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LEADERS OF SEVEN MAJOR INDUSTRIES DRIVING CONVERGENCE AND NATIONAL DIGITAL HIGHWAY TO MEET AT IMA CONVERGENCE FORUM

 ANNAPOLIS, Md., Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Leaders of seven major industries who are driving the development of the national digital information highway will be meeting in early 1994 through the Interactive Multimedia Association's (IMA) second "Convergence Forum," organizers announced today. The first forum was held June 2 and 3, 1993, in Boulder, Colo. Senior business and technical management from the cable television, telecommunications, computer, consumer electronics, publishing, broadcast and film industries are meeting to discuss the major business, technology and policy issues needing to be resolved to help make the Information Highway a reality.
 The Convergence Forum is spearheaded by IMA board member Philip Corman, corporate manager, Interactive Video Services, Digital Equipment Corp. and will address a number of key issues in the industry, including:
 -- Cross-industry cooperation on policy, patent and regulatory issues. The IMA's goal is to foster industry cooperation with the appropriate government agencies to develop strong policies that support the emergence of the Information Highway. The forum will also include discussions regarding competitiveness, cost-effectiveness, public access, patents and copyright/licensing.
 -- Technical issues which will facilitate the convergence of the various industries.
 -- Major requirements and obstacles confronting publishers and information providers which may limit the delivery of interactive programming and content over interactive video services (such as interactive TV). These topics include the protection of assets in a networked environment (avoiding piracy), cost-effective creation of content (combining text, video, photos and graphics is often expensive and very time-consuming), and securing the timely delivery of content to users.
 "The IMA Convergence Forum is a unique initiative that serves as a productive meeting ground for the diverse industries that will play a major role in the development of future new technologies," said Corman. "In addition to our role in bringing together industries, we're also heavily involved with setting up a productive partnership with appropriate governmental agencies to ensure open discussion of the issues, fairness, competitiveness and cost-effectiveness."
 "Because this convergence of technology and industries includes so many critical businesses, and is closely tied to current White House administration goals, the issues that arise dwarf all previous issues facing these industries separately," Corman said.
 Companies and organizations that participated in the first Convergence Forum included representatives from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), Public Broadcast Systems (PBS), National Broadcasting Co. (NBC), McGraw-Hill, Time Warner, Continental Cable, Cable Labs, US West, Ameritech, Panasonic, Phillips, Mitsubishi, Microsoft, Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC), Apple Computer, Kaleida, Sun and Intel.
 The IMA expects to announce the exact date and location of the second meeting of the Convergence Forum later this month.
 The Interactive Multimedia Association is an international trade association with more than 260 member companies and organizations representing all areas of the multimedia industry. Its mission is to promote the development of interactive multimedia applications and reduce existing barriers to the widespread use of multimedia technology.
 For a copy of the Convergence Forum White Paper from the first Convergence Forum or for more information about the forum or the IMA, contact David Kaufer, Kaufer Miller Communications at 206-450-9965.
 -0- 11/10/93
 /CONTACT: Leslie Gibbons-Neff of IMA, 410-626-1380; or David Kaufer of Kaufer Miller Communications, 206-450-9965, for IMA/


CO: Interactive Multimedia Association ST: Colorado IN: SU:

JH-IC -- SE006 -- 2644 11/10/93 09:50 EST
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Date:Nov 10, 1993
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