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    I'm livid! Blatent theft by a client

    This is a bit of long story but I'll try and make it a simple as possible.

    The company I work for produced a website, but the client hasn't paid for it. We're taking them to court over it but have left the site live as we're not trying to shut them down as a business (its an entirely online company). In the meantime, the client has employed another company to duplicate the website using all off the graphics and the majority of the code I created, they've just redone the e-commerce element with an off-the-shelf product.

    I know it sounds petty in some ways but this other company is taking credit (and probably payment) for a site which I made and invested alot of time and effort in, and we've not been paid for it!

    I'm fuming, but there is nothing I can do as professionalism prevents me from ringing the client up and telling them exactly what I think of them, or calling the other company involved and telling them they had no right to reuse our work like this!

    Just needed to vent that.

    17 Comments

    You have my sympathies chrishill, I assume there is no way to copyright these things ? If not this must happen all the time ??

    ring them and tell them what you think

    not saying i do but i would bot his pc and spam the fbi

    Banned

    If your company is taking them to court, surely they will end up paying - and the site then effectively becomes their own property to do as they wish?

    Original Poster

    hottoshop;4621554

    You have my sympathies chrishill, I assume there is no way to copyright … You have my sympathies chrishill, I assume there is no way to copyright these things ? If not this must happen all the time ??



    The code falls under intellectual copyright laws, you can't copyright it essentially or at least its very hard to take to court.

    wickedteen;4621557

    ring them and tell them what you think



    I wish, if I was my MD I'd have turned the site off after 30 days of non-payment but hes way too soft

    raptorcigs;4621561

    not saying i do but i would bot his pc and spam the fbi



    I've thought about it, believe me!

    Original Poster

    guv;4621588

    If your company is taking them to court, surely they will end up paying - … If your company is taking them to court, surely they will end up paying - and the site then effectively becomes their own property to do as they wish?



    As and when they pay yeah, but when the sites taking ~£1500 a month in sales (maybe £600pm net profit, they're running at a loss either way) and they owe us ~£7000 for the work we did (website + printed materials + marketing) I have a feeling even if we do win they'll not end up paying, they'll go bankrupt and start again.

    can you not change the name servers or something?

    kmac;4621674

    can you not change the name servers or something?



    then Mx records

    chrishill;4621649

    As and when they pay yeah, but when the sites taking ~£1500 a month in … As and when they pay yeah, but when the sites taking ~£1500 a month in sales (maybe £600pm net profit, they're running at a loss either way) and they owe us ~£7000 for the work we did (website + printed materials + marketing) I have a feeling even if we do win they'll not end up paying, they'll go bankrupt and start again.



    Were they good payers in the past, or is this the first job you've done for them. With all of our new web clients we ask for 50% payment up front. If you've printed literature for them too, no doubt you've got printers that you've gotta pay too !!

    Banned

    chrishill;4621649

    As and when they pay yeah, but when the sites taking ~£1500 a month in … As and when they pay yeah, but when the sites taking ~£1500 a month in sales (maybe £600pm net profit, they're running at a loss either way) and they owe us ~£7000 for the work we did (website + printed materials + marketing) I have a feeling even if we do win they'll not end up paying, they'll go bankrupt and start again.



    Yeh I understand your frustration (even if it didnt sound it in the reply!)

    Just thought of one thing you could do.... Whois the host, inform them the site is subject to litigation, subject to theft of code and threaten to involve them in the case unless they remove the content from their services. You cant lose by trying anyway!

    very sucky....

    Original Poster

    kmac;4621674

    can you not change the name servers or something?



    kmac;4621680

    then Mx records



    We don't host the .co.uk site they've set up and I can't touch the .com site we created and host as its part of the court case - I'd lose my job.

    midlandscomics;4621687

    Were they good payers in the past, or is this the first job you've done … Were they good payers in the past, or is this the first job you've done for them. With all of our new web clients we ask for 50% payment up front. If you've printed literature for them too, no doubt you've got printers that you've gotta pay too !!



    First job for them, 50% up front is a good idea. I think my boss would argue that if we'd asked for 50% before doiung anything we'd not have got the work - better than than not getting paid at all though! Thankfully the printers billed her directly so we've not got that to worry about.

    Original Poster

    guv;4621742

    Yeh I understand your frustration (even if it didnt sound it in the … Yeh I understand your frustration (even if it didnt sound it in the reply!)Just thought of one thing you could do.... Whois the host, inform them the site is subject to litigation, subject to theft of code and threaten to involve them in the case unless they remove the content from their services. You cant lose by trying anyway!



    That's a good idea, I'll suggest it to the boss, although he's all for doing everything by the book and playing nice so we look squeaky clean in the eyes of the court. I think I'm just taking it all too personally as the site was litterally 6 months of my working life and it feels like they're ripping me personally off!

    Banned

    guv;4621742

    Yeh I understand your frustration (even if it didnt sound it in the … Yeh I understand your frustration (even if it didnt sound it in the reply!)Just thought of one thing you could do.... Whois the host, inform them the site is subject to litigation, subject to theft of code and threaten to involve them in the case unless they remove the content from their services. You cant lose by trying anyway!


    ^ best advice so far.

    guv;4621742

    Yeh I understand your frustration (even if it didnt sound it in the … Yeh I understand your frustration (even if it didnt sound it in the reply!)Just thought of one thing you could do.... Whois the host, inform them the site is subject to litigation, subject to theft of code and threaten to involve them in the case unless they remove the content from their services. You cant lose by trying anyway!



    Although I'm rather ignorant of the legal situation this looks to be excellent advice. Repped ! :thumbsup:

    Banned

    chrishill;4621784

    That's a good idea, I'll suggest it to the boss, although he's all for … That's a good idea, I'll suggest it to the boss, although he's all for doing everything by the book and playing nice so we look squeaky clean in the eyes of the court. I think I'm just taking it all too personally as the site was litterally 6 months of my working life and it feels like they're ripping me personally off!



    Yeh, I can understand why. Even if you weren't being paid direct, its still your baby!

    Thing is with hosting, for the small sums they usually take - unless its a huge site with servers working it - would they really want to get themselves drawn into court over it? My guess is they wouldn't unless the other party produces good evidence they've done nothing wrong.

    Original Poster

    guv;4621821

    Yeh, I can understand why. Even if you weren't being paid direct, its … Yeh, I can understand why. Even if you weren't being paid direct, its still your baby!Thing is with hosting, for the small sums they usually take - unless its a huge site with servers working it - would they really want to get themselves drawn into court over it? My guess is they wouldn't unless the other party produces good evidence they've done nothing wrong.



    I think you're spot on with that. Its on a Fasthosts server so it'd be easy enough to get in touch with them. I'm going to run it past the boss and see what he thinks, repped.
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