Great article ! http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2002103322_cdman29.html Scientist's invention was let go for a song By Brier Dudley, Seattle Times technology reporter Consumers will spend billions this holiday season on CDs, DVDs and machines to record and play the ubiquitous silver discs. But the inventor of the underlying technology won't make a cent. Jim Russell, a retired scientist in Bellevue, can only shrug, shake his head and tell his story. PACIFIC NORTHWEST NATIONAL LABORATORY, CIRCA 1976 Jim Russell works with an early laboratory prototype of what was to become the modern-day CD and DVD players. Getting it on disc, Jim Russell's optical-digital recording work: 1953: Russell joins General Electric as a physicist at Hanford, where he developed several instrumentation systems, the first computerized-control system for a nuclear reactor and the first electron-beam welder. 1965: Joins Battelle at Richland and begins developing the first of three optical data-storage technologies. 1966: The first of a series of 25 patents is filed. 1973: Designs and builds first prototype. 1974: Technology demonstrated to potential licensees, including Sony and Philips. 1979: Sony and Philips begin joint development of digital audio disc. 1980: Digital Recording established to develop technology. 1982: Sony begins CD production. 1985: Digital Recording goes out of business; assets sold to Optical Recording in Toronto, which hires Russell. 1987: Russell's contract with Optical Recording ends; he becomes independent consultant and inventor. 1988: Optical Recording settles patent case with Sony and Philips. 2004: More than 35 million CD players and 25 million DVD players sold. Sources: Jim Russell, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Battelle), Sony, Consumer Electronics Association HARLEY SOLTES / THE SEATTLE TIMES Jim Russell, now retired in Bellevue, developed an early form of the compact disc and DVD when he was an engineer at Battelle. The glass plate Russell is holding was used to record a soap opera off television in 1974.