Now that Blu-ray has successfully crushed that young HD DVD upstart ‘neath its sizeable heel, there’s that whole messy business of streamlining the business into something workable – you know, so that you won’t need to sell off a spare kidney to buy a player and that a movie collection won’t cost you the remaining one. One idea being aired by MPEG LA, the standards and licensing group, is that there should be a single organisation set up to handle the licensing of all the many and varied patents necessary to make a proper Blu-ray product.
With the format war over, it’s time for the companies behind it to reap their rewards in royalties, with come from other companies licensing their patents. That is after all the idea of making a disc format – they certainly don’t do this stuff out of the goodness of their hearts. Naturally the same thing happens with DVD but it has been criticised for over-complicating the procedure. In order to make a DVD player or disc, manufacturers have to sign deals with three separate organisations and pay royalties to each.
The appeal of a ‘one-stop’ licensing point for Blu-ray is that it would make the manufacturing of new Blu-ray products considerably easier. That’s good for the consumers because it would make it much easier for rival manufacturers to get involved and the competition would drive down prices. More players in the market will also mean more disc sales and a chance for them to drop below their currently extortionate prices. They may even become as cheap as modern DVDs in far shorter time frame.
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