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client legal issue for web design..

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Jbizclient legal issue for web design..
by on Sep 23, 2005 at 7:56:25 pm

I built a site for a company and had issues with them paying me. Finally they sent me payment and I told them that I will no longer do business with them. Well they contacted me and are threatening me with legal issues if I do not take my designed by link off the bottom of their website.

I do not host their site or have changed any of their passwords to logon to the site. My thought is that they own the site it is their property they can do with it what they want. I am not liable with something they have on their site. They can hire someone to take it off of their websites pages. Any thoughts on this? Am I liable?

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Allan Klingler / Teton Video ServicesRe: client legal issue for web design..
by on Sep 24, 2005 at 6:16:17 pm

My thought is if they had problems getting you payment for the work, even though they may have made good, if they want further alterations to their site they can take their business elsewhere, If its their site, let them worry about it. What recourse do they have for you to be forced to do it, especially it you are not getting paid to do it? Say sure, I'll do it for you, it will cost X and payment is due upfront.
Allan Klingler

Find a good woman, treat her right. See life ain't so bad...

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tony salgadoRe: client legal issue for web design..
by on Sep 26, 2005 at 6:28:08 am

In order to sue and win both parties have to prove they have suffered damages.

In your case you are the party which has incurred and suffered damages as a result of not being compensated for your work.

In my opininon you have the right to tell the client they must take down the website you created because they have not paid you for such services to create it in the first place.

Take them to small claims or superior court and name all the principals of the company individually as well as the company itself as defendants in your lawsuit. When you win file a lien against any and all property or assets the individuals own.

You may have to wait awhile but you will receive a response and payment once they become aware they cannot refiance or sell their property because you have a legal lien against the property.

Basically they are screwed big time with a lien on their property.

Believe me small claims court judgements do work if you apply liens on the defendants.

Tony Salgado

Tony Salgado

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JbizRe: client legal issue for web design..
by on Sep 26, 2005 at 8:04:26 am

They actually did finally pay me a while back, but they keep contacting me asking what software I used to create the site and that they will take legal action if I do not remove my company link on the bottom of the site. Thank you for the response and you are very well spoken.

Open your mind

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Mark SuszkoRe: client legal issue for web design..
by on Sep 26, 2005 at 3:05:24 pm

Your business is concluded, you are under no further obligation to them unless there was something in the contract about it.

But let me guess, there wasn't much of a contract to start with, perhaps just a Deal Memo or something?

I think you're right to tell them to take the hard and high one. I would send them a certified letter stating your contract has been fulfilled, and you have nothing further to do with them, they own the site and can do whatever they want with it, but you're not doing any more work on their site for free. As far as revealing what software you used to build the site, not only is that inconsequential, (HTML is HTML, and any other web designer they hire should be able to delete that link in about five minutes, but they are too dumb or cheap to know/do that) you could argue that that information is a trade secret proprietary to your business and none of their beezwax.

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Ron LindeboomRe: client legal issue for web design..
by on Sep 26, 2005 at 3:24:36 pm

You DID build the site so a "created by..." or "designed by..." link is not anything that they can sue you for unless it is clearly spelled out in the contract that it would not be allowed.

Secondly, often decisions in court are made based on "trade custom" and on the Net, it is definitely trade custom that many major corporate and business sites do include a "designed by..." link if the site was not done in-house.

You are under no compulsion whatsoever to tell them what software you used but I would offer them a suggestion ... Microsoft FrontPage -- heee, heee, heee. That ought to fix them real good and make them appreciate you more. ;o)

Lastly, as you know, most all things done on the Net are based on standards which the company can learn about and modify if they wish. You have done nothing that cannot be changed and they are free to do or not do as they see fit. They are trying to pawn off their responsibility on you and if there is no contracted obligation in place, then I would send them a registered/certified letter spelling out things like "industry standard tools" and "trade custom across the Internet", etc., etc., and they will get the message that they have no case and are totally on their own.

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom

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JbizRe: client legal issue for web design..
by on Sep 26, 2005 at 6:26:42 pm

I did have them sign a contract to do the work originally and I have them sign an invoice and send it along with the payment when it is done. It is really easy to remove those links on their site, but the simple fact is that I do not plan on doing that for them and nothing in the contract mentioned this. Also I do not plan on telling them what software I used. What is the point? I think they assume that they can get the software and update. People are morons, because HTML and all the programs I use to create sites take a very long time to learn and to master.

Thank you for all your responses. Excellent forum!

Open your mind

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Charlie KingRe: client legal issue for web design..
by on Sep 26, 2005 at 3:44:35 pm

[tony salgado] "Believe me small claims court judgements do work if you apply liens on the defendants."

Not in all cases. I applied a lein on a contractor who contracted me to TD an NAB show, then didn't pay me for the 9 long days work. I won judgement in small claims court and put a lein on his house, he claimed a homestead on his house and then filed bankruptcy. He was allowed to keep up to $200,000 above what was owed on the house before any judgement leins were deducted. I got nothing and he walked away with $160,000 in his pocket. The judge told me he was sorry but the law was on the other guys side. Thank god next month those laws are changed due to Enron, and others.

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