Ecma International has published on their public website for unrestricted download a standard with the aim of providing the test method for single storage lifetime estimation at ambient storage conditions for both CDs and DVDs.
ECMA-396 1st edition - Test Method for the Estimation of Lifetime of
Optical Media for Long-term Data Storage.
The problem is well known. More and more data is produced with long-term
preservation needs, such as business data, documents, music, photos, films
etc. that has to be kept for future use on archival media, such as CDs and
DVDs. However, after several years of storage under different conditions
one may find with horror that this archival data cannot be read any more
and becomes useless. Unfortunately there are cases when the optical
storage medium chosen is not designed for long-term preservation use, and
the storage lifetime is much shorter than expected.
ECMA's standards offer a way to estimate in advance the storage lifetime
of optical media. For example Ecma International has a standard ECMA-379
(also approved as ISO/IEC 10995), however this standard only allows for
the storage lifetime estimation of DVD discs. Very often, however, the
requirement is much broader, one wants to use a single method for the
storage lifetime estimation of both CD and DVD. ECMA-396 fulfills that
need. The new standard contains an intelligent combination of the
measuring points from the ECMA-379 (ISO/IEC 10995) and ISO 18927 standards
and a new data analysis method for lifetime estimation. This new standard
has been developed by Ecma International in cooperation with JWG 1
established under JTC 1/SC 23 (members: SC 23, ISO/TC 42 and TC 171).