Industry Group Forms to Promote DVD-RW

The entertainment industry's worst worry—copyright infringement—just got a lot worse. A consortium of 12 major high-technology companies has been organized to promote a rewritable DVD technology developed by the Pioneer Electronics Corporation, according to a May 9 press release from Tokyo.

Calling itself the RW Products Promotion Initiative (RWPPI), the organization intends to "formulate promotional activities for products based on the Pioneer-developed DVD-RW disc recording format." The group will also work "to promote greater understanding of DVD-RW commercialization and marketing initiatives among member companies to encourage broad market acceptance of DVD-RW."

The RWPPI will "harmonize its activities with the DVD Forum," which has already approved formats for both the DVD-RW and DVD-RAM devices. Among the potential uses of DVD-RW are full-bandwidth copying of both DVD movies and high-resolution audio recordings.

"RWPPI will cooperate for smooth introduction of other DVD recording formats," the announcement said, "such as DVD-RAM and DVD-R, when the products become available in the consumer's market." The group will initially work out of Pioneer company offices in the Meguro area of Tokyo, under the direction of Pioneer vice president Masao Sugimoto.

Founding members of RWPPI include the following manufacturers: Fuji Photo Film, Hitachi, Maxell, Kenwood, LG Electronics, Mitsubishi Chemical, Onkyo, Pioneer, Pioneer Video, Sanyo Electronic, Sharp, Sony, TDK, and Samsung Electronics. The group will attempt to establish software specifications for the new format, as well as make connections across a wide base of industries for the growth and development of DVD-RW.