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Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Pioneer and Sonic Initiate Joint Licensing Program for CSS Recording

Pioneer and Sonic Solutions have begun a worldwide joint licensing program of patents and other related IP for the encryption and burning of video content to recordable DVD media for playback on DVD players.

Pioneer and Sonic have established a royalty-bearing licensing program that will be administered by Sonic under the Qflix name. The program will broadly license the companies' combined intellectual property that allows DVD recording technologies to use CSS (Content Scramble System), which is the same content protection found on commercially released DVD movies.

The essential patents and other related IP developed by Pioneer and Sonic help address the three-fold problem of how to: 1) allow consumers to legitimately download and burn video content purchased over the Internet, 2) provide security for content owners who wish to distribute premium content over the Web and allow users to record it to DVD with retail-identical copy protection, and 3) deliver the convenience and compatibility of playback on the vast majority of the nearly one billion consumer DVD players worldwide, all of which have built-in CSS support.

The Qflix patent portfolio and other associated IP relate directly to the new DVD for Download specification from the DVD Forum and the new CSS Managed Recording provisions of the CSS specification. Sonic, as Qflix license administrator, will offer licensing of those key patents and related IP. The Qflix program brings these technical initiatives to fruition by also including product and component certification to enable content owners, service providers, and manufacturers of recordable media, PC DVD writers, network-connected DVD recorders, set-top boxes, and software to create reliable, compatible, and interoperable DVD-on-Demand solutions. The program involves a broad set of services that includes detailed technical information as well as certification testing to enable media and drive manufacturers to create optical discs and drives for recording CSS- encrypted video.

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