Friday, November 7, 2008

Update - Digital Railroad Shutdown

5th NOVEMBER 2008 - SAA continues our commitment to intervene on behalf of photographers who had Digital Railroad archives and post updates to the community. We are in ongoing communications with Diablo Management, the crisis management company handling the matter.

On Oct. 28, Digital Railroad operations shut down. On Oct. 31, Diablo issued a memo announcing that a Letter to Intent was received to purchase some of Digital Railroad's assets. Diablo is now issuing an email in response to inquiries, which provides some answers about the fate of archive fees paid
and license fees due.

Following is our latest information on the issues facing photographers with DRR archives.

1. Access to image files and licensing records

As of today, DRR's servers are still online, but they could be turned off at any time. Diablo's Oct. 31 memo stated that image files will be preserved and "after the completion of an asset purchase agreement, the acquiring company will contact owners of the images to determine their disposition."

SAA still urges photographers to back up image files and download licensing records. Download licensing records, including details about pending sales, and a list of all registered users who accessed your Archive.

2. Status of DRR archive fees and Marketplace licensing fees already paid

Diablo's Nov. 3 email confirms that "all monies that have been received are the property of the senior secured creditor. The cash received will not be adequate to satisfy the claim of this creditor. Therefore DRR lacks the cash necessary to pay any additional claim related to hosting services, payments
to photographers, or other payables."

SAA suggests that photographers who pre-paid archive fees by credit card for a full year of service should consider disputing this charge. For those who paid monthly by credit card, be sure to check your statements to confirm that these fees are no longer being charged.

3. Status of payments due for pending Marketplace licenses

Diablo has confirmed to SAA and stated in their Nov. 3 email the intention to pay photographers for licensing fees still outstanding: "With regard to images in Marketplace that have been downloaded
and /or used, and for which the publisher has not already made payment, we will work, with the assistance of photographer associations, to get the photographers paid."

In addition, the memo states that a status report on financial matters will be sent to all creditors in approximately thirty days, and requests that photographers "submit a statement for unpaid amounts that may be due to you from DRR by December 1, 2008 to: Digital Railroad, Inc, c/o Diablo Management
Group, 1452 N. Vasco Road, #301, Livermore, CA 94551."

SAA will continue to stay engaged in this issue, seeking clarification and pressing for a fair resolution. We will be posting updates to the SAA web site at

Betsy Reid
SAA executive director

Source: CEPIC

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