The Court Case That Almost Made It Illegal to Tape TV Shows has a nice story on the progress of a technology that’s sufficiently old often seems inevitable. Take the VCR. It seems like a foregone conclusion that people would be able to use them for playing *and* recording. Yet, people here in the United States almost created a reality in which recording from our televisions was not legal. In fact, the Supreme Court’s decision to allow home recording in the landmark 1984 case, Universal Studios vs. Sony Corporation of America, went 5-4; one justice flipping and you wouldn’t have to imagine that alternate reality because you’d be living it.

The story is at

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