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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

DIGITAL RAILROAD SHUTS DOWN
JC Ridley, Photographer
Coral Springs | FL | US | Posted: 3:50 PM on 10.28.08
->> I realize there is a similar thread but it was announced today that Digital Railroad has ceased operations and its servers may not be available after today. Time is of the essence if you need to recover any of your images images on their servers.

http://www.nppa.org/news_and_events/news/2008/10/digitalrailroad.html
 This post is:  Informative (2) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Kevin Clifford, Photographer
Reno | NV | United States | Posted: 3:54 PM on 10.28.08
->> "This archive may only be accessible for the next 24 hours."

http://www.pdnpulse.com/2008/10/final-countdown-for-digital-railroad.html

Wow, that's really short notice.
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Patrick Fallon, Student/Intern, Photographer
Columbia | MO | USA | Posted: 4:35 PM on 10.28.08
->> What does this mean for Cal Sport Media, NBCU PhotoBank, VII, etc. that have their archives with DRR?

Has anyone heard from any of these companies?

I know Cal Sport has most of their new images automatically loaded to ZUMA Press's archive, but not everything.

P
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 4:49 PM on 10.28.08
->> Members receive a notice about the impending shutdown when they log into the site ... but I am wondering if the company directly notified photographers and entities (like Cal Sports Media) of their closure?

Getting the news about this on PDN if that's how it went down is terrible.

Did DRR bother to let members know what will become of their work stored on their servers?

Very distressing news in this time of a lot of distress news.
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Patrick Fallon, Student/Intern, Photographer
Columbia | MO | USA | Posted: 4:55 PM on 10.28.08
->> I have been told Cal Sport is taking steps to ensure their archives are safe, but I don't have much more info I can share now, will post an update when I have it.
P
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Vincent Laforet, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 4:58 PM on 10.28.08
->> Absolutely unacceptable - shutting down is one thing... but telling people they have 24 hours to get all of their images off the servers is ludicrous - especially since you know everyone will be hitting their servers all at once.... horrible way to manage a business and a trust... this is why I went with the "other" service - don't want to pump them here as that's not the point of this post... but boy did I see stuff like this coming....
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David Harpe, Photographer
Louisville | KY | USA | Posted: 5:15 PM on 10.28.08
->> I have an account on both DRR and Photoshelter. I received an email on Oct. 15th, but nothing today. No email, phone call or postal mail.

Fortunately I didn't have much on DRR yet, so no major impact here. Unacceptable. Hopefully they will come up with some sort of plan to keep the archives online for awhile so people can grab their stuff.
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David Harpe, Photographer
Louisville | KY | USA | Posted: 5:27 PM on 10.28.08
->> Spoke too soon. I just received an email from them...same one that is on the NPPA site.
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Juerg Schreiter, Photographer
Fort Lauderdale | FL | USA | Posted: 5:33 PM on 10.28.08
->> Robert,
I received an email just about 3 minutes ago saying they seized operations, ... after the fact of finding out elsewhere first.
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Patrick Fallon, Student/Intern, Photographer
Columbia | MO | USA | Posted: 5:37 PM on 10.28.08
->> http://www.digitalrailroad.net/ Is Now This:
---
October 28, 2008

To our valued Members and Partners:

We deeply regret to inform you that Digital Railroad (DRR) has shut down.

On October 15th we reported that the company had reduced its staff and was aggressively pursuing additional financing and/or a strategic partner. Unfortunately, those efforts were unsuccessful. Therefore Digital Railroad has been forced to close all operations.

Digital Railroad has attracted a loyal set of customers and partners, and we regret this unfortunate outcome. Without sufficient long-term financial support, the business had become unsustainable.

Thank you for allowing us to serve the photographic community these past few years.

All questions pertaining to claims should be addressed to:

Digital Railroad, Inc
c/o Diablo Management Group
1452 N. Vasco Road, #301
Livermore, CA 94551
-----

