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Cancelled contract

wedebianca
Active Member
Bianca W Member Since: Sep 14, 2015
1 of 7

Hi there!

I recently cancelled a contract with a client due to unreasonable demands and rude behavior. He did get the work, but I decided to cancel the contract so I didn't have to deal with him anymore.

Can the client still use the work that he got from me for his project?

 

Thanks so much for your input!

 

B.

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 7

Bianca,

If this was an hourly contract, then the client owns every bit of work you did while working on the contract. As soon as you did anything, it belonged to the client. You were paid for your time. The client own what you did with that time.

 

If it was a fixed-price contract, and you cancelled the contract without being paid anything, then the client doesn't own anything. He didn't pay, he doesn't own anything. You own the work product. If you were doing translation work, and you were translating material that belongs to the client, then ownership of the translation is of questionable value. You can't really use it. You did the translation, and ethically your client shouldn't use it, but even the translated version is still comprised of content which is somebody else's intellectual property. How does one "own" or use the translation of content, if one does not own the actual content itself? The client doesn't own your translation work, but you can't use it either, unless you have his permission. And you're not going to ask for his permission in this particular case.

 

Now, that answers the question of "ownership."

 

But you asked "Can the client use the work he got from you?"

 

The answer is "yes."

 

Can the client use the work if he follows Upwork's rules?

No.

 

Can the client ethically use the work?

No.

 

Can the client legally use the work?

Probably not. But this isn't going to court, so that's a somewhat moot point. Especially if the client doesn't care about legalities.

 

But can the client physically use the work? Yes. There are no laws of physics nor are there any computer software solutions that would prevent your client from posting the translation work you submitted to him onto a website. Or publishing it in a book. Or whatever else he intends to do with it.

 

Should he do that?

No.

 

Will he do that?

I don't know.

 

You said in another post that the client said your translation was bad. If he was sincere when he said that, then one might assume he'll discard your work and hire somebody else. If he was scamming you then he was planning to get you to do translation work and not pay you, and saying your work was "bad" was part of his plan all along.

 

What you do with this information is up to you.

 

From your description of the client, he seems like such an unpleasant type that if it was me personally, I would just forget about the whole thing. I wouldn't even contact him to tell him NOT to use the translation. Because I don't want to talk to him. And he will just yell at you and tell you he wouldn't use your translation under any circumstances. So I can't see any benefit from contacting him or doing anything else about this.

colettelewis
Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
3 of 7

However, on the translation. The client cannot use Bianca's translation for gain. She owns the rights to the translation. The client would have to start again with another (paid-for) translation to use it for gain.

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
4 of 7

Gain, not gain. Doesn't matter. Client doesn't own the translation. Ethically, the client can't give it away or print it out and make a paper airplane out of it.

 

But Bianca can't do much with it either. It's unfortunate that things came to this, but it happens.

 

Not Bianca's fault. She'll find people she can work with who aren't a pain.

wedebianca
Active Member
Bianca W Member Since: Sep 14, 2015
5 of 7

Yes. I think I'm just a tad upset that this person ruined my start here haha. Anyways, I should have stuck to what I know. This was a romantic novel and I usually do research and medical translations. 

This will be booked under lesson learned. I provided good work and that's all that matters to me at this point 

Spoiler
Cat Happy
prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
6 of 7

Bianca,

This person did NOT ruin your Upwork career.

 

If you cancelled the contract and were not paid anything, this won't show up in any way on your profile page.

 

And just one cancelled project - even if it is our first one - is not going to ruin your Job Success Score. If you are selective about clients and successfully complete some projects, you're profile page and Job Success Score will be fine.

 

A basic tip: Start small with clients, to learn if you can trust and work with them.

Start with just an hour, or just a $50 project or something.

wedebianca
Active Member
Bianca W Member Since: Sep 14, 2015
7 of 7

And today he contacted me again to work for him... What a joke lol

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