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Appeared on: Wednesday, May 15, 2002
Cinram alleges DVD royalties unfair in Matsushita lawsuit

Canadian DVD replicator Cinram International is escalating its fight with Matsushita Electric over DVD royalties, having filed an antitrust lawsuit against the DVD format co-founder in the U.S. federal court here.

The suit reportedly claims that Matsushita, a member of the DVD6C Licensing Agency, enjoys an unfair advantage in DVD replication through its Panasonic Disc Services Corp. (PDSC) subsidiary, which is regarded as exempt from the DVD6C royalty.

Matsushita sued Cinram in the same court in December 2001 for not paying the royalty. Although that lawsuit remains pending, Cinram announced in March it had reached an agreement with the DVD6C to take advantage of the group’s recently reduced royalty rates.

The DVD6C’s patent royalties for DVD-ROM discs and DVD-Video discs, which had previously been 7.5 cents (U.S.) per disc, have been reduced to 6.5 cents per disc, effective Jan. 1, 2002. The royalty per disc will further decrease to 5 cents on or after Jan. 1, 2004.

Matsushita agreed in February to sell the majority of its PDSC assets to Technicolor, a unit of fellow DVD founder Thomson Multimedia.

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