A lesson to be learned here:
Don't sign contracts based on the people you're dealing with at the moment. We see this happen all the time - not at this scale, but the same concept. Two parties enter into an "exploitable" agreement based on the genuine goodwill and best intentions of everyone involved.... and then something changes. Could be management /ownership, or it could be a change in the business environment. In this case, it's both. At that point, all of the goodwill and best intentions become secondary to survival or some over-educated executive's idea to squeeze every last drop of possible revenue from their customer base or whatever.
We're going through a procurement process right now and have rejected a few potential vendors based on this principle. On the other side, will people please quite presenting stupid contracts? Most of the stuff we object to doesn't appear to be malicious - just sloppy legal work. Good attorneys aren't cheap, but they're less expensive in the long run than a bad contract. On the plus side, we figure if the legal work that Officially Defines our relationship with a vendor is crap. then they're probably cutting corners elsewhere as well. It's a good thing to look out for during negotiations, and one of the reasons we like to see contracts at the beginning of the due diligence process rather than at the end.