Kodak News; May 7-11

History in the making…

A press release from the drupa printing convention in Dusseldorf says that Kodak’s digital technology will help to modernize digital document printing systems and increase value for the Sociedad del Estado Casa de Moneda (Society of the State Mint), the printing site of the Argentine government. Digital capabilities will improve the print production of security transactional documents like lottery tickets, catalogs, and other applications.

I got a notice from Kodak on Monday that their Kodak Gallery website will be shutting down on July 2nd. That is a result of the sale to Shutterfly. If you have photos on Kodak Gallery and don’t want to have them transferred to Shutterfly than you can “opt out”  but that has to be done before May 28th. Then you would have to download the photos from Kodak or spend some money to create a DVD of photos from Kodak. In June, you will get an email with instructions for linking the Kodak account to an existing Shutterfly account. If you wait until July 2nd then a new Shutterfly account will be created. Kodak has been saying that there were 75 million users on Kodak Gallery but in fact only about 2 million users are active users. The rest of the users, me included, are inactive. According to various estimates, there are currently 5 to 9 billion photos on the Kodak Gallery website.

Also this week the Bankruptcy Judge in NYC allowed a lawsuit from Kodak against Shutterfly to go forward. Kodak has said that Shutterfly infringed of some of their patents. That case probably won’t start trial until 2013 at the earliest.

Kodak has lost a supplier for ink, Collins Ink Co. of Ohio. Those inks are used on the high end commercial printing systems that Kodak is staking their future on. Kodak is increasing internal ink production to offset the loss of ink from Collins.

The NY State Senate passed a bill on Tuesday, sponsored by Senator Joe Robach of Greece, that would create a health insurance program to cover Kodak  retirees. The bill would cover the gap in insurance coverage for retirees under age 65. Then it was discovered that the wording of the bill said that the coverage would have to come from a Monroe County based insurance provider. The only insurer based in the county is Excellus. Other insurers have complained that they are being left out. The bill is on its way to the State Assembly where Assemblyman Joe Morelle says that it won’t pass without amendments allowing other insurers a chance to bid on the coverage.

Cinesite Ltd (UK), a division of Kodak, is being sold to the private equity firm Endless LLP for an undisclosed sum. Cinesite creates special effects. Some of the movies that they assisted on are Titanic, X-Men: First Class and all the Harry Potter movies. For TV, Cinesite worked on Band of Brothers, Rome and Into the Storm. The exiting management team at Cinesite will remain with the company.