Kodak Gallery Closes July 2nd – Confusion Reigns

Online digital photo printing site Kodak Gallery is closing down on July 2nd. The site also provided customers with a secure and easy way to view, store and share their photos.

Operating under bankruptcy protection, Kodak have sold some of the customer accounts of Gallery to Shutterfly – another online publishing service specializing in photo books.

It is the online storage feature that is causing confusion with many Gallery customers (wrongly) assuming that their stored pictures will be safe.

However, what happens to your stored photos and projects after July 2nd depends upon where your Gallery account is located:

US And Canada – According to Kodak, customer accounts in the US and Canada will be transferred to Shutterfly as part of the sale.

Unless they have opted out, the stored photos of all customers will be moved to a Shutterfly account after July 2nd – there are around 5 billion stored photos so it is a major migration. Projects will not be migrated – these must be completed and any orders placed prior to July 2nd or they will be lost for good.

Note: Shutterfly does not offer full–resolution downloads of pictures for free – customers wanting to download their migrated pictures in full quality would therefore need to buy archived DVDs costing $9.99 to $19.99+

To avoid those costs, customers should download their pictures directly from Kodak Gallery before the service closes on July 2nd.

Europe – Accounts created at Kodak Gallery European sites will NOT be transferred to Shutterfly as part of the sale.

Projects must be completed and any orders placed July 2nd or they will be lost for good. Photos you wish to save must be downloaded using EasyShare by 23rd July or they will be lost for good – it would be wise to download them prior to 2nd July just in case!

Photo Finish(ed)

camera

A portable camera, yesterday…

Evidence of the lack of strategic management that helped cause the demise of Kodak: Shutterfly paid just $23.8 million for Kodak Gallery in March 2012 but Elite Daily report that “late 2011, the sale [of Kodak Gallery] was expected to net hundreds of millions of dollars for Kodak”.

Bankruptcy auctions aren’t a great place to maximize sales price – if only they had sold earlier…

Deal Of The Year?

See if you can spot the difference:

Kodak

Instagram

Number of users75 million30 million
Number of pictures5 billion (US/CAN only)150 million (Aug 2011)
Mobile App Available?YesYes
Annual revenue$75 million$0
Profitable?YesNo
Established11 years2 years
BuyerShutterflyFacebook
Sale Price (2012)$23.8 million$1 billion

 

Facebook paid over 40 times the price – for a loss making service with no revenue.

Conclusion

It’s sad to see a company like Kodak go under but it’s a great buy for Shutterfly.

Kodak Gallery customers (especially those in Europe) should act now to download and safeguard their projects and/or files in high quality.

The comparisons above with Facebook’s Instagram deal reminds me of my conclusion in ‘Did Nobody Learn From The Last Tech Bubble’ – I don’t believe we’ve hit the peak yet as the continuing lack of growth in traditional markets should keep the new tech economy blowing hard for another year or two.

However, the signs of a new tech bubble certainly appear to be there…

22 Responses to: "Kodak Gallery Closes July 2nd – Confusion Reigns"

  1. Ms L says:

    I’m a Kodakgallery.co.uk user with lots of albums and photos in my gallery. I have been trying for the past hour to ‘download my photos using Easyshare’ – it appears to be impossible. There are no instructions anywhere. Help?

  2. Debbie Whitcombe says:

    I’m so gutted. I discovered 10 days after the closure of the uk Kodak Gallery that I had not downloaded a very important album of about 400 pictures. Lost forever. So so sad. Is that it? now lost forever? Or is there any chance somewhere my photos are stored? I wish a company would by the UK server.

    • Roy says:

      Hi Debbie, according to Kodak’s website the final deadline was 31st August so sadly it looks like you are too late :-(

      It appears nobody was interested in buying the Europe operation (they didn’t pay much even for the much larger US business).

      Hope you can find a copy of the pics in your own computer/backup

  3. V says:

    Debbie,

    I share your pain, what upsets me is that there was no follow up email letting us know that the deadline was extended to August, which I consider to be reallly irresponsible on the part of Kodak. I have lost all my pics even after sending several emails in July stating that I had missed the original deadline no one let me know the deadline was extended.

  4. Aideen Young says:

    I am devastated. I have just realised that my kodak.co.uk photos weren’t transferred to Shutterfly. Because I also had a kodak US account with a few photos on it, I have been receiving emails from kodak and from Shutterfly concerning the transfer of my photos. This completely threw me off the scent; I thought that they were talking about the thousands of photos I had stored on the uk site. I never received any notifications from anyone to tell me that the kodak.co.uk photos would be lost forever. Is that it? Is it done? Is there really no way to get at these?

    • Roy says:

      Sad news – I have no inside info so can only refer you to their UK website which says the service closed after they went bust. You could of course try contacting Kodak UK if you can find a link e.g. at http://www.kodak.co.uk/ek/GB/en/Contact_Us_4.htm but I wouldn’t hold out much hope

      Unfortunately this type of loss is only going to happen to more people in future whenever a cloud storage company fails – and they will :-( The only safeguard is a local (stored on PC/at home) backup as well.

