The group behind the Blu-ray high-definition video disc standard has finalised the first-generation version of several formats and is ready to begin licensing, it confirmed at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

The Blu-ray Disc Association said it has begun offering licences for BD-ROM, the read-only version of the format, the BD-R recordable format and version 2.0 of the BD-RW rewritable format.

With the completion of the format licence the stage is almost set for the launch of Blu-ray. The final piece of the puzzle will be the copyright management system, said Andy Parsons, a senior vice president of Pioneer's product development and technical support unit, in an interview.

The system is being developed by a group of companies as the AACS (Advanced Access Content System). The companies behind AACS include IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. (Panasonic), Sony, Toshiba, Walt Disney and Warner Bros.