Trade Sony Corp

Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 464 U.S. 417 (1984), also known as the "Betamax case," is a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that ruled that making individual copies of full television programs for time shift purposes does not constitute a copyright violation, but is fair use. The Court also ruled that manufacturers of home video recorders, such as Betamax or VC video devices (referred to as VTRs in the case), could not be responsible for the violation. The case was a boon to the home video market, as it created a safe legal haven for technology. The broader legal outcome of the court's decision was to establish a general test to determine whether a device has copying or recording capabilities contrary to copyright law. This test has created some interpretive challenges for the courts in applying the case to newer file-sharing technologies available for use on home computers and on the Internet.