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Situation is messed up...

By jamiec ·
I decided to do some work for an aquantance that had a client that needed an application written. We decided that I would just bill my aquantance, since he already had a relationship with the client, and I would just do the work as a consultant fromhis company. Anyway, now that we're several months into, I realize that I can't deal with his business practices. So I tried to tell the client that I would be billing them directly instead of through my aquantance, and they flat out told me that that was not going to happen. Now I'm stuck, I don't want to loose the client and I also don't want to leave them hanging with an unfinished product, but I can't deal with the way my aquantance runs his business. Any advise?

Another quickie... Therewere no contracts, work orders, etc. drawn up (bad on my part I know) but my question is, since the software was written using my own equipment, and mostly at home, who has the rights to the software and the code?

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Situation is messed up...

by turambar386 In reply to Situation is messed up...

You need to see a lawyer.

Good luck.

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Situation is messed up...

by jamiec In reply to Situation is messed up...

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Situation is messed up...

by Russ Werner In reply to Situation is messed up...

I am glad you only asked for advice, because I am afraid this answer can only be classified as an opion. I have no legal background, only a lot of business experience. I believe the end customer was acting in their best business interest when they refused to deal with you directly (sorry) , but it is with your aquantance that they were doing business with, not you. If not pleased with your work I am sure they would have told him to find another programmer, and would have been well within their rights... As far as who owns the software/programming code.... If you were paid for your services, they do. At least for as much as they got, or as much as you were paid for. But without a contract either written or verbal, you are not obligated to complete the work. It is a mess, and I am sure you learned a lot. But I am as equally sure they both learned the same lessons. I think it is in everyones best interest if you and your aquantance could come to some understanding long enough to finish the project. His and your professional reputation are at stake. Sorry, and good luck!!!

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Situation is messed up...

by jamiec In reply to Situation is messed up...

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Situation is messed up...

by RealGem In reply to Situation is messed up...

A contract can be verbal, and does not have to be written on paper to be legally binding.

Yes, see a lawyer. It might cost $300 for an initial consultation, but you should get an idea if you can go ahead without legal repercussions. Keep in mind, however, that even if you are right, your acquaintance can still sue you, causing you to pay legal fees. They may actually drop the case or settle, but the purpose is to intimidate.

By the way, if the client refuses to pay you directly, it doesn't matter what your lawyer says. You say you want to keep the client, but you want to get away from your acquaintance. It sounds like the client is forcing you to choose...you're not going to get both.

It doesn't matter where the software was written if you are obligated to provide it to the client. The only possible value to you is that since no contract was written, you may be able to sell the code to other clients. i.e. the contract did not demand exclusive use.

You might have a chance if your aquaintance CHANGED his/her business practices partway through the work. For example, let say that you started out working 8 hours a day and then were told you had to work 10 hours a day.

The big question is whether those business practices apply to you and what was promised to the client.

I would suggest that you just get through the work as quickly as possible and treat this as a lesson learned.

By the way, I'm not a lawyer. Don't take these comments as coming from a qualified legal professional. By the way, since this is an international forum, contributors can only tell you about how things work locally for them.

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Situation is messed up...

by jamiec In reply to Situation is messed up...

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Situation is messed up...

by jamiec In reply to Situation is messed up...

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