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Philips’ Interim Blu-ray Disc License

The MEDIA-TECH Association issued a statement to help explain Philips Electronics’ latest interim license program for Blu-ray Disc replicators.

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Unedited press release follows:

The Philips interim Blu-ray Licence explained

There are concerns in the media manufacturing industry that the high costs and confusing structure of royalties and licence fees for Blu-ray Disc manufacture are inhibiting investment in the format. The MEDIA-TECH Association, along with its Replicators Committee, has been addressing these issues, and seeking improvement and clarification directly from the patent holders. Philips attended a recent Committee meeting to explain directly to the replication community how the structure of its own interim fee works.

Industry experts have long indicated that the lack of a unified fee structure for Blu-ray Disc manufacture was a distinct handicap for development of the Blu-ray Disc market. Following dialogue between patent holders and the media manufacturing sector, a single ‘patent pool’ licence is expected soon. Fees that will be payable within the Blu-ray Disc manufacturing sector include the following:

* Patent License, a Joint Agreement from the One Blu pool, which is to be finalised
* Formatter Reseller Agreement (Components, Mastering) from Philips, to be finalised
* Patent License, a Philips-only Agreement, now available
* BD ROM Mark Agreements/keys, from Philips, now available
* Source Identification, or SID Code (IFPI)
* Specifications (Blu-ray Disc Association)
* Format and Logo License Agreement (Blu-ray Disc Association)
* Logo Guide and Artwork (Blu-ray Disc Association)Disc Manufacturer ID, or MID Code (Blu-ray Disc Association)

The Philips Interim Patent License Agreement is valid with immediate effect until 31 December 2010 at a cost of €25,000. The fee structure will now be given in euros, rather than US dollars, as that has shown greater stability lately.

Of the total fee, €10,000 is payable after execution of the licence, and the remainder of €15,000 EU must be paid by 31 December 2010. If replicators have already begun manufacturing Blu-ray Discs, they will receive a 50% discount on discs manufactured before 1 April 2009.

The royalty rate for BD-ROM discs will be €0.04 but is creditable against the joint royalty rate once that has been implemented, subject to some obligations. These include compliance; a written request to switch from the Philips-only to the One Blu agreement within 90 days of notification; and the signing of a side letter.

Presentations such as this, from fee-collecting bodies, industry analysts, and technical experts, are at the core of the MEDIA-TECH Association industry events. Next year’s event will include a Blu-ray Disc Academy, with detailed insights into treading through the potential minefields of Blu-ray Disc manufacture and reaching the goal of successful and profitable production.

MEDIA-TECH Global Expo and Summit is the best single-source opportunity to have this access and commensurate networking. Across three days, May 19-21, 2010, over 2000 professionals will be on hand at MEDIA-TECH Global Expo and Summit to discuss your specific requirements, and offer tailored support and advice.

MEDIA-TECH Global Expo and Summit will be held May 19-21, 2010, at the Forum at the Messe Frankfurt Exhibition Center, Frankfurt, Germany