      • Ellen says:

        The EXACT same thing happened to me! I have a small account on the US site but most of my pictures were on the UK site. I’ve only just this week realized that they weren’t migrated to Shutterfly along with the US ones. Way too late for the deadline, which I missed for the same reason as Aideen — loads of emails telling me my account would migrate to Shutterfly. Completely missed amy emails warning me that UK accounts would not be migrated. Ridiculous that they didn’t just migrate all the accounts worldwide. Surely Shutterfly would have hosted them for the access to many more customers? Badly mismanaged, and I am furious that I have most of my photos. Kodak was my backup for unreliable home computers! They should have sold the accounts to someone else so at least we could access them from someone. Infuriating.

        The data must exist somewhere, though, right? Maybe someone will buy it and contact us?

        Ellen

  5. Vicky Watkin says:

    Help!! Didn’t receive any emails warning me the website was shutting, I have lost all my photo’s, how do I get them back, am too late for easyshare :( :( :(

    • Alex says:

      sorry but looks as if you’re too late – see earlier replies for details

    • Sara says:

      I also received no emails from Kodak and now presumably have lost everything. I am furious. Legal action?

      • Roy says:

        You’d need to speak to a lawyer but it was a free service so not sure they would ever have had any financial liability :-(

        I’m sure all current cloud storage providers will have multiple T&Cs excluding any penalty for data loss. Sadly, this problem will happen again whenever providers go bust/get hacked etc – unfortunately the only protection against it will be a local (PC) backup…

  6. kerrie says:

    Similar to all of above, only I thought I had downloaded all my precious pics to this easyshare program. Turns out it appears empty when I open it and can’t find the photos stored anywhere on it. I’m completely gutted, in particular for the thousands of photos I took on a chance of a lifetime trip to Kenya for 3 months, this was the only place these photos were stored as I uploaded them to kidak gallery whilst travelling. I’m utterly heartbroken to think I will never see those photos again :(

    • Roy says:

      @Kerrie – if you haven’t already, try a search of your PC for all pictures e.g. *.jpg or *.tiff (depending on what format they might have been saved in).
      Alternatively, a free utility like Treesize is a good way to check if there might be any large folders of pics stored somewhere else on your hard drive (i.e. not in the usual Pictures folder) – see https://techlogon.com/2011/07/22/find-where-hard-drive-space-has-gone/ for an overview.

      However, if they really have gone, sorry to hear that, very sad :-(

  7. Yvonne says:

    I am from the U.K. and am in the exact same position as Kerrie (above). I also downloaded all my photos to the Easyshare programme. The Kodak EasyShare software icon appeared on my desktop and at first I was able to view my albums (though not order prints or do anything else with them – but at least I still had them). Now the albums have disappeared and I am completely baffled and devastated. How could this have happened and isn’t there anyone anywhere connected to Kodak or Shutterfly who can help us…..?

  8. Paula Travis says:

    I to found out today all my photos of my son have gone as I stupidly thought they would be safer uploaded to kodak, I have lost all my photos of my sons first 4 years including the first photo of him born and his first birthday, this has brought me to tears, as the original computer I had broke and the harddrive broke and no way if retrieving them.
    Completeley and utterly gutted :-(

    • jacquie mcalister says:

      I too have just discovered that I have lost all my photos from the past 18 years, not to mention family parties where some relatives are no longer with us, my old pc crashed which is why I thought saving them to kodak gallery was safe & I lost all photos probably over 1000, I’m gutted. Is there nothing we can do?

      • Roy says:

        @jaquie – sorry but I don’t believe there is as the company closed down 6 months ago. Storage costs money so it would likely have been wiped/sold off asap after that

  9. Reina says:

    I am very upset that all my albums are lost. Shutterfly is so irresponsable that they do not even answer e-mails. I had about 17 books with them. Now I log in the website with the same password I had with Kodak and there is nothing nothing. I have cried ..really I have cried. Precious moments are lost.

  10. Sunshine Matsis says:

    I moved abroad a year ago and kepy on using Kodak for all my images . I went on line to try to order and realized that over 12 years of photographs 3000 plus are n
    Lost . I have scanned the Internet to try and find another way but I can not find any contact anyone help ,,,,,!!!!! I’m devistaded

  11. Gill says:

    Gutted. I was a Kodak UK member who also thought my photographs would be safe. Why no emails to warn of the closure?

  12. Kristine says:

    I know that video is never really gone once it is on the internet and I know Kodak did not forward video to Shutterfly when they took over but I am desperate to get a video that was on Kodak of my son’s first steps.I have a link from Kodak gallery. I was told that the video’s were on Kodak Classic Gallery and I thought that was different from Kodak Gallery. Is there old tech support that I can contact or a CEO? Can someone explain why video was not transfered? PLEASE HELP!!!