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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Did Digital Railroad Screw You? Part 2

Once again I find myself asking where’s the outrage? Where’s the call for accountability? Is everyone so set financially that it doesn’t matter that you lost $500 or $600 or $1000 or more? If it was my money gone I would be like a pitbull to get to the bottom of what happened. Someone please explain this silence to me.

Nothing will change unless people demand that change. Just moving on to another online venture isn’t the answer. There are people who took your money and as of right now, have gotten away with it. Doesn’t that make your blood boil? Well it should!

One photographer, David Robin, is trying to get legal help behind a call for accountability. But like every other situation, the more people calling for something to happen, the more chance it will. Maybe no one gets their money back. Maybe only some people do. But don’t you want to know how you were ripped off?

Has anyone asked Evan Nisselson or Charles Mauzy to account for the money? I will guarantee anonymity to anyone who wants to tell their story or share insider information. I am asking everyone who has a story to tell, or knows someone who does, to write to me. It’s about time that people stopped taking this shit lying down. Otherwise it will happen again and again.

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Anonymous M. Scott Brauer said...

I'm a bit surprised by the lack of follow-up with the whole digital railroad debacle. There was a lot of vitriol as the whole thing went down (I seem to remember a few long discussions on lightstalkers...), but that's all disappeared. I've got no dog in this fight, never having used digital railroad, but I'm surprised people have been willing to write off losses of hundreds of dollars so easily. At the time of the DRR failure, most people were under the impression that individual photographers would be the last to get paid, their credit being much smaller (presumably) than that owed to DRR's technology providers/office space owners/etc. I don't know how true that is; I've never dealt with bankruptcy in any capacity. But, listening to NPR's Planet Money podcast this week, the situation of a clown owed $200 by a now-bankrupt shopping mall company sounded familiar. The economic adviser who spoke to her suggested a few possibilities for payment that hinged on the fact that she was owed comparatively little. I suppose one difference, however, is that this story involves a vendor owed money rather than clients owed a service (in the case of DRR), but perhaps there's useful information here.

June 13, 2009  
Blogger David Robin said...

Responding to M.Scott Brauer...
No one is more dismayed than me at the lack of interest my photo colleagues display when dealing with their own financial and legal interests.

The point you bring up is very valid. The fact that DRR did not file for bankruptcy so that the courts could open their books and decide legally who should get paid and who should not is the most troubling revelation here.

Also, the misrepresentation by DRR of photographers as "creditors"in the first place was and is fraudulent. DRR was acting as a legal fiduciary to the photographers. This means that DRR was legally bound to collect monies on behalf of the photographers to be distributed back to the photographers. In other words this money never belonged to DRR. And therefore the use of these funds by DRR to pay off other creditors is not only unethical but also a felony.

June 13, 2009  
Blogger Directphoto said...

So if anyone is ready to go ahead with a class action suit (not possible here in France , wher I live, but it is possible in the U.S.)
... count me in.
Tom Craig

June 23, 2009  
Blogger Randy Santos said...

I'd be glad to share with you my experience - perhaps offline though - so feel free to contact me.

I will say that DRR evaporated oweing me a nice little chunk of change from imaging licensing. I mean they were licensing images (and collecting fees) right up to the end- knowing they were going down. After DRR went poof I called a few of the clients who recently had licensed images ( I had downloaded all past, present, and pending transaction records). They said they paid DRR for the image use, what could I do, but I now have them as contacts and promote my work to them. I also called a few of the clients with pending orders and was able to license images directly myself for their projects. So I recovered something from the ashes. I had just renewed with DRR 2 months or so prior to meltdown, I called Amex- they fully refunded the $500 or so dollars.

In May, out of the blue, I received 2 checks for a grand total of $167.50 drawn on the Heritage Bank of Commerce listing remitter, typed in,as DRR, to cover outstanding license fees. Actually i haven't even deposited them yet. Quite frankly I was a little offended, they split town owing me probably 20x that. I don't even know what this check is for really. Pisses me off - I work hard, especially nowadays to support my family - If i did something like this I'd be facing hard time.

June 24, 2009  
Anonymous Joern Sackermann said...

When DRR shuts down, 345 of my images were added to buyer’s cards, purchased or requested by Marketplace clients. I ask Diablo Management to send me the contact informations of these clients but I never get an answer! And of course no payments till today! But what can I do? I live in Germany!

July 12, 2009  

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