Are these images copyrightable?

I contend that almost all images in scientific publications should NOT be copyrightable by any publisher and should be stamped as Open Data by the author. To give an idea I have extracted some images from BMC journlas (which I can do without permission as BMC is a CC-BY publisher). I’d like to know if anyone thinks any of the following should be copyrightable.

Remember that an image copyrighted by a publisher requires explicit permission (e.g. emails and often the payment of money). Do any of these deserve that?

I’ll give the URL and then one or more images. Because it’s triccky to paste into the correct place, please be forgiving with the formatting:



graphics3 (I think this is a brain scan)

graphics4 (Note the diagram is drawn by machine)



This is creative in that the authors have certainly drawn this, but it’s an essential part of explaining their methodology. It should not be copyright. These are very beautiful images, but they are raw data and absolutely essential to communicate the science and should not be copyrighted.


graphics8Gels are raw data and the only meaningful method of communication is an image. Should never be copyrighted


This is a much better way to communicate methodology than dense prose. It should not be copyright. From: is a comparison of laryngoscopes. So it’s essential to publish pictures of them that anyone can anlyse without permission.


graphics11 Chemistry must never by copyrighted:

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