Think we have it bad today? RIAA and MPAA have been long at it.

By Andrew Davidson
on July 14, 2010

Scanned off the back of a blank VHS tape cover from before 1984, when federal law was still being determined when it came to 'fair-use'. This VHS tape manufacturer (removed from this image) went so far as to inform the intended use of it's tapes. Just below, the except from the back that's most interesting, carefully hand-typed for your search engine enjoyment:

WARNING: One Federal Court has held that recording copyrighted T.V. programs is infringement. Such programs should not be recorded.

How do I know this blank tape was manufactured before 1984?

On Jan. 17, 1984, The Supreme Court ruled, 5-4, that the noncommercial home use of video cassette recorders did not violate the federal Copyright Act of 1976. The Supreme Court's decision in the case of Sony v. Universal City Studios, involving the home use of video recorders and the federal copyright law, determined that the former did not infringe on the latter as long as the copied material was not used for profit. This case is critical in that the Supreme Court was reversing a 1981 ruling by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, hence the warning above.