I'm not sure where to post this, so I thought I'd chuck it here and have it moved later if need be.
I've been reading the SitePoint newsletters and books for some time now, and have just registered with the forums to hopefully get an answer to this interesting problem that has recently occurred. Anyway...
I'm a junior web developer at present, working for a medium sized web development company.
Recently, a personal acquaintance asked me to update some content on his site for him. Just a few new images, nothing major at all.
Seeing that he knows I have the skills and will do the work for him for free (that's what mates do) he'd rather I perform this simple task than pay his current developer (who charges to much in his opinion) to do it.
I agreed. (To do the work, not about the charge rate of the other developers...)
Now this is where it gets tricky. I spoke with the current web development company about getting the source code for his site, and about his hosting details, explaining that he wants me to undertake some basic work on the site for him. They weren't really very happy about giving me the files they had developed, and while things didn't turn nasty or anything like that, I can tell they would much rather not give me the files and not have the updates done, then let someone else do the work.
Now, as I see it, they're holding my poor mate's site to ransom. Is it my friend's site, or the developers'? If it belongs to my friend, then can he not contract whoever he wants to complete the work? In which case the developers are obliged to give up the files as they don't own them, aren't they?
At this stage, not much more than some initial words have been passed between me and the site developers, so there are no bridges irreparably burnt or anything like that, but I thought I'd get some expert opinions on the matter.
Thanks for any help.