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   Need an answer to an annoying question...
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   Author  Topic: Need an answer to an annoying question...  (Read 833 times)
Paul Allsopp
Need an answer to an annoying question...
« on: Dec 21st, 2006, 9:05pm »
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Hi all!
I did some web development work for someone some time back, but we parted on bad terms when they falsely accused both myself and another web developer of billing them for work we had not done.
I proved to them that all I had billed for I had completed, but this really irked me and I stopped working on the projects.
I should say that at no time did I sign a contract stating that what I was actually doing work-wise, hours or pay....I was new to freelancing, trusted the company owner and thought it was fine.
After I decided to leave, I uploaded all work I had on my PC and then deleted everything from it.
A short while ago I received a letter from the company's attorney stating that I had company material and that I was trying to sell it. Something that is completely untrue.
I spoke to the company attorney and assured them that I had no such work and if they wanted to have a judge order my PC to be seized and check I would happily obey, because I have nothing to hide.
I heard nothing more until today when I was told by a friend that a PI had called them and another person I worked with at the company asking questions about my character and the work that I did.
My wife is at her wits end with this business as I have sent numerous emails to the company begging them to leave us alone and that I do not have any material belonging to them.
I have been told by a friend that because I did not have a written contract with this company, that all the work I did for them is actually still owned by me, and that I should demand they take all my original content off their website and that I should also sue for harassment.
I am a moral man and would never do such a thing to a company (steal their works), all I want is this matter to be over so that I can get on with my normal daily work.
Please could anyone inform me of my rights in this matter, and where I stand on the copyright issue.
I am a British citizen living in the US and I am really unsure of the laws of this land.
Thank you for any and all help.
Happy holidays,
IP Logged
Full Member


Posts: 360
Re: Need an answer to an annoying question...
« Reply #1 on: Dec 21st, 2006, 9:10pm »
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Paul, plain and simple, you need an attorney.  Let your attorney do your talking for you, otherwise, they may think they can intimidate you into doing or giving them what they want, which might be money instead of software.
Don't mess with this when you are not a citizen.  You don't want them going after your Green Card.  Get legal representation before it gets nasty.  Good luck.
IP Logged

Lyza L. Sandgren, President/CEO
CanopyLegal LLC
North Amer. Rep for WebTMS TM Mgmt System
This message should be mistaken for or construed as legal advice.
Senior Member


Posts: 2251
Re: Need an answer to an annoying question...
« Reply #2 on: Dec 22nd, 2006, 7:01am »
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Lyza is right in her advice, but let me speak briefly to the issues.
First, based on the facts you presented, you are the copyright author of the works in question.  That doesn't necessarily mean you "own" the works in any practical sense.  That said, you may be able to use this fact to help achieve your desired ends.
Second, the company's behavior sounds a bit egregious.  A stern letter from an attorney warning them to back off might go a long way to curbing their behavior.
- Jeff
IP Logged

Intellectual Property and Technology Law
Brooklyn, USA
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