The MEDIA-TECH Association has joined the International Digital Media Alliance (IDMA, formerly known as the DVDA) led initiative, which expresses concern that the current AACS licensing fee structure might be impeding the adoption rate of the Blu-ray Disc for non Hollywood titles.
AACS is a requirement under the Blu-ray Disc specification, unlike its predecessor the DVD format, which did not have mandatory licensing agreements. With DVD, the decision was left open to the content holder as to whether to implement CSS for virtually no additional charge, or MacroVision for a fee commensurate with the quantity of discs created.
The AACS requirement has been the biggest problem faced by non-Hollywood producers because of the upfront cost, according to IDMA.
"The goal is merely to bring focus on AACS and to strongly suggest a tiered approach to licensing fees that will enable everybody to participate according to their means", stated Marianne Sernevi, President of the MEDIA-TECH Association. "Doing so will unleash the pent-up creativity of thousands of independent producers who are waiting to participate profitably in growing the Blu-ray format."
"The International Digital Media Alliance is pleased to welcome the Media-Tech Association to the growing list of associations and individuals who share our enthusiasm for the Blu-ray format, and our desire to stimulate greater Blu-ray adoption worldwide." commented Bruce Nazarian, IDMA President.
As it currently stands, to replicate a Blu-ray disc there?s a one-time AACS content fee of $3,000. The per title fee is $1,300 ($800 title fee & a $500 content certification fee) plus a $0.04 per disc fee. Then there?s the replication fee of about $2.00 for a single layer disc. Then of course the author needs to mark-up the price. When you do the math it?s about $7.00 - $8.00 per disc for a minimum run of 1,000 discs. This doesn?t include the fees to capture, compress, graphics or authoring. A simple title could cost $13,000. As a result, it is very difficult for small independent content owners to use teh Blu-ray format. BD-R duplication at this point is also not a viable option with blank discs costing $17 to $40 per disc.