It was 35-years ago today–back in 1975– that consumer video cassette recorders hit the market, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. "At its peak, some nine-out- of-10 households across the country had a VCR," according to the site.
If you aren’t familiar with the legal history of the VCR, you should take a few minutes to check it out. It’s fascinating. Universal sued Sony, maker of the Betamax VCR for copyright infringement, and had won its case at the appeals court level.
Thus the battle went to the U.S. Supreme Court. A good Wikipedia entry tells how the court was all set to affirm the appeals court and how the case got turned around. And here’sa link to the decision itself, which is well worth reading if you have any connection or interest in entertainment content.
And, of course, as it turned out, by losing the case the studios have made billions of dollars in the selling of movies and TV shows in the home entertainment marketplace.