Replicators Committee of European Optical Disc Producers Proposes Improved Blu-ray Disc Promotion

Berlin, (PresseBox) - Within the MEDIA-TECH Association the Replicators Committee of optical disc producers was founded in May. The members of this group met for the second time in Berlin to discuss goals and problems and to come up with solutions.

The primary goal of the committee is to promote the interests of the Blu-ray Disc producers. Amongst others, uncertain licensing issues and high additional costs are currently distorting competition. Another very important aspect of the market is the very high share and the sales policy of Sony DADC in terms of the Blu-ray Disc production. According to information provided by industries leading market research institutes, Sony DADC's global market share amounts to 94-95 %.This quasi-monopoly threatens the entire market, the independent disc producers and even the Blu-ray format itself.

Many independent producers in Europe have invested in Blu-Ray technology and feel trapped. The reason is that the Japanese media group is a licensor and a replicator/competitor at the same time. The optical disc industry employ about 30,000 people in Europe, and up to 10.000 in Germany alone. Today's market situation is threatening these jobs.

The Replicators Committee suggest the following:

- To intensify the marketing activities, initiate extensive information and introduction campaigns for Blu-ray in Europe, and the US. Many consumers are still unaware of the difference between the traditional DVD and the new Blu-ray.
- For the independent content holders the production of Blu-ray Discs should be simplified and existing barriers reduced.
- Additional costs such as mandatory AACS copy protection fees and also the Blu-ray licensing fees should be reduced further. The owner of the content (e.g. movies) should be able to decide independently to use the AACS copy protection program or not.
- Improved market transparency and diversity in disc production as well as fair opportunities in terms of competition.

However, in the meantime the replicators lack the patience and also the money to simply wait for turnaround in this direction. They are discussing to call the watchdogs' attention to their dilemma.

Further information: The "Replicators Committee" is a panel of the MEDIA-TECH Association. It was established in spring 2009 and aims to act as a representative for the industry, to promote discussions within the network and to inform about topics such as copy protection as well as market impediments. One of the predominant, current issues is the lack of a license agreement for the use of the Blu-ray technology.

Amongst the founding members of the "Replicators Committee" are key independent companies with production facilities in Europe.

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