Friday, October 17, 2008

The Beginning Is The End

Wednesday, John Harrington reported on his blog that Digital Railroad was in trouble and would likely be liquidated. Following on the heels of the demise of PhotoShelter Collection, scheduled to cease operations today, this is very bad news.

While PhotoShelter will continue as a digital archive, even though they shut down their stock agency division, the handwriting may be on the wall for them as well. And what of the others?

The only other company I'm aware of that offers a benevolent measure of service is Image Warehouse, which is owned by my friend Carroll Seghers, but to be honest I don't much like that interface and I don't think Carroll has the budget to advertise on anywhere near the level of his erstwhile competitors.

This is all too bad. Of the services these outfits provide, archiving is the most valuable to people like me. I/we need a place to stash our large, high -resolution files, off-site where they're (more or less) safe.

There's also a ripple effect. Digital Railroad was leasing their backbone to Mira, a photographer-owned stock agency (I'm one of the photographer-owners) and though I've had some assignment work through Mira I'd never had a stock sale... until last week when US News & World Report licensed one of my Maplewood series, Jack Profaci riding his bicycle, for the story, Why Republicans and Democrats Live Where They Do.

It seems that the beginning is also the end.

2 Comments:

Anonymous John Harris said...

There are other providers that can help - we've used Redhouse for 10 years & their great, though I think DRR were a cheap option.

7:44 AM  
Blogger Terry Smith Images said...

Hey Joe,

This is a late comment, but I'm catching up on my blog reading and saw your Mira comment.

Mira lives! John has been moving the archives to Photoshelter, and Kathie recently reported, "I am also glad to report from the sales front that we are all set up and I am ready to rock and roll with making direct sales as well. I have already made image deliveries and sent research lightboxes to clients from the 'new' Mira site as well. A number of former Marketplace buyers have contacted me for new licenses and we have already signed one new publisher up with a purchasing agreement."

Congratulations on your Mira sale. I've gotten a couple of checks (tiny, but growing) from them this year, so don't give up yet!

12:26 PM  

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