I am a freelance recording engineer in Australia.
I was engaged to make a recording in the expectation I would be paid for my services. After the job, the producer indicated that the job was pro-bono and would not be paying for my services. They had already passed the material onto the client.
In this situation, who owns the recording copyright in the material?
My reading of section 97 of the 1968 Copyright Act (Cth) is that as the "maker" of the recording and the absence of any "Valuable Consideration" that I am owner of the copyright in the recording until such time as I "release" the copyright to a third party, or I receive "valuable consideration" for the services involved in making the recording.
The producer contests that there was a verbal agreement to make the recording for free and yet I have a hard and fast policy on doing work for free. I don't do it. If it had even been mentioned in passing, it would have been shut down immediately.