I have recently taken over a project. One of the first things the client would like is for me to move the site to a new server. However, the last design firm is saying that the database cannot be transferred and will only provide an export of some data in a spreadsheet. Essentially, they're trying to hold the data hostage.

Is anyone familiar with some case law or legal actions we can reference to research before this escalates? The original contract makes no mention of the database being proprietary or unable to export. Have you ever refused to do a MySQL database dump for an existing client? If so, why?