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Blu-ray Founders Working on One-Stop Blu-ray Licensing

Posted February 25, 2009 08:50 AM by Josh Dreuth

Blu-ray DiscPanasonic, Philips, and Sony are currently working with Blu-ray Disc patent holders in order to create a "one-stop shop" for Blu-ray player and disc licensing. The new company, which would be led by former head of IP at IBM Mr. Gerald Rosenthal, would be based in the United States with satellite offices in Asia, Europe, and Latin America.

Mr. Rosenthal commented, "By establishing a new licensing entity that offers a single license for Blu-ray Disc products at attractive rates, I am confident that it will foster the growth of the Blu-ray Disc market and serve the interest of all companies participating in this market, be it as licensee or licensor."

If all patent holders agree, those looking to produce Blu-ray Disc products would be charged a flat fee which would then fund a patent pool. Hardware manufacturers would be charged $9.50 for a Blu-ray Disc player and $14.00 for a recorder. Disc manufacturers would be charged $0.11 for a read-only disc, $0.12 for a recordable disc, and $0.15 for a rewritable Blu-ray disc.

When the program launches (currently scheduled for mid-2009, pending approval), the companies sees this a creating a level playing field for independent and corporate manufacturers alike.

Source: | Permalink | Australia Canada France Germany Hong Kong Japan South Korea United Kingdom United States [Country settings]

News comments (11 comments)

  Feb 25, 2009
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Hopefully this will drive down the cost of recorders and recordable discs - I for one would love to be able to use BD-Rs instead of Dual layer DVDS to back up data - I could cram alot of info onto a 50 gig disc....

Top reviewer
  Feb 25, 2009
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This sounds cool. I want to be a filmmaker who would want to put my movies on Blu (granted, I wouldn't try to put a movie taped at SD on a Blu), so this is pretty cool. Plus, like Rustmonkey said, it might finally bring prices down, not only for recorders and blank BD-Rs, but BD movies.
  Feb 25, 2009
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This is almost certainly a response (aka problem fix) to Steve Jobs (CEO Apple, LLC) statement about licensing being a "Bag of hurt". Although there are probably other companies that feel the same way.
A single license from a single entity has got to be easier to deal with than 10 different companies.

Bobby Henderson
  Feb 25, 2009
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I would like to know how those licensing costs compare to the licensing costs of mass producing DVD player/recorder hardware and media.

$9.50 - $14 licensing costs per player or recorder seems like a pretty significant chunk as overall prices of players and recorders continue to fall. It could make it more difficult for things like standalone BD players or BD-RW burner drives to fall below $100 price points.

  Feb 25, 2009
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Never was a problem, just an excuse(Jobs).
Since there are other computer manufacturers out there that didn't balk at the previous charges and pushed out BD machines anyways, Jobs was just trying to guard his gravy train - iTunes.
Apple is on the BDA Board, right?

*Maybe* now Macs will start getting BD drives... No?

  Feb 25, 2009
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Sounds awesome. Hopefully prices will go down.
  Feb 25, 2009
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hopefully this will lower the cost of a BD movie

  Feb 25, 2009
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First its nice to see Panasonic, Sony and Philips working with the blu ray patent holders maybe this will help lower the costs of blu ray discs themselves? Hopefully it will.

  Feb 26, 2009
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Nice, will someone please make a bluray player that you can shut off or stop the movie, and it starts at the same spot when you go resume= for all movies. That would be priceless, so much aggravation using bookmarks, even worse when no bookmarks available.
  Feb 26, 2009
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Well, this one-stop shop for movie liscencing will be great for the smaller studios. the big boys can just negotiate with all parties needed and still get decent pricing just b/c they are big customers. But this is great, b/c now we'll start to see more smaller studios get in on the high def action!
  Feb 26, 2009
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If we ever expect to see high resolution surround audio releases on Blu Ray, the licensing costs will need to come way way down to make it practical to do.

In the meantime DVD-Audio works just fine thank you. How soon people forget.

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