An Old Issue Heating Back Up

Record Industry Faces Duel Over New ‘DualDiscs’

Plans to sell new hybrid CD/DVDs have hit legal and licensing snags that threaten to scuttle a mass rollout that the hard-hit music industry had been counting on to aid its recovery, people familiar with the matter said this week.

[…] DVD Plus founder Dieter Dierks claims Warner Music’s distributing and manufacturing arm, known as WEA, breached a 2000 contract in which Dierks bought the patent position for hybrid disc technology and perfected it.

That agreement called for the DVD Plus logo to be placed on the discs for a set period of time, but WEA’s manufacturing operations were later bought by Cinram International Inc. . Cinram is now making the hybrids and calling them DualDiscs for most of the labels, except for Sony.

[…] Philips Electronics, the licensor of the CD logo, also has refused to allow the hybrid discs to be sold with the logo because it doesn’t fit CD specifications, a spokeswoman for Philips said.

[…] Finally, record companies normally license content separately for different formats — cassettes, CDs, albums or DVDs. The new hybrid discs require new licensing agreements that have yet to be worked out, industry sources said.

See earlier Innovation � Just What This Market Needs on the new format and Two For the Price of Two on how hard the record companies have already worked with companies who put two copies of the same content on a CD.

Later: Wired News also carries the Reuters feed – Record Industry Duel: Disc Duos