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Please find below information with respect to the CD Disc joint license Agreement. Use the navigation options on the right to relevant information related to this program.
If you are a buyer of CD discs and want to ensure that you are buying licensed products, visit our special buyer page.
CD Disc Patent License Agreement
Philips offers agreements to manufacturers of CD discs that specify the terms and conditions under which manufacturers can use certain essential Philips and Sony patents for CD Discs. Please note that separate licenses are also offered by Sony under their respective patents. For information on the conditions of these separate licenses, please contact Sony directly.
Philips offers a Philips patents only license that covers the Philips patents for CD Disc. For details, click CD Disc (Philips patents only)
For the dedicated Sony License Program see : http://www.sony.net/license/
To download the document, please provide the following information.
The detailed terms and conditions of the licensing program are described in the patent license agreement that you can find in the patents/agreements section.
Some important information:
The joint CD Disc Patent License Agreement comprises the essential patents of Philips, and Sony. A worldwide list of the essential patents, together with applicable expiry dates, is attached to the agreement. Under the terms of the standard license agreement we only will require payment of royalties for patents where any of these are actually used – in other words, either in the country of manufacture or in the country of sale.
In countries where Philips and Sony do not hold essential patents, we offer a so-called Limited CD Disc License and Non-Assertion Agreement. This means that although the CD Discs manufactured are not covered by any essential patent in the country of manufacturing, such CD Discs can be imported by the licensee or any third party into other countries where one or more essential patent subsist. This is especially relevant for manufacturers based in countries where the essential patents have expired.
As the License Agreement comprises the CD-Audio, CD-ROM as well as the CD Extra format, the license provides for options, so that licensees only pay royalties in relation to the format(s) selected.
CD disc licensees have at all times the option to transfer to the latest version of the CD Disc Patent License Agreement. In the event of such transfer, Philips shall not require payment of the entrance fee under the new license agreement.
Reference copies of the current version of the Philips CD Disc Patent License Agreement, together with the relevant annexes, including worldwide patent lists, can be found in found in the patents/agreements section and the annexes section
Information CD Systems:
Philips, as co-inventor of the CD system, publishes a number of CD standard specifications, which have been co-developed with the mentioned companies. Original CD standard specifications are available from Philips only.
The CD-family started simple, with the CD Audio. Over time other formats followed. Below you find the different standards. To obtain a copy of a standard, please go to the “Ordering” section and see what conditions are applicable.
If you have questions about the systems, contact us.
CD-Audio, CD-ROM, Video CD, Specials, Optical Cards
CD-Digital Audio (Red Book)The Red Book or system description CD-Digital Audio (CD-DA) specifies the CD Digital Audio disc format including CD Graphics, CD (Extended) Graphics, CD TEXT, CD-MIDI, CD Single (8cm), CD Audio Maxi-single (12cm) and CDV Single (12cm). The description includes Main parameters, Audio specification, Disc specification, Optical stylus, Modulation system, Error correction system and the Control & Display system. (Latest version May 1999.)
System description Compact Disc Digital Audio CD Subcode/Control and Display System, Channels R-W (CD TEXT mode section 5.8). (Latest version 1.0, Sept. 1996)
Subcode Channels R-W
System description Compact Disc Digital Audio CD Subcode/Control and Display System (Channels R-W ,chapter 5). (Latest version Nov. 1991)
Enhanced Music CD (Blue book)
The Blue Book or Enhanced Music CD specification describes the Enhanced Music CD disc format. The first session of an Enhanced Music CD disc contains audio information according the Red Book. As a consequence, existing CD Audio players can playback this first Session as a CD Audio disc. The second session contains CD-ROM data files with content related to the Audio Tracks in the fist Session. The data files will in general contain items like disc and track titles, lyrics, and background information on the music. The second session will only be used by computer systems equipped with a CD-ROM drive, or by special “Enhanced Music CD players”. (Latest version 1.0, Dec. 1995)
CD-ROM (Yellow Book)
The Yellow Book specifies the CD-ROM disc format. The description includes Main parameters, Disc specification, Audio specification, Optical stylus, Modulation system, Error correction system, Control & Display system and Digital Data structure. (Latest version May 1999.)
“XA” stands for Extended Architecture: the extension of the basic capabilities of CD-ROM and a selection of elements from CD-i (interactive). The CD-ROM XA format brings data format compatibility to a large variety of multimedia applications and a bridge format between CD-ROM and CD-i for publishers. The CD-ROm XA specification is an extension of the CD-ROM specification (Latest version May 1991.)
Video CD (White Book)
The White Book or Video CD Specification (White Book) specifies the Video CD disc format enabling a playing time of more than 70 minutes of high quality audio and video programs (Latest version 2.0, April 1995.).
The Super Video CD specification specifies the Super Video CD disc format enabling Video-CD picture quality matching the quality of current Broadcasting TV. SVCD utilizes MPEG-2 technology in order to get the best image and sound quality. It adds new functions such as multi-language and flexibility for future extensions. (Latest version 1.0, May 1999.)
