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Warner Brothers joins Blu-ray License Group

Warner Brothers' packed entertainment division, Warner Home Video, confirmed on March 8 that it will become part of a new global Blu-ray Disc joint patent licensing program. The program is designed for makers of Blu-ray players and Blu-ray/DVD hybrid discs, as well as Blu-ray related products.

The consortium, to be known as the BD4C Licensing Group, currently includes Mitsubishi, Thomson Licensing (part of the newly named Technicolor group which has a replication pact with Warner) and Toshiba. BD4C 's primary goal will be to serve as a one-stop, cost-effective entity to maintain and oversee the patents owned (or controlled) by the four companies — which vow to comply with specs put forth by the Blu-ray Disc Association.

According to the association, BD4C royalties typically amount to four cents for each Blu-ray Disc sold, eight cents per Blu-ray/DVD hybrid disc, and $4.50 per Blu-ray player sold.

Perhaps the most noteworthy BD4C member is Toshiba, which had been the chief proponent for the HD DVD standard which was ultimately overcome by Sony's Blu-ray.