Answer: Mr. Rogers
Today we take the recording and time shift of television for granted. Found a new show you love? Add it to the queue of your TiVo and enjoy it in your spare time. However, in the early days of home recording equipment, the legality of recording television broadcasts was threatened. The debate worked the way all the way to the US Supreme Court.
The Case Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc. popularly known as "Betamax Case", was influential to create the recordings we like today. Of all testimonies heard for the case, that of Fred Rogers, Mr. Rogers of Mr.. Rogers' Neighborhood Fame was by far the most remarkable and most resonated with both the Justices and the public. In 1979, he declared his position in court as such:
"Some public stations, like commercial stations, are programming" Neighborhood "for hours when some children can not use it. I think it's a real service for families. to be able to record such programs and show them at appropriate times. I have always known it with the advent of all this new technology that allows people to draw the "Neighborhood" outside of the air, and I speak for "Neighborhood" because that's it I am making them so much more active in the programming of the family's television life. I am really sincere about being programmed by others. My entire attitude in the broadcast has always been "You are an important person just the way you are. You can make healthy decisions. "Maybe I go for a long time, but I just feel that everything that makes a person more active in controlling his life in a healthy way is important."
The Justices considered Roger's testimony to be strong evidence, especially in the light of the 3,000,000+ family who reached Mr.. Rogers Neighborhood copyright owners and content producers were willing to allow private time shift to continue and govern in favor of the exercise. The production of Betamax devices as well as video recorders, DVD recorders, and much later, digital recorders like TiVos, all hung on the government. Next time you sit down to enjoy a show on your own terms at a time that's comfortable for you, take a moment to remember Mr. Rogers and how his influential testimony and desire to empower people to make their own choices changed the law about the country.
Image courtesy of PBS.