No mention how to DL _anything_ Wow.
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John Strohsacker, Photographer
Baltimore | MD | USA | Posted: 5:58 PM on 10.28.08
->> Seems NCAAPhotos (Rich Clarkson and Associates, LLC) are still live:
http://www2.digitalrailroad.net/ncaaphotos/Default.aspx

and CalSportMedia
http://www2.digitalrailroad.net/calsportmedia/Default.aspx

Lots of photos on both.
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Dan Routh, Photographer
Greensboro | NC | USA | Posted: 9:08 PM on 10.28.08
->> I should have listened to John Harrington when he warned us about DRR closing up a few days ago. After I received the infamous email, I have been trying to move my files from DRR directly to Photoshelter. So far, no dice. I have the images backed up, but I will probably lose all of my keywording. Really sucks. Beginning to wonder if stock is ever going to be worth the trouble. I have no intention of ever screwing with Getty, Corbis or the like, so I guess assignments may be it, if they don't go away too.
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Alejandro Pagni, Photographer, Photo Editor
Buenos Aires | R.A | Argentina | Posted: 10:36 PM on 10.28.08
->> Very saddened by the closure of DRR. A few hours ago I received an e-mail announcing the closure of operations and immediately tried to migrate images to another site without success. All services of DRR are congested and saturated. Long queues of pictures waiting to move for syndication to other servers. Nothing react in time. It is shameful.
I live in Argentina, a country accustomed to bankruptcies and closures, but this is very serious.

How it is possible that DRR break? With so many good customers into their community making pays their membership on time? Who defends us from the scam?

In less than 24 hours I have to migrate nearly 10,000 pictures or resign itself to lose a lot of time to work.
There are some laws that protect us?

www.digitalrailroad.net/alejandropagni/
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John Middlebrook, Photographer
Basel | CH | Switzerland | Posted: 4:14 AM on 10.29.08
->> I guess the bigger question that nobody has addressed here is who is next? I don't feel that anyone is immune from this failing economy. I hope that all freelancers are thinking about their backup strategy and how they will address this when it trickles down to other players. Just two weeks ago I started to move my archives to Amazon's R3 service via Jungle Disk because I am so sick of dealing with local (Western Digital, Maxtor) drive failures. Are sites like Flickr and Photobucket going to own the monopoly on image hosting?
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Chris Ivin, Photographer
Sydney | NSW | Australia | Posted: 4:16 AM on 10.29.08
->> That's brutal. I knew they were in trouble but up until
the day before they were still sending out 'Research Network Daily Email Digest' emails. Kind of sting in the tail when you see that certain users are still live and you can't access your own work. That's plain unprofessional.
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Jock Fistick, Photographer
Brussels | Belgium | | Posted: 6:22 AM on 10.29.08
->> I am sure most of you here know this - but for those that do not - Photoshelter is running a special for DRR clients - giving them a migration tool - to help transfer their DRR archive to Photoshelter (so you won't loose all your meticulously keyworded images). And PS is also honoring 3 months of any existing DRR contracts.

Obviously, with only 24 hours notice it will make it very difficult if not impossible for everyone to migrate or even just download their archives - as DRR's servers won't be able to handle all the outgoing traffic.

I hate to kick anyone when they are down, but as others have stated here - going out of business is one thing - it can happen to any of us - but giving only 24 hours notice is unconscionable and speaks to the integrity of those behind the company. I can't find the words to express how disgusted I am by this turn of events. How could the founders of DRR allow a situation like this to occur? Professional photographers all over the world trusted in them and invested their hard earned money into their product.

Over the past couple of years I have been very vocal on various forums about what I considered to be less than honest marketing tactics used by DRR. They spent a tidy sum of VC money ($20 million +/-) on DRR. Most of this money was spent on marketing and proportionally very little was invested into their infrastructure. I can only take solace in the fact that I did not fall prey to them, but I feel very badly for those of you who did.

Even since their announcement of Oct 15th - they were still actively soliciting and accepting new contracts and renewals. They knew the end was near but were still selling a product that they knew would soon not exist. Is there any possibility that any of their existing contracts will be refunded for unused time? Fat chance. And for all of those who have made sales via the Marketplace but have not been paid yet - I hope I am wrong - but I am sorry to that my advice is - don't hold your breath.

I just hope that our collective memory is not so short that we forget about this situation the next time this group of individuals decides to launch another business and asks the professional photography community to support it.

RIP Train-wreck!
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Steven Ickes, Photographer
Mechanicsburg | PA | USA | Posted: 1:25 PM on 10.29.08
->> Although I dodged that bullet, I sincerely feel for those photographers with their entire body of work sitting on those servers. There is just no way everyone is getting their images transferred and/or downloaded. Giving customers a 24 hour notice is a shameful way to treat paying customers. This is something that has been in the works for some time now. DRR had plenty of time to inform their customers and do what is right!

