For this project we had no formal contract, just emails outline scope of work and partial usage rights for the images I was delivering. They decided to cancel the project about 4 months into it (once again, nothing to do with me) after I had completed 4 of the 13 images in the original scope.
Their "solution" was for me to keep the full amount of money, which they had already paid, in exchange for full usage rights (the amount they would be well below industry standard, which I explained to them) Otherwise they would need a refund.
I offered other solutions--higher price for full buyout, or unfinished work balance as a credit for future work. To which they denied both options
Normally changing scope or canceling a project would just be chalked up as "shit happens" but this was abnormally late into the project and well after I was already paid ("hope you didn't spend that money because we want it back!") and I'm really hesitant about refunding the money.
To me, in the beginning we mutually agreed "X amount of work for X amount of money"--very black and white. Then 4 months down the road they're like "never mind, we changed our mind on our agreement".
On one hand, yes I didn't complete the project. On the other hand they chose to break their half of our agreement and now I am the one getting screwed out of expected money I was counting on.
Thoughts of where I stand in this?