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15 years after its creation, the DVD Forum goes into hibernation, job done

At the 55th Steering Committee meeting on 26 January, DVD Forum members decided to put their organisation into hibernation. The 100-member industry body established in 1997 to launch the DVD format will formally enter "a reduced activity mode"? from 1 April. The Forum "will be reactivated as necessary to address issues that may arise through the end of its chartered duration in August 2017."?

The 15th - and likely last - General Meeting of the DVD Forum will take place in Tokyo on 1 March. Much of its work over the past few months revolved around the restructuring and winding down of the Forum's activities. Of the two options put up for discussion - "termination" or "sleeping" - the members chose the latter.

The last official Recommendation, voted on 23 March 2011, dealt with the regional code for the Baltic Countries. The DVD Forum has received inquiries regarding the Regional Code that it recommends for DVD players and discs to be sold in the Baltic Countries (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), which joined the European Union in 2004. It recommended that DVD hardware and software to be sold in these territories be coded as either Region 2 or Region 5 or as Region 2 and 5.

In the last substantive decision, on 6 June 2011, Forum members approved the granting of "copyright and trade secret permission"? to the Chinese standards organisation for the China HD DVD Physical Format specification. This permission is conditional on format developers OMNERC and BOC "renewing the Agreement and the License Agreement with the DVD Forum and DVD FLLC respectively, under the basic terms and conditions as in the previous Agreement and License Agreement."

The DVD Forum's re-organisation sees the Steering Committee now consisting of three member companies (from 19), one from each of three industries (CE, IT and Contents), "to retain the ability to make important decisions."? The current Technical Groups (TVG and WG) will be closed. As for membership, new members (or former DVD Forum members) will pay an unchanged admission fee of ?150,000 $1,500).

Story filed 30.01.12

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