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Client Re-using Your Work After Cancelling Contract

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Active Member
Matt K Member Since: Jan 11, 2016
1 of 9

I had a recent client, with a somewhat complicated project - horse racing.  However, I've been a horse player for 20 years, as long as I've been a publicist - so while it might be obscure for 90% of the population, it's not for me.  I wrote a solid elease, using limited, vague and hard-to-extract info from him about the project. 

 

The client said the first draft was not hitting things at all.  He included some more points. 

I sent a second draft an hour later.  He said no, it's still not right.  Wouldn't explain why.  Cancelled the contract.  


Then hours later, he re-posted the job, but now the posting of what he needs essentially breaks down my whole press release into bullet points, literally re-uses my exact sentences as the "things he wants to communicate" requests the same structure and key talking points of my release...  i.e., my press release - with a second version written by someone else, probably to be re-used later, after he cancels the contract wtih the next writer as well... 


How am I supposed to address this?   


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Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
2 of 9

Matt, 

 

I have flagged your post to get the attention of a mod in the hope that they can sort this out.  

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Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 9

There is nothing to address, and nothing to sort out.

 

If you were hired to write material for this client, and you did so, and the client paid you for the work you did, then that's it. The client owns the work and can do anything he wants with it.

 

The client has no obligation to continue working with you. They client may indeed post what you wrote for him in a job posting.

 

If the client did not pay you for this, then technically you own the work, and you may use it however YOU want. You could post it as a portfolio piece.

 

But that would leave open the question: How did the client NOT pay you? There is no way for him to close the contract without paying you unless YOU agree to let him do so.

 

So either:

1) There is no issue here

or

2) You made a mistake somewhere along the line that allowed him to not pay

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Matt K Member Since: Jan 11, 2016
4 of 9

Preston - he cancelled the contract and I refunded his money.  Because in previous postings, you've said filing a dispute harms my JSS.  Regardless his cancellation bumped me from 95% to 93%.  

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Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
5 of 9

@Matt K wrote:

Preston - he cancelled the contract and I refunded his money.  Because in previous postings, you've said filing a dispute harms my JSS.  Regardless his cancellation bumped me from 95% to 93%.  


 ________________________

It's a bit of a rock and a hard place. A dispute could have led to arbitration which is costly (for all) and stressful. Only if you win in an arbitration does your JSS remain intact. A cancelled contract without money being paid, can also ding your JSS.

However, since you were not paid, the client does not own your work.  So I hope Upwork can sort that problem out for you.

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Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
6 of 9

@Matt K wrote:

Preston - he cancelled the contract and I refunded his money.  Because in previous postings, you've said filing a dispute harms my JSS.  Regardless his cancellation bumped me from 95% to 93%.  



A refund is no better than a dispute when choosing to end a contract. Bad is bad. When you do work, don't issue a refund unless you believe it is merited. Issuing refunds to get out of JSS trouble will only end in grief. 

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Richard W Member Since: Jun 22, 2017
7 of 9

@Preston H wrote:

 

But that would leave open the question: How did the client NOT pay you? There is no way for him to close the contract without paying you unless YOU agree to let him do so.


 ...or you choose not to pay for arbitration

...or you go to arbitration and lose

...or the client's payment method turns out to be fraudulent

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Moderator
Joanne Marie P Moderator Member Since: Nov 26, 2017
8 of 9

Hi Matt,

 

Can you please send me a PM with the contract ID or the name of the client you are referring to so we can check? Thanks!


-Joanne
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Moderator
Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
9 of 9

Hi Matt, 


I was able to identify the contract, and the (new) job post you are referring to. However, I would need some proof that the work you submitted was used for the job post. If you are able to cite these and send it to me through a private message, I will look into it, and send it over to the team for their further review. 


-Avery
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