What Does Betamax Standard (Beta) Mean?
The Betamax standard (Beta) is a legal precedent set after the Universal City Studios, Inc. et al. v. Sony Corporation of America Inc. et al., lawsuit in 1984. Under this case ruling, digital content owners were authorized to copy content to other formats for personal use. More specifically, the court ruled that under copyright law, consumers were authorized to reproduce TV shows if the recordings were for personal use. Sony was targeted in the lawsuit because the company developed and sold the Betamax brand video recording format. Universal considered this format to be a threat to the intellectual property (IP) of its TV programs.
VHS eventually replaced the Betamax recorder, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruling is known as the Betamax standard because it set the stage for future copyright laws related to IT.
The Betamax standard is also known as the Betamax case.