The Latest on DRR: Full Site Shutdown 11:59PM PST on Oct 31

“As part of the process of terminating the business operations of Digital Railroad, Diablo Management Group has informed PhotoShelter of their intent to shut down the DRR site as early as 11:59PM, PST, on Friday October 31. After this point, it is very likely that all the images located on the Digital Railroad servers could be permanently inaccessible. Given the strong possibility of this event, PhotoShelter, on its own initiative, is strongly suggesting that customers migrate their files from Digital Railroad immediately. Digital Railroad, at the present time, has no plans or resources to accomplish this task.”

Full Press Release here.

We have been trying to work along side former DRR employees to bring about a graceful closure to the impending liquidation. I’ve spoken to their liquidation firm and their bank, and we’ve tried to have a little more clarity around the situation. We’ve been trading e-mails and phone calls with everyone and their mother. We’ve fielded phone calls from photographers literally in tears — from students to some of the biggest names in the industry. The whole thing is sickening.

There will obviously be time to deconstruct everything, but right now, we only have one concern: to notify as many affected photographers as possible. We anecdotally know that some portion of DRR users are traveling and haven’t even heard that the company is liquidating and that their files might be gone forever. We do not have a full list of DRR users, and as of this posting, we’ve been unable to negotiate access to the user list.


It doesn’t matter where they move them. They just need to move them. Blog, e-mail, phone and shout to them. If you want to help the industry, then help us spread the word to our colleagues.

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This article was written by

Allen Murabayashi is the Chairman and co-founder of PhotoShelter.

There are 7 comments for this article
  1. David Paul Morris at 4:50 am

    It seems that while you can access your DRR site and log in you can not download or migrate your images anymore. This was the case for me as of 1:45am PST on Thursday. I’ve been working all night on it and now I am getting 100% error when trying to syndicate and when I try to download I get the “image unavailable” window. Frustrating….Anyone else out there having any luck?

  2. Pete W at 4:08 pm

    How many times to people have to be told. Backup. Backup. Backup. Remember DRR had a period of time when it took them weeks to restore the full contents of the archives after they had a major systems failure. Don’t put all your data in one place. No disrespect to photoshelter but if you ONLY have your images on a website, you’re a fool.

  3. at 4:26 pm

    I was just wondering, what are the operational costs involved with running something like DRR? Can anyone give an estimate as to what their bandwidth and space requirements might be? I think that would be really interesting.

  4. at 6:42 am

    Perhaps now is the time for PS to step up their development and offer some of the features that made photographers choose DRR over PS in the first place. Better FTP syndication, easier management of global user/client permissions, better watermarking…. and maybe some new killer features like iTunes-esque smart albums/galleries/collections. There was a reason people chose DRR over PS in the past, it was the better platform for professional photographers. Now it’s time for PS to take the lead.

  5. Allen Murabayashi at 10:43 am

    @Propaganda: I take issue with some of your statement. First of all, our watermarking is superior. Always was. As far as “better” syndication and global user/client permissions go — these are very specific features to agencies like yours. We have many professionals who do not require these features, and who have instead, always enjoyed our much more robust, and e-commerce features (which from the start allowed for completely automated sales of prints, products, royalty-free, rights-managed, and electronic personal use). PhotoShelter has also constantly innovated at the rate of about a new feature release per quarter. No one in the space came even close. So we will absolutely look at adding these features you mentioned, but it’s a completely false statement to say that the “pros” were using DRR because of these features. I think the Pulitzer Prize winners that have been using our system would take issue with your characterization.

  6. Ramon Lepage at 6:41 pm

    During this autorescue the most important word is RETRY. I have been able to syndicate about 10000 images since lthat dreded moment on 11;59 pst. Her in Caracas it was 2;30 am from then on all syndications started working just that links keep on getting ERRORS so you have to retry until you see 100%. from all images I have not been able to see in details but in contact sheet maybe 15% of images are corrupted or incomplete. This process comes with a photo editor included.. Dont log out of DRR. I had two archives in DRR and thatks to the photo shelter during the storm I can be back on the web soon. A few months ago I wrote to DRR when the price incresed and told them that DRR had sold their soul to the devil. And I was right, our images were left in the hands of Mr. DIABLO. Greetings from Caracas

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