Back when I was getting started in my early days of book design I took a job from a small publishing house (that basically helped created files for people hoping to self-publish).
The entire job was an absolute nightmare start to finish. The approved design got stripped down until it resembled the author’s original Word file and the book went through two freelance editors and three proofreaders. FINALLY, the book went to press and looked as terrible as could be expected. I was paid, archived the files, and moved on with my life.
A few months later I got a message from the publisher asking if I could “return” the author’s original manuscript and photos. Assuming, they lost their copies somehow, I burned the files to a DVD and sent it along, only to get a frantic message from the publisher asking for the “original” CDs (which I’d thrown away). The author was apparently convinced that the publisher and I were working against her to sell these “originals” and somehow re-sell the book as our own.
I tried to explain that the CDs held only digital copies and that she should still have the originals on her computer, and either way still held the copyright.
Eventually, she told me to remove her files from my computer, to never show it on my website or portfolio and threatened to sue. I refused and she only stopped contacting me after I told her she’d have to go through my lawyer (at the time, just a friend with a law degree).
The scary thing? She was a former lawyer.
I never heard from her again.