick Mills +1(518)395-5154 O- http://www.pti-us.com
> AKA firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.albany.net/~dmills
> "Whenever people agree with me, I always feel I must be wrong." - Wilde