VIDEO CD Internet Guidelines
These guidelines are intended to specify how to link a Video CD to WWW home pages. They apply to Video CD Discs, which contains URL addresses for linking to WWW home pages. (Latest version 1.0, April 1997.)
System description Photo-CD describes a system for storing high resolution digital photographic images on CD. The system provides for the means of scanning photographic film, processing the resulting images, and recording them as a series of digitally coded images on a Photo CD disc. It employs the CD-i Bridge disc system and data structures intended for simple microcontroller-based playback devices. (Latest version 1.0, Dec 1994)
CD-i (Green Book)
The Green Book or CD-i Full Functional Specification defines the CD-i disc format. CD-i is a real interactive system delivering various qualities of video, various qualities of audio together with full user interactivity in real time. The Green Book consist of two volumes: 1. Compact Disc Interactive Full Functional Specification (Green Book) (Latest version may 1994) and 2. Microware OS/9 Technical Manual
This disc is a CD-ROM XA disc with a CD-i application program, which can be played on a CD-i player. It can be a Read Only or a CD-WO disc, a Single Session or a Multisession disc. The main part of the document specifies the CD-i Bridge disc. The appendices describe the necessary adaptations to CD-i Base Case players en to CD-ROM XA systems. (Latest version Feb 1995)
Multi Session CD (part of the Orange Book)
This document gives the general specification for Multisession discs. Both Read Only discs and finalized CD-WO Multisession discs are covered by this specification. Definitions that are related to recording on a CD-WO disc are given in the Orange Book only. (Latest version 1.0,Dec 1995)
Optical Card is a storage medium based on CD technology that looks like a credit card or business card and can be played back on most common CD players.Various disc loading mechanisms however face problems with loading and unloading optical cards. All Optical Cards should have centering elements (e.g. bumps, corners or rims) to match provisions in loader mechanisms for 80 mm CD's. Loaders without an option for 80 mm CD's are unable to handle Optical Cards. In some cases an attempt to play such Optical Card in a drive which is not suitable to handle such card may cause a repair at a service facility.
Optical Card Specifications
An Optical Card is a storage medium based on CD technology that looks like a credit card or business card and can be played back on most common CD players. Optical Card System Audio. (Latest version 1.0 September 2000.)
Optical Cards do not comply with the CD Standard. Therefore the use of the CD logo is not permitted on these products, nor on the accompanying packaging, cover booklets and/or inserts or promotional material. It is recommended to put a warning on each optical card to inform users about problems that occur with some loader mechanisms.
Optical Card System Data
An optical product with functionality similar to CD-ROM disc on a storage medium that looks like a credit card or business card and can be played back on most common CD-ROM players. (Latest version 1.0 September 2000.)
Recordable Optical Card System
An optical product with functionality similar to CD-Recordable disc on a storage medium that looks like a credit card or business card. (Latest version 1.0 April 2001.)
Optical Card Information
Various disc loading mechanisms however face problems with loading and unloading optical cards.
Patents / Agreements
Below you will find patent lists and agreements relevant for CD Disc.
CD Disc Patent lists
The essential patents and their expiry dates. Please click the link to open the PDF file.
CD-Disc/CD General part
Annex A1 Essential Philips and Sony patents for CD-Disc / CD General part
Appendix to Annex A1 Non-essential Philips and Sony patents for the CD Disc Patent License Agreement
CD-Disc/CD-ROM mode 1 part
Annex A2 Essential Philips and Sony patents for CD-Disc / CD-ROM mode 1 part
CD-Disc/CD-ROM mode 2 part
Annex A3 Essential Philips and Sony patents for CD-Disc / CD-ROM mode 2 part
CD-Disc/CD-ROM XA sub-mode 1 (mode2 form1) part
Annex A4 Essential Philips and Sony patents for CD-Disc / CD-ROM XA sub-mode 1 (mode 2 form 1) part
CD-Disc/CD-ROM XA sub-mode 2 (mode2 form2) part
Annex A5 Essential Philips and Sony patents for CD-Disc / CD-ROM XA sub-mode 2 (mode 2 form 2) part
CD-Disc/CD Extra part
Annex A6 Essential Philips and Sony patents for CD-Disc / CD Extra part
CD-Disc/CD Text part
Annex A7 Essential Philips and Sony patents for CD-Disc / CD-Text part
CD-Disc/CD Extra Video part
Annex A8 Essential Philips and Sony patents for CD-Disc / CD Extra Video part
+ Link to change history of patent lists
Reference copies of the CD Disc Patent License Agreement. Please click the link to open the PDF file.
