I am an Android and Web Developer and I worked with my mate which has holding all the customers and receiving the money, deadlines and that stuff.

When finished these apps, he didn't want to pay me anything but I have proof on emails and SMS where he said he was going to pay me.

I have never signed any document where I declare that I give all my projects to him, so on Android part I have keystores, Google Accounts for APIs (Google Maps, Analytics) and sources.

What would be my "technologic weapons" if I have to go to legal with him?

  • 6
    Contact a lawyer.... any answers here would be guessing. I'd recommend not doing anything detrimental to any accounts (such as changing passwords). Be a grown up and simply contact a lawyer.
    – Scott
    Sep 15 '14 at 1:35

Anything retaliatory you do to your business partner (that's the person who's withholding payment) is going to affect your client (the person who ultimately "owns" the app). Depending on the contract your partner has with the client, you could be exposing yourself to all sorts of trouble - the client could sue you directly.

I really hope you have some sort of contract with your "business partner" because you really need to take care of this in the courts. Sometimes a threatening letter from a lawyer is enough.

You may have some leverage through the client, if you have some way to get in contact with them. Because your partner never paid you, you still own all the code. You can let the clients know this (through your lawyer) and have them put pressure on your partner to pay you.

But your first step is: talk to a lawyer


First change the password for all accounts. Do you have access to the developer console for uploading apps?

I would not mention it to him and try solving the problem by talking. If all fails, you could worst case take the apps offline until he pays. But this will affect the users and can cause other legal problems.

If you consider this, go first talk to a lawyer! You might end up paying him instead of getting money!!!

  • Holding the client's product or services hostage is not a good solution. It unfairly punishes the client for something that isn't their fault, and they certainly aren't going to take your side after you offline their app.
    – user45623
    Sep 18 '15 at 18:50
  • This is a dangerous suggestion - you would be breaking the contract as well and could open yourself up to all sorts of lawsuits. Your issue is with your business partner and are unrelated to the client, don't let them suffer as a consequence. [I just realised the OP was asking about this, I should have commented on the question directly]
    – lon124
    Oct 20 '16 at 12:55

@Scott he is specifically asking about "technological weapons", where changing account passwords falls under. Maybe the correct timeline is:

  • talk to a lawyer about the options
  • change passwords
  • talk to the partner
  • let the lawyer do his work

While it is the noble and grown up way to sort this out in court, chances are it will take years, end up in a mutual agreement about less money or the partner declaring bankruptcy and no money is to be earned.

Threating in this early and promising stage to take down the app might be an option to avoid this, but it has to be clear what risks are involved with this approach, so really consulting a lawyer is the only way to do it right.

  • But the OP's relationship with the person stiffing him is not the client, but a "business partner" the relationship and ownership of the applications are different than a simple freelancing gig.
    – Voxwoman
    Feb 23 '15 at 13:08

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