[thelist] Rights with a non paying client...?

Tris beertastic at gmail.com
Mon Apr 7 13:30:52 CDT 2008

Hi all..
I just finished a monthly rolling contract with a client that lasted
15 months, or there abouts.
Each month was a fight to get paid, but they relented, because I was
on-site and near the accounts department (close enough to hound them
often enough to be annoying I think).

Anyhoo, I'm gone now and my penultimate invoice is now late.
(bit of a worry, as I was counting n that to pay my VAT bill, live and learn).
Anyhoo, I still have back door access to their MySQL server and could
feasibly delete, edit, and generally make a mockery of their database
for several major clients.

Naturally, I'm aware that this will not get my money any faster... if
at all, but I did think that why don't I go and delete the data that I
added that was connected with the work I did while I was there?
Make a back up and restore it all when I'm paid.
There was never a signed contract between us, so I was wondering if I
can claim that under my own freelance terms etc, the work is owned by
me, until payment, regardless of the fact that they might feel they
own all code/data etc...

It all seems very shaky ground to be honest, but I'm driven by the
fact that I know they have no backups.

Thoughts, advise... your own horror stories welcome...

I'm at the end of my tether and my last ditch attempt is to go to the
office tomorrow and simply sit and wait til they pay me... but I was
kinda hoping to enjoy my unemployment for a few weeks...! ;-p

Ok, let me know..


"The only people who don't make mistakes are those who don't do anything"

Give a man a fish and he'll feed himself for a day.
Give a man a religion and he'll starve to death praying for a fish.

`We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.`
Kurt Vonnegut

`When a person can no longer laugh at himself, it is time for others
to laugh at him.`
Thomas Szasz

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