I applaud Photo Shelter for providing a migration tool unfortunately it sounds as if it's all for naught. I sincerely hope that any customers of DRR are able to save their files.
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 4:30 PM on 11.01.08
->> It was nice to read that some DRR clients got good service and a heads up about its impending demise:

http://www.nppa.org/news_and_events/news/2008/10/digitalrailroad.html
"Rich Clarkson of Rich Clarkson and Associates LLC in Denver told News Photographer magazine tonight that one of their sites, NCAA Photos, had been hosted by Digital Railroad, but that "a couple of good employees at Digital Railroad kept us advised that this was coming, and we got all of our content off their servers and onto our new hosts.""
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Dan Routh, Photographer
Greensboro | NC | USA | Posted: 5:19 PM on 11.01.08
->> Well, it seems the DRR site must be gone. I can't access my page anymore. Was able to get about half of my images transferred to Photoshelter. Of those, about half seem to corrupted. Sucks. I have backups, so I guess I'll have to re upload several. Was able to salvage some keywording. I will keyword before I upload this time. There is some talk of someone buying DRR's servers and technology, so everyone's images could appear again in some form. No idea if any of us will ever be able to collect payments due. Sort of have a bad taste for online hosting, and the stock business in general right now. Glad to hear some clients got a headsup. Too bad they couldn't be that kind to all of us.
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Dan Routh, Photographer
Greensboro | NC | USA | Posted: 5:22 PM on 11.01.08
->> Spoke too soon. Just got back on my DRR page. Will try to move some more corrupt files.
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Dan Routh, Photographer
Greensboro | NC | USA | Posted: 5:30 PM on 11.01.08
->> For the latest news on DRR, look at:
http://photobusinessforum.blogspot.com/2008/11/from-bad-to-better-likely-ac...
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Matthew Sauk, Photographer
Sandy | UT | United States | Posted: 7:47 PM on 11.01.08
->> What a crappy thing to do to your customers. I am sure most have downloaded and moved their stuff, but for what people payed to the business to have it end like this sucks for them.

Just bad business
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David Bailey, Photographer
Flower Mound | TX | USA | Posted: 10:07 PM on 11.03.08
->> Here's the latest I've found on Diablo Management's site. I wonder who is considering buying them? With those #'s it must be Getty, AP or some similar size agency. Anyone heard who may be interested in their "assets"?

****************

To Digital Railroad Members and Customers:

Digital Railroad (DRR) has been attempting to keep its servers up and running for as long as possible. However, given DRR’s current cash position, it can no longer keep these servers operational. Therefore, as early as midnight EST, October 31, 2008, the DRR website will be closed and the images located on the DRR servers will be inaccessible. DRR apologizes for difficulties and inconvenience that this creates, however, without additional capital investment, DRR has no other recourse.

These images will be preserved on the existing hardware in anticipation that at a later date they can be retrieved by their owners.

Digital Railroad has received a letter of intent (LOI) to purchase the assets of DRR, specifically its hardware and application software used to store and retrieve images with the desire to continue providing services to DRR members and customers with as little disruption as possible. The Intellectual Property (IP) stored on these servers and owned by members would in any case be preserved. After the completion of an asset purchase agreement, the acquiring company will contact owners of the images to determine their disposition. The acquiring company will have no right to sell or distribute these images without the owner’s prior approval.

The company that has submitted the Letter of Intent is a twenty-year fixture in the industry with ongoing close relationships with the preeminent players in the worldwide information business. It owns a multi-agency digital media marketplace composing more than twenty-five million images, news stories, and video clips which it licenses to five thousand customers who purchase content on a daily basis for insertion into the world's most prominent newspapers, magazines, web sites, and broadcast services.


Please check the Diablo Management website www.diablomanagement.com regularly for updates.
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Bradly J. Boner, Photographer, Photo Editor
Jackson | WY | USA | Posted: 10:21 PM on 11.03.08
->> Matthew... bad business, yup. Crappy treatment of customers, yup. Do they really care because they're liquidating? Nope.
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Phillip Davies, Photographer
Garden City | NY | US | Posted: 10:25 PM on 11.03.08
->> The latest rumor is that newscom is buying their assets:
http://www.newscom.com/

there is an article about this here:
http://www.pdnpulse.com/2008/10/is-newscom-about-to-acquire-digital-railroa...
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Jock Fistick, Photographer
Brussels | Belgium | | Posted: 8:37 PM on 11.06.08
->> Looks like Newscom has withdrawn their offer....

http://photobusinessforum.blogspot.com/2008/11/newscom-opts-out-of-digital-...
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Thread Title: DIGITAL RAILROAD SHUTS DOWN
Thread Started By: JC Ridley
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