Sony today announced that they will be licensing their MemoryStick technology to six other companies: Fujitsu, Aiwa, Sanyo, Sharp, Pioneer and Kenwood. This in an attempt not to repeat the Betamax debacle.

TOKYO (Reuters) - Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE - news), in a move to avoid a repeat of its Betamax debacle, said Thursday it will license six Japanese electronics manufacturers to make and market its nifty Memory Stick, and gadgets using the memory device.

The Memory Stick is a chewing gum-sized memory device which allows digitized video images, music or computer files to be transferred among various sorts of electronic devices.

Sony aims to popularize its newly introduced Memory Stick in the electronics industry by licensing other manufacturers to make video camcorders, digital cameras and personal computers using the data storage device.

In doing so, the world's second-largest consumer electronics maker is moving to avoid a repetition of its Betamax fiasco. Sony-developed Betamax was a rival to the VHS video format which came to dominate the global market for home videotape players and cameras after Sony failed to promote the technologically superior Betamax format by licensing the technology to other manufacturers.

The six Japanese companies to be licensed to make Memory Stick products are Fujitsu Ltd, Japan's largest computer maker, Aiwa Co Ltd, a Sony affiliate, and four leading makers of a wide range of electronic products -- Sanyo Electric Co Ltd (Nasdaq:SANYY - news), Sharp Corp, Pioneer Corp (NYSE:PIO - news) and Kenwood Corp.

This should be good news for existing and prospective F55 / F505 owners, I noted when I reviewed the F505 that Sony had already announced a 64MB MemoryStick which happily overtakes "SmartMedia".