I have been building up an online community, based around a forum for the last 4 years or so.
About a year ago I took on a partner, the biggest contributer in the forum.
His role was to generate content as he's very knowledgable in the field.
He has let me down and not lived up to my hopes and expectations. He accuses me of many failures too, but due to his behaviours and personality traits that came out during all of this I no longer feel that I want to continue working with him as a partner.
The website itself isn't a legal entity. I own the domain name and the servers on which it runs.
I feel a bit like I'm going back on my word by breaking the agreement, and we don't have a contract let alone an exit clause.
I'm kind of torn as a result because I feel that I don't want to screw a friend over. However, the only alternative seems to be continue to work with him and put systems in place to prevent previous problems.
I will still be face with the same situation in a years time if I want to end the partnership though, so I am therefore thinking I might be better off ending it now.
I of course want to compensate him in some way for his work, but not sure how to do that without selling the site. I can give him all generated content back, but he says that he did the work because it was helping the community grow and I can't give him half of the community easily.
To me the lines are very blurry regarding his contribution because he has always contributed so much to the forum.
Has anybody had any similar experiences they can share? Where do I stand legally? There is probably an email somewhere in which I acknowledge the partnership.
Any opinions welcome on this as it's wrecking my head and I don't feel able to make a decision.