Laws vary by country but speaking for the UK system which will be similar to the US and Canadian one. Your remuneration normally doesn't have a baring on the ownership of the work. Copyright is automatically owned by your employer for any work you produced for them. It gets complicated when the work is considered service for hire which is in the case of a company hiring another company to do the work in which case the hired company owns the copyright by default but the original company generally has a licence to use the commissioned work. But they don't own the rights to the work unless it was formally agreed.
The classic example is a wedding photographer. If you hire someone to take photos of your wedding they own the copy right to those photos not you. You have to buy the rights to photos as part of the contract if you want to control the copyright.
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Posted 12 September 2012 - 07:49 PM
Your remuneration normally doesn't have a baring on the ownership of the work. Generally copyright is automatically is owned by your employer for any work you produced for them. Regardless if you are a third party contractor or working as an unpaid intern, it also includes anything you might do that normally doesn't fit into your job remit. So if you are a programmer and design a logo that logo is still owned by your employer.