I had a very unique situation that there was no recorded medical care ever reported to give guidance on. so apparently it made medical journals, etc. and I know video of my surgery was taken to aide in education and future care of others if same situation occurred. I was told by a friend that they saw my medical case used as a story line on a very successful tv series. I have since watched the episode. There is also video of the surgery on the show. I don't know if it was all staged or part of my surgery was used. I feel very exploited that people are using my case without my consent for public display and profit. do I have a case??
If you received a unique surgery or medical procedure, there are chances that it was written about/reported on in medical journals, including medical academic journals. This is a common practice, particularly in the realm of medical academia. Of course, there are ethical rules that still apply and your protected patient information would not be able to be shared. If there was a video of the surgery performed, the chances are you signed a waiver consenting to it. So long as that video does not disclose your personal information without your consent, it could, in theory, be used for teaching purposes and accessed by people doing research for a television show.
From the sounds of it, there is little evidence that the show was using your likeness specifically, but rather focused on the particular procedure you underwent. Moreover, it's possible that other people have had similar procedures, and it may be all but impossible to show they were using yours.
From the sounds of it, I don't see a case here, though you may wish to consult with a litigation attorney.
This question needs to be evaluated at multiple levels. First of all, it is highly unlikely that there is any protection at all for the facts of your case. So, the story line is likely public domain. Second, whether or not they have violation any sort of copyright will depend upon whether the video you see is actually video of your case and, if so, who owns the copyright therein. On either of these two bases, it is unlikely that you have a case. However, if the video used is a video of you, there might be a claim based upon rights of publicity or rights of privacy. You would need to have an IP attorney review the evidence in detail and determine whether or not the video shows you, rather than a stages operation or one of the likely other patients with the same medical issues and procedures. I would advise you save your time and accept the fact that you are unlikely to recoup anything, but the decision whether to pursue or not is totally your. If you decide to pursue, find local IP counsel and analyze, in detail and in private.
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No, you don't. You're not the author or owner of the video, so you have copyright interest. You presumably signed, after full disclosure, waivers and consents to this treatment or it wouldn't have happened, for use of the video for teaching or any other purpose.
Your publicity rights were not violated, since presumably you weren't recognizable in this video, and your name wasn't used, and the only reason your friend recognized the case on a TV show was because they knew details about your medical life.
Under CA law, you also have no property right to anything removed from your body during surgery, whether any research ended up profitting anyone. See Moore v. Regents (1990) 51 Cal.3d 120.
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It is very doubtful you have any cause of action. You may engage an attorney to review the documents and the details, but I doubt it will be money well spent.
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