The MEDIA-TECH Association announced the formation of a new executive committee within the Association, which will be comprised of the main independent replicators with a European presence.
The new committee is chaired by Michael Gutowski of InfoDisc in Germany ? the first independent replicator in Europe to produce Blu-ray, and founding members include Cinram, CDA, InfoDisc, kdg mediatech, MPO, and Sonopress/arvato.
The main objective of the new committee is to unite suppliers and their customers with one voice to shape the future of the optical disc industry.
"There is currently no real voice out there to promote packaged media, whether it is CD, DVD, or Blu-ray," comments Association Managing Director Bryan Ekus. "The equipment manufacturers and replicators realised that a collective voice would be of great benefit to everyone. This new committee, under the MEDIA-TECH umbrella provides a forum for everyone to get together to discuss the issues that concern everyone."
Benefits will include active participation in the industry?s centralised voice for media manufacturing; anti-trust protection under the umbrella of the MEDIA-TECH Association; a promotional tool for the optical disc industry; and the opportunity to shape the direction of industry events.
"The new committee is not aimed at replacing or undermining any existing associations, but to focus on making it easier for companies to promote and manufacture both standard and hi-def optical media, and to lower the entry bars for independents," says Ekus.
The committee aims to be the communication channel for the industry, and create events to ensure like-minded business networking and consumer awareness. In addition, it will address issues that affect the market, such as piracy and regional market barriers, and report on these findings, as well as tackling legal and technology transfer issues that impede business growth, such as AACS and the current lack of an economic plan for Blu-ray Disc royalties.
Committee Chairman Michael Gutowski adds: "Our aim is to promote the industry and raise awareness of Blu-ray and all the issues surrounding it. We want to be able to open discussions with the relevant companies and organisations to find a way to move forward on helping to level the Blu-ray playing field for the independent companies. The industry has been shrinking and it makes sense for us all to put our resources together to a common aim."