TV Museum Will Die in 48 Hours Unless Sony Retracts YouTube Copyright Strikes
Rick Klein and his team have been preserving TV adverts, forgotten tapes, and decades-old TV programming for years. Now operating as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, the Museum of Classic Chicago Television has called YouTube home since 2007. However, copyright notices sent on behalf of Sony, protecting TV shows between 40 and 60 years old, could shut down the project in 48 hours.
Back then, videotape recording machines were cutting edge and a type developed by Sony was fighting for its life. Since Sony’s Betamax-format recorders were able to record TV shows, studios including Universal and Disney sought to hold Sony liable for users’ alleged copyright infringements. In 1984 the Supreme Court ultimately sided with Sony but had the decision gone the other way, the chilling effect on the video market would’ve been incalculable.
Through the prism of history, The Museum of Classic Chicago Television owes much to Sony’s win in the Betamax case; quite possibly its very existence. Like many labors of love, its beginnings were humble.
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