For those following news of Polaroid's bankruptcy : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

There was a story today that Polaroid is selling it's ID card system to Digimarc. Here is the link:

-- John Bailey (, December 03, 2001


thank god Enron wasn't interested in Polaroid.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, December 03, 2001.

Or excite@home...

-- Noshir Patel (, December 04, 2001.

My company was doing business with ID Systems division, a corporation wholly owned by Polaroid Corp. We had never done a dime's worth of business with any other division. Here's the rest of the story, as pieced together for me yesterday by the court, four law firms and Polaroid corporate.

The bankruptcy court allowed Polaroid to bundle every division into the bankruptcy filing. Then Polaroid ID Systems, Inc. is sold to the highest bidder, in this case Digimarc, the price around $56 million. Now watch carefully kiddies, here comes the trick. Digimarc gets the company and all its assets, but it doesn't owe ANYTHING to ANYONE on behalf of Polaroid ID Systems, Inc!

SURPRISE, little consulting firm! You were doing business with a profitable, wholly-owned division of a huge company, but the division was incorporated in its own right. You did good work, you invoiced for it, you got paid, life is good, right? Nope, YOU'RE DICKED! Digimarc got the company and all its assets, but all the debt (including what WAS owed to you) is gone. Digimarc could negotiate with you, but why would they. They can get another little consulting firm, if they want, that hasn't played the game yet. They certainly don't have to pay anything to us (or anyone else), and they don't have to listen to us whine about it. The honorable court says so.

So now what? Well, our "claim" is still there, bundled with all the other "unsecured creditor" claims. And someday, something may actually be paid toward it, and the court will no doubt call it "settled". Of course that's after the court costs, and that's the same court that allows this crap to go on. And that will be after fees to all the law firms. Now today I can count four of them involved, but that number will climb much higher before this epic has ended. Naturally, this is also after millions of dollars are paid in bonuses, to the mental giants who put Polaroid into a bankrupt position in the first place.

We go on about our business. Hell, we might even be able to avoid our own bankruptcy, but I'll tell you what. We are, in reality, closer to being truly bankrupt than Polaroid was. We'll work at it, and try to pay every penny owed to everyone, and hopefully we'll get it done. Also hopefully, no friendships will be destroyed over this. And, so long as there aren't too many more of these legal surprises coming, we might be able to pull this off.

Let me see if I've got this straight. I'm supposed call this judge "your honor". I don't think so. And the attorneys? These guys have sworn to uphold the law, right? Well, that's a big relief; I was beginning to think they were of no use to us. The law itself? Respect for the law, now there's an idea. This particular part of the law just isn't earning much respect though, is it? Is there a law stating that we must respect the law? Gosh, I hope the law doesn't forbid my being annoyed at all this.

The chase: We did the work. They get the work. Nobody needs to pay for it. The law says so.

Denny Malott

-- Dennis J Malott (, January 03, 2002.

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