Who owns the work of someone paid by the day? The Copyright Act is clear that the exclusion of employees from copyright applies to "work done in the course of their employment" - which would seem to mean an actual job, with a right to redundancy pay and everything else that goes with it.
It is clearly accepted that photographers paid by the day own their pictures.
Clients would probably argue that custom and practice grants them a wide licence to use work done by, for example, someone paid to do a day writing news shorts.
We know of no directly relevant case law. The much-quoted case Beloff -v- Pressdram does not concern normal authorial copyright: the judgment was that the columnist Nora Beloff could not sue Pressdram Ltd (owners of Private Eye) for printing a memo she wrote, because it belonged to the paper in whose office she wrote it, the Observer.
Text © Mike Holderness & previous contributors; Moral rights asserted. The collection (database right) © National Union of Journalists. Comments to firstname.lastname@example.org please. You may find the glossary helpful.
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