Time running out for Kodak Gallery users

June 20, 2012 8:23:01 PM PDT
In the next few days, several hundred thousand Kodak customers could temporarily lose access to the photos they have uploaded because the company is in the process of shutting down its online gallery as part of a bankruptcy reorganization.

There are things you can begin doing now to avoid losing access, but you better hurry, because time is running out.

Starting July 2, Kodak Gallery will be no more. Unless you've already opted out, all your photos will be copied over to Kodak's former rival Shutterfly. Shutterfly closed a deal on March 7 to buy Kodak's customer database.

"We're moving 5 billion photos, 10 years of personal memories and we need to do that perfectly and safely," Shutterfly General Manager Karl Wiley said.

That's expected to take several months to complete. Until then, unless you've downloaded them somewhere else, your photos will be in limbo.

"We won't know for sure until we actually start and we see how fast we can do it; but we think within two to three months we'll have everybody moved over," Wiley said.

Shutterfly says it will give priority to Kodak's most active customers. Those concerned about not having their photos have just a few more days to act.

"It's a good idea to download them now from Kodak Gallery; you have until now until July 2 to do that," PC World senior editor Tim Moynihan said.

Those that don't will no longer be able to download full resolution images of their photos. Customers were able to do that with Kodak Gallery. They won't be able to do that with Shutterfly.

"Shutterfly doesn't actually offer the ability to download your photos; you have to order a DVD archive of your pictures, starting at about $10," Moynihan said.

Kodak Gallery customers also need to know that their projects must be completed by July 2nd. Any that are not done by then will be lost. Also lost will be any slide shows put together on Kodak Gallery.

Only your personal photos will be transferred to your Shutterfly account. Photos shared by your friends will not be transferred.

"We're doing as best as we can to communicate as fully and clearly," Wiley said. "If they know for certain they're going to need a photo after July 2nd then they can simply download it from Kodak. They'll have it there. They can easily re-upload it to Shutterfly starting today anytime they want and have use of those photos on Shutterfly."

Shutterfly says starting July 2, it will post on its website a loose schedule of when each customer can expect their photos to be transferred over to Shutterfly.


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