The Supreme Court ruled that videotaping a movie from television to watch later was not an infringement of copyright because of the following reasons. According to the fair use doctrine, as long as the material used was not meant for profit, then there is no infringement of copyright law. Sony Corporation manufactured blank tapes, which were used for the recording of television movies. Universal Studios argued that Betamax violated their property rights, and reduced their returns, but the Supreme Court indicated that copyright laws applied to copyright materials used for commercial purposes.
Home taping was classified in the fair use doctrine, which permitted the use of copyrighted materials. Home tapers record television programs to watch later and are identified to be regular viewers, which works to the advantage of media companies because they earn revenues from advertisements that come from these regular viewers. Since television networks earn revenues from advertisers that come from regular viewers, who boost their competence, they should not complain that they have been denied profits.
Some programs come on televisions when people are busy. Some may be on duty or attending to serious issues that may not allow watching the program. Television airs the program on tight schedules whereby one cannot afford to miss the episode. Such people because they are regular viewers of the episode on the network can tape the movie, and watch it later during their free time. The above information indicates the reason that made the court rule that videotaping was not an infringement of copyright law.