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30 years since the 'Betamax' case

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Andrew Kimery
30 years since the 'Betamax' case
on Jan 25, 2014 at 1:49:19 am
Last Edited By Andrew Kimery on Jan 25, 2014 at 1:50:54 am

Ars Technica posted a nice write up about the history of the Betamax case which turned 30 last week ( Rewinding to Betamax: The path to consumers’ “right to record”). Certainly a watershed event for consumers (paving the way for the DVRs that would come a couple decades later) but also a boon for the industry that so vigorously tried to shut down the fledgling technology.

The industry might get the last laugh though. The passing of the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) in '98 made it a crime to defeat copy protection (which content distributors have used to basically do an end run around the precedent set in the Betamax case) and as we move into an always connected age of streaming media what we buy (or rent) resides on someone else's servers instead a shelf in the living room. Certainly pros and cons to each situation but in another 50 years the Betamax case might be as relevant as the VCRs are today.

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