HISTORY - HRONOLOGY
The 80’s saw a landmark victory for consumers’ rights in the courts, but the site of battle switched to Congress, with a decade-long campaign to restrict home recording practices through attempted changes in copyright law.
Oct 1981 On appeal, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reverses the District Court ruling, holding that home videotaping from TV broadcasts constitutes copyright infringement.
Nov 1981 The Home Recording Rights Coalition is formed to preserve consumers’ rights to record and to share in the benefits of technological advances.
Dec 1981 Senator Mathias introduces an amendment to S.1748 requiring manufacturers of video recorders and blank tapes to pay a royalty tax on each machine and tape sold.
Feb 1982 Representative Edwards introduces H.R.5705, the House version of the Mathias legislation.
Mar 1982 H.R.5705 and S.1758 are amended to include audio recorders and blank audio tape at the request of the Recording Industry Association of America. The U.S. Supreme Court is petitioned to resolve the home videotaping question.
Jan 1983 Senator Mathias and Representative Edwards reintroduce royalty tax legislation on home video and audio taping. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Sony v. Universal.
Jan 1984 The U.S. Supreme Court rules that private home video taping does not constitute copyright infringement.
Oct 1985 Senator Mathias introduces S.1739, the Home Audio Recording Act.
Aug 1986 As an alternative to royalty taxes, inclusion of an anti-taping "Copy-Code" chip is proposed for digital audio recorders.
Sept 1986 Senator Danforth introduces a bill to impose a 35% tariff on imported digital audio tape (DAT) recorders without Copy-Code chips.
Feb 1987 Senator Gore introduces S.506, requiring the Copy-Code system in all DAT recorders. The Omnibus Trade Bill is amended to prohibit sale of DAT recorders without anti-taping chips. The amendment is passed by the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee.
Mar 1988 National Bureau of Standards releases test results showing that Copy-Code system doesn’t work and degrades music. Recording industry drops Copy-Code proposal but threatens lawsuit against manufacturers of DAT machines.
July 1989 Electronic Industries Association and Recording Industry Association of America announce worldwide hardware/software industry agreement to seek legislation in U.S. Congress and in other governments on DAT recorders.
Oct 1989 U.S. Office of Technology Assessment releases report to Congress that vindicates home music taping.