These versions are intended for prospective licensees:
CD Disc Patent License Agreement
+ Manufacturer located in U.S.A
CD Disc Patent License Agreement (Philips/Sony) - USA -
+ Manufacturer located in Rest of the World
CD Disc Patent License Agreement (Philips/Sony) - Rest of the World –
Letter Agreement to the CD Disc Patent License Agreement
To view Royalty Reporting Forms, Audit Guidelines, Manufacturing Equipment list and Side Letters go to section Annexes
Manufacturing Equipment List
Annex B3 - Manufacturing Equipment List
The royalty rate is determined by one key factor:
1) Status of the licensee
If the company fulfills certain conditions, such as complete, true and accurate reporting and timely payment, reward rates are available. Otherwise the standard rate applies.
Note of caution
Compliance reward royalty rates are only made available to licensees who are in FULL compliance with their obligations under the license agreement
The royalty rate is specified in the agreement and listed below :
JOINT Standard rate
|JOINT Compliant reward rate|
|CD-Audio/ROM Disc 12cm||0.0300 USD||0.0175 USD|
|0.0200 USD||0.0115 USD|
|CD-Audio Maxi Single||0.0270 USD||0.0155 USD|
|CD-Extra 12 cm||0.0450 USD||0.0175 USD|
|CD-Extra 8 cm||0.0300 USD||0.0115 USD|
|Optical Card (prerecorded)||0.0200 USD||0.0115 USD|
- In a large number of countries, certain CD-Disc patents have expired. Contact us for the latest update and implication.
- For clarification of CD-Audio, CD-ROM, Optical Card and CD-Extra definitions, contact us.
Overview of royalty rates
+ link to overview of royalty rates
Services / Information
Ordering & Services:
We provide a number of services for optical disc and drive manufacturers. These include:
· Specification documents
. Ordering specifications
. Ordering Information Agreements
For more information go to the Ordering & Services section
Are you a buyer?
Please visit our special buyer page.
Are there special CD Disc Measurement Methods?
Yes, CD Reference Measurement Methods are described in a special document. This document defines the most important technical parameters influencing the measurement results of CD parameters. It specifies the characteristics of the basic player components and the measuring methods that should be applied. The purpose of this document is to avoid player type dependent influences as well as to make the measured values influenced by as few as possible other parameters. (Latest version 1.1, Dec 2002) In the relevant partners only section this document is available for download.
Are there related publications or links of other organizations?
Yes, the following organizations have published on the CD Standards: IEC, ISO, ECMA & OSTA.
IEC 60856: Prerecorded optical reflective videodisk system (PAL).
IEC 60857: Prerecorded optical reflective videodisk system (NTSC).
IEC 60908: Compact disc digital audio system. This document including amendments approximates the Philips-Sony Red Book.
IEC 60958: Digital audio interface.
IEC 61096: Methods of measuring the characteristics of reproducing equipment for digital audio compact discs.
IEC 61104: Compact Disc Video System, 12 cm (CDV Single).
+ ISO/IEC 9660 (or ECMA 119): Information Technology - Volume and file structure of CD-ROM for information interchange.
+ ISO/IEC 10149 (or ECMA 130): Information Technology - Data interchange of read-only 120 mm optical data disks (CD-ROM). This document including amendments approximates the Philips-Sony Yellow Book.
+ ISO 13346 (or ECMA 167): Information Technology - Volume and file structure of write once and rewritable media using non-sequential recording for information interchange.
+ UDF: Universal Disc Specification. Optical Storage Technology Association.
What is the SID code?
The CD replication industry developed a code system (SID code also known as IFPI code) to be employed by CD, DVD & SA-CD manufacturing plants to identify all discs mastered and/or replicated in their plant. Each CD-, DVD- and SA-CD manufacturing facility around the world has their own unique code and this enables the music industry to trace the origin of CDs.
The Source IDentification Code (SID Code) provides an optical disc production facility with the means to identify:
- all discs mastered and/or replicated in its plant;
- and the individual Laser Beam Recorder (LBR) signal processor or mould that produced a particular stamper or disc.
Each production facility that wishes to implement the use of the SID Code is issued with its own unique code(s). The SID Code was developed for use with the CD format, but is now being used for both CD and High Density disc formats, including DVD and Super Audio CD.
The SID Code was developed jointly by rights owners and the optical disc industry, primarily as an anti-piracy tool. However, since its introduction in 1994, the SID Code has proved a major benefit to optical disc producers. Its use both as a quality control tool and as a marketing tool has ensured that the SID Code, which was introduced on a purely voluntary basis, has now been implemented in over 80% of the world’s optical disc plants, representing over 90% of worldwide optical disc manufacturing capacity.
Link to IFPI
Document: SID code implementation guide
Document: Application form SID code
Document: Good Business Practices for optical disc mastering & manufacturing plants
Does Philips provide Formatters for mastering systems?
Yes. For info go to our Mastering/Analyzers page
Information and contact
General Licensing information
This document explains our main principles for administering licensing programs related to CD, DVD and Blu-ray Disc. This document is for information purposes only.