Instead, this developer has put himself on industry blacklists by doing this. No way he’ll be trusted with sensitive projects. Don’t do this.
Perhaps he's aware that every action that anyone ever takes, is approved of by some people and disapproved of by others, and your only choice is between who approves of you and who disapproves of you.
I for one, approve of this resolution a hell of a lot more than courts and suits. They are tools you may be forced to use sometimes. It's great that the system is there for when you need it. But they are merely detestable necessities, not my first or preferred choice.
Did it occur to you that by advertizing this attitude, you may have caused yourself to be blacklisted, even if only informally? Probably not.
It's a favor and a pleasure to be blacklisted by some people or organizations. It's the trash taking itself out.
Whoever didn't pay should be the one on the blacklist - not the dev who is free to make whatever decision they want with a work product they own.
For another, an attorney wouldn't even take this case in the first place. The relevant expression is "you can't get blood from a stone." What good would suing do when your adversary is a defunct LLC, or a wantrepreneur whose credit-card debt likely exceeds his or her assets?
He won't be trusted with sensitive projects that he doesn't get paid for.
It would be defined in the contract, but usually the contractors never own the copyright to code written for other people.
Anyway, I agree with the other comments that this is unprofessional and immature. We have a civil court system to deal with these kind of issues.
Lawyers say the legal system has its limitations and that not every morally legitimate gripe has a legal remedy.
Your comment reminds me of the typical objection, why crackdown on these evildoers instead of these worse evildoers? Why not both?
Under the terms of the contract that's now void due to non-payment?
The guy who promised to pay is breaching the contract by not paying, and the contractor's recourse is to sue him in civil court for the money.
It sounds very much like this was a freelancer creating a product, not a contractor providing work.
And I really doubt any legitimate operation would blacklist somebody for their entirely legal actions after a contract was broken.
If you hire me to build a book case for you, but then you decide to not pay me after the work is done, should I just destroy the book case and hope for better luck next time? Why couldn't I give the book case away for free?
The greater risk to the contractor is that this advertises that they deal with shitty clients who don't have those things in place. Working with what sound like fly-by-night clients signals that you're not able to be picky about your work.
If I were the contractor here, I'd bury the project and sprinkle some holy water on it, pursue legal action, and get on with my life. I wouldn't draw attention to what is essentially a failed project. It's naive for the contractor to think that everyone will accept his side of the story regarding the project's failure. From a distance, the failed project is more visible than the flaky client.
in the usa, you can't expect a lawyer to take a case without paying their fees up front. So $5000+ for any case.
Assuming you win, you are still looking at years before you might actually get paid (if ever).
That, plus a huge time and cognitive investment, means i'ts not surprising he took this route.
This awkward area between $6k to $15k seems to be a sweet spot for abusive business practices (intentional or otherwise) because of the big time and financial commitment it takes to pursue.
EDIT: Also I should add that it's not guaranteed that legal fees can be reclaimed from successful litigation. This is probably the main reason I keep putting it off (and keep pinging them about it every 6 months, paper trail seems important)
Otoh if there is an actual dispute (MS disagrees that they owe you money) then you need to walk away. Nobody is going to sue MS for $7k.
it's royaltees from xblig (xna on xbox360). they admitted to not paying me in email, but don't know where the money went.
I actually emailed msft legal about it aprox a year ago, which got traction for a couple months before their activity died off again.
so yes, as you say the general plan I'll probably go with is to retain a lawyer to send threatening emails. that'll cost in the area of $350. Just tried my best to resolve this without that drama.
I would recommend removing or rewording the complaint about the client.
Never, never, never publicly complain about a client in a way that can be linked back to you and/or your client.
Yeah, go for it.
From what I can tell, it can only reduce the number of pompous jerks attempting to milk me for free work...
I guess he is hoping someone start using this project and asks him to expand or customize it.
If this person runs a shop where there's a bigger reputation at stake, I'd agree with what you said.