I've been working with an agency to develop a web site for their client. I had a contract with the agency, not the end client. I was unfortunately off my guard on this one and the contract didn't state the code ownership before or after the job is done.
Situation is this... on my end project reached completion stage but didn't go live yet (go live is a task of the agency who contracted me). Without going into reasons (there weren't any really, defo nothing related to misconduct or anything similar) they decided to 'end' the contract before the go live happened. So technically, project was finished and they acknowledged it but surely there would be issues or bugs, even during the go live, they would need help with. I know now that help is provided by other dev party they have been contracting on regular basis as their 'support'.
And all would be grand if not the fact that they haven't paid my completion invoice yet. They claim they will but the chances of this being true and a lie are 50/50. I was wondering if there is anything I can do except spamming their phones now and go legal chasing payment later. As in, would there be anything in the code ownership grounds that I could use for now?
How does the code ownership work in a default subcontracting situation, where it's not enforced or amended by specific contract agreements?
BTW, I have a similar situation with one other job, also technically completed (but practically not and passed to other dev party) but not paid for. It's not 1 to 1 scenario as with the first one but similar, hence I'd love to learn about general rules first, before trying to apply specific solution to both these cases.