Sunday, March 22, 2009

Kodak to customers: We have your children. Send money now.

You sent your children's images to Kodak. They've been happy frolicking there, free of all charges.

You didn't listen to mad Uncle Gordon and his "data lock" ravings.

Now Kodak has the children, and if you ever want to see them again you'll send money now ...
TidBITS Tech News: Kodak Gallery Joins Parade of Free with Payment Services

... Kodak Gallery (originally Ofoto and later Kodak EasyShare Gallery) becomes the latest firm to make this seemingly sensible move. The online photo-sharing and print-ordering service has no limits on the size of photos uploaded (it notes that 10 MB is the highest size beyond which improved print detail won't be seen), nor on what you store. (Sadly, the service also dropped its film processing service that combined photofinishing and digital scanning.)

In the past, photos were stored by Kodak indefinitely at no charge. Now, Kodak has imposed the equivalent of a yearly service fee made through a purchase. Storage is free for 90 days after creation of an account. For accounts with less than 2 GB of stored photos, you must spend at least $4.99 over 12 months; more than 2 GB, $19.99....

There would be two ways to do this honorably.

Kodak could institute the policy only on new photos, but that wouldn't bring in much revenue.

Alternatively, Kodak could add the ability to transfer an entire photo library, with comments, titles, album names and other metadata to any "standards compliant" rival, such as Google's Picasa Web albums. Of course Picasa already charges for storage (I pay), but that's a healthy market with competition.

At the very least, and it's not enough, Kodak could provide a way to ship an entire Library, with all metadata, on one or more DVDs (for a reasonable fee).

They're not doing any of those things though.

They got your (virtual) children by offering free "child" care. Now, if you want the little tykes to keep breathing, you pay.

That's one way data lock can work.

Try to remember. Support Google's Data Liberation Front.

1 comment:

Kingsly Theodar said...

I know a way to free your children. You could download all your photos from KodakGallery, in an automated manner, in original quality, by following the steps given in my blog.