This story probably starts like many, but it gets better. It goes:
-Boy meets web dev
-Boy hires web dev to do some work on web site
-Web dev offers to host the site for free to facilitate his work
-Web dev does piss poor work
-Boy wants web site back so new web dev can work on it (all bills payed)
-Web dev realizes he's getting canned, promptly comes up with $1100 of new charges, will not release website.
Of that $1100, about $700 are a copyright dispute. The other $400 are equally outrageous (e.g. $300 for SQL dump and tarball of webroot, which took 5 seconds to make through a plugin for the CMS).
You may be thinking "there are two sides to every story".
That's exactly what the State Police Cyber Crimes division thought, until I granted them access to my e-mail, at which point they clearly saw that this is a typical case of "I'm getting fired so now I own your site".
At the first signs of the criminal investigation the former web dev releases the site.
But there's a sequel to this B-Movie
The former web dev is now angry as a hornet. He thought he had the leverage, and it was taken away, and to my discredit I did spike the football in his face afterwards. Then I left it alone, have not contacted him since.
But, he's contacted us. Over and over and over again, he's contacted us.
The bottom line is that he's still trying to shake us down.
We were just ignoring this snake, and his rambling quasi-legal sounding threats of lawsuits and promises of speaking to his (imaginary) lawyer right after dictating this e-mail to his (imaginary) personal assistant.
Meanwhile, we decide to remake the site from the ground up using the new web dev, and using a different CMS all together, simply because it was time.
Guess what: he says he owns this site too!
My new web devs are now at the focus of his shakedown, poor guys. He files a DMCA take down notice. He claims the *entire site* is a copy of his in order to set up a situation where there is no specific content in question which we could just take down to get rid of him.
The new wev devs respond with a counter notice, and further threats of lawsuits ensue which he promises to proceed with (yeah, right), just as soon as he leaves his (imaginary) Berlin Office.
We have hired a lawyer, which we fully intend to unleash on him. We're just waiting to see how far he wants to go with the perjured DMCA takedowns, as by law he incurs significant liability to us in so doing.
I wanted to give all that background in case someone has some general advice. I don't want to assume that the interests of the attorney and myself are 100% aligned.
Here is my question:
My understanding is that after filing the counter-notice the onus is on the bad web dev to get an injunction. He's claiming in more rambling e-mails that he will just continue to file takedown notices.
Can he really do that?
I know I could get hosting in Sweden (or some such), but I don't want us to do anything that could make us look bad in the upcoming litigation.
Thanks in advance,