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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 118253
Experience:  Attorney practicing all aspects of copyright/trademark law
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I am planning to do an atlas of original drawings of human

Customer Question

I am planning to do an atlas of original drawings of human embryos at each day of development. Thousands of photographs, three dimensional reconstructions, plaster and wax reconstructions drawings, scanning electronmicrographs, microscopic MRI images, and images of embryos and fetuses obtained by other techniques already exist in the literature some dating from the late 1800's. In addition many photographs of embryos and fetuses in utero have been published in recent years, and images of embryos and fetuses in utero obtained by ultra sound, MRI, three dimensional MRI, and other techniques are now available in the literature. Hundreds of all the above images are currently available on line in the internet. In addition, I have examined and photographed embryos as part of my clinical responsibilities as a perinatal pathologist. Each of the above techniques of depicting the appearance of embryos emphasizes different anatomic features and coloring of the embryos. My original drawings will combine the unique features of these various techniques into a single image of each stage of embryonic development. Each drawing will reflect my artistic interpretation of which details to emphasize, which confusing details to eliminate, which colors to emphasize, and so on and therefore will different from all the previous images. These are general principles followed by all medical illustrators. Are there copy right laws that I need to follow?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

If you are making original drawings from these items and they are based on your interpretation, they are your original works. Furthermore, because there are only so many ways to depict human anatomy, copyright law would not be implicated in that your use of these items to make your own works would be fair use and not really a derivative use (again, you can only draw or depict a body part in limited ways). Your original drawings would have their own separate copyright protection as your original works.