The general presumption is that the author of a work is the first owner. For commissioned works, a commissioner who does not procure an assignment from the author has the statutory right to an exclusive licence to exploit (and to prevent the author from using) the work in any way that could reasonably have been contemplated at the time of making the work. It is not possible to contract out of this statutory right.
There is a presumption that copyright of an employee's works vests in the employer but employees will have a statutory right to an award from employers where the mark is exploited in a way that could not reasonably have been contemplated at the time of making the work. It should be possible to contract out of this statutory right.
These statutory rights are also a "world-first" and are controversial to the extent that they are compulsory licences and so contrary to the WTO/TRIPs.
Further information on the above may be obtained via Linklaters & Paines Hong Kong office or via any of the other nine Linklaters & Paines offices world-wide, located in Singapore, Tokyo, London, Brussels, Paris, Frankfurt, New York, Washington D.C. and Moscow. Contact details for the various L&P offices worldwide are available via the Linklaters & Paines corporate listing c/o Business Monitor Online - http://www.businessmonitor.co.uk
c Linklaters & Paines 1997 - Tel +852 2842 4888