Client taking me to court because he can't read RAW files.

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Willferox New Member • Posts: 11
Client taking me to court because he can't read RAW files.
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My ex-client is filing a claim against me because he cannot read 'RAW' Sony MXF files that I sent him. By RAW I mean straight-out-of-camera.

My first brief was to shoot an 'promo video'. Due to covid they delayed and delayed on comitting to an edit. After many months, they never requested an edit and therefore I invoiced only for the shoot. Eventually, in order to speed up a payment, I delivered the RAW files to them via harddrive.

The client wanted to view these files but found himself unable to. I advised him to open the files VLC (which failed I believe because VLC doesn't seem to like 4K MXF, but will open 1080: this project was 4K). I then advised him to open the files in Adobe Bridge or Sony Catalyst Converter. After months of him telling me he shouldn't have to use 'specialist software' and requesting transcodes, he has now claimed that he cannot view the files in these softwares, which I find very surprising and potentially untrue (as I have viewed the files successfully).

I tried to explain that it's standard to send the client RAW unadulterated files, and that it's his obligation to transcode them, or mine at an additional cost. That he cannot read the files, or choses not to take the time to read them, is on him. After alot of handholding, I eventually offered to transcode the files in-kind, but he rejected this offer and is claiming additional money for time spent trying to view the files.

I'd really appreciate your opinions or similar experiences. I'd also like to add that this was a last-minute job for a client I thought I trusted and am well aware of a level of naivity in hindsight.

Potentially useful information:
- There was no formal contract.
- I am a self-employed sole-trader
- The invoice was paid before the files sent.
- Client is trying to recoup all the money, including my wage, time wasted trying to view files, and interest.
- Client using the analogy of an architect providing drawings for a couple that are only viewable with specialist software.
- UK based!

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MOD Smaug01
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