TAILIEUCHUNG - Gale Encyclopedia Of American Law 3Rd Edition Volume 9 P29

Gale Encyclopedia of American Law Volume 9 P29 fully illuminates today's leading cases, major statutes, legal terms and concepts, notable persons involved with the law, important documents and more. Legal issues are fully discussed in easy-to-understand language, including such high-profile topics as the Americans with Disabilities Act, capital punishment, domestic violence, gay and lesbian rights, physician-assisted suicide and thousands more. | 268 SONY CORP. OF AMERICA V. UNIVERSAL CITY STUDIOS retailers of Betamax VCRs and one individual Betamax owner. The district court ruled against Universal and Disney finding an implied exemption for home video recording in the 1976 Copyright Revision Act Universal City Studios Inc. v. Sony Corp. of America 480 F. Supp. 429 . Calif. 1979 . The district court also held that Sony was not a contributory infringer of the studios copyrights because it did not know that home video recording was an infringement when it manufactured and sold the VCRs. Most importantly the district court held that home video recording was a fair use of the copyrighted television programs. Universal and Disney believed that the district court was the first court to hold that copying copyrighted material for mere entertainment or convenience could be a fair use and they immediately appealed. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court holding that private home videotaping infringed on the studios copyrights Universal City Studios Inc. v. Sony Corp. of America 659 F. 2d 963 1981 . The appeals court also determined that Sony was liable to the studios for contributory infringement because it knew that Betamax VCRs would be used to reproduce copyrighted programs. The Supreme Court agreed to hear Sony s appeal. On January 17 1984 the Supreme Court announced its decision reversing the Ninth Circuit court holding that Sony had not infringed on copyrights held by Universal and Disney by manufacturing and marketing Betamax VCRs. The Court was sharply divided and both Justice john paul stevens who wrote for the majority and Justice harry a. blackmun who wrote for the dissent issued lengthy opinions. As noted earlier the Betamax case focused on two main issues 1 whether home recording of copyrighted television programs constitutes a fair use of the copyrighted material and 2 whether Sony committed contributory infringement by selling VCRs thereby enabling VCR owners to copy the .

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