Originally Posted by kmp77
So I did some freelance work for a client. My work was used to build software, an application. I have been paid 40% of what is promised. It's been 5 months since I've been paid and now the software is about to go live for download. Client is ignoring emails and text messages. At this point I really think they're ducking me.
So what actions can I take? Can I block the software from going live since a big part of it is stolen work? At what point can I reclaim the pieces I created? Any advice would be appreciated!!!
The first question I have is did you have a paper contract with them outlining the work (scope) of the project? If so, did that contract include payment amounts and payment schedules?
If you want to either be paid or stop them from distributing the product and you cannot convince them to resolve this to your satisfaction, you will need to hire an attorney. The attorney can go to court to seek a temporary injunction to prevent them distributing the product while you attempt to negotiate or litigate if necessary to resolve the outstanding balance owed to you.
If the product they are distributing is being sold, you can have an attorney send them a letter stating that if they do not pay the rest of what is owed to you, you plan to sue them for 60% of their revenue gained from the product's sale since they have only paid you for 40%. If they are distributing it free, you can (with your attorney) put a price on each copy downloaded and threaten to sue them for 60% of that amount.
It is ALWAYS better to try avoiding threats at this point, but sometimes you have no choice. Once they make the product available for download, your attorney could send them a C&D (Cease and Desist) letter stating intent to sue if they fail to do so.
If you have proof that you own the product or at least they have not completed payment, you could always send their hosting company a DMCA Takedown Notice claiming copyright infringement. If you do that though, you need to make sure you can back it up because they could in turn sue you for damages since a DMCA Takedown Notice is not a court order.