CD Disc (Joint)

Detailed Description

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 Audio

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

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

CD-i Bridge
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 Cards

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.

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