On October 21, 1981, a Federal Appeals Court ruled that it was illegal to sell the "Betamax" VCR to consumers. The next day, a group of consumer activists, consumer electronics manufacturers, retailers, and other concerned citizens formed the Home Recording Rights Coalition (HRRC).
Although the "Betamax decision
" was reversed in 1984 by a 5-to-4 vote of the U.S. Supreme Court, the HRRC has had to fight many more battles—to protect consumer interests in movie rental, digital audio recorders, and, now, digital video
and the threat of criminal penalties
for home recording.