Blu-ray founders Panasonic, Philips, and Sony have announced plans to establish a company to be charged with managing Blu-ray licenses. The intention is to have a so-called "one-stop shop" for all hardware manufactures - however big or small to deal with, simplifying the Blu-ray licensing process.
The proposal would, Philips Sony and Panasonic say, create "a level playing field for independent and corporate manufacturers alike." Licence fees would be fixed at $9.50 for a Blu-ray player $14.00 for a recorder, $0.11 for a read-only disc, $0.12 for a recordable disc, and $0.15 for a rewritable Blu-ray. These fees would fund a "patent pool," presumably before being distributed out between the Blu-ray Disc Association's members.
According to Rosenthal: "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 it means cheaper discs, all well and good considering that, apathy aside, pricing seem sot be the main reason behind most non-adopters reluctance to enjoy the high-definition delights of Blu-ray. The new licensing scheme will come into effect mid-year, pending approval from all Blu-ray patent holders.