Fundamentally, you can't fool Mother Nature in computers, either - Andy Grove - Only the Paranoid Survive
WHEN STEVE JOBS DESCRIBED BLU-RAY LICENSING as "A bag of hurt" recently, he obviously touched a nerve amongst the format's patent holders and licensees.
Despite winning the format war and consigning HD DVD to the Betamax bargain bin of tech history, Blu-ray hasn't exactly set the world alight. Sales have been dissapointing and low levels of early adoption have meant prices just haven't fallen rapidly enough to drive more mainstream consumer interest.
But a consortium of interested parties are now putting their heads together in order to take some of the pain out of Blu-ray licensing.
Panasonic, Philips and Sony are currently working with Blu-ray patent holders in order to set up a 'one-stop shop' for anyone wishing to use the technology.
Gerald Rosenthal, once a bigshot in IP at IBM, is fronting the the programme which will launch sometime in mid 2009 assuming, that is, all of the patent holders are willing to play ball.
"By establishing a new licensing entity that offers a single license for Blu-ray Disc products at attractive rates," said Rosenthal, "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."
It's proposed that hardware manufacturers would be charged a flat licensing fee of $9.50 to install a player and $14.00 for a recorder. Disc makers would have to cough up 11 cents for a read-only, 12 cents for a recordable and 15 cents for a rewritable.
The cash would then be split between the various owners using complicated and undisclosed mathematical voodoo. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