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Time Shifting

Is recording camshows to view later legal?

In short, the answer is absolutely YES!


A brief guide to time shifting

“Time shifting” is a legal term that initially referred to a recording made of broadcasts such as television programs via VHS and Betamax tapes. However, in recent years more issues related to time-shifting have emerged.

The major legal issue involved in time-shifting concerns “fair use” law and the possibility of copyright infringement. These issues were first raised in a dispute between Universal Studios in its capacity as a producer of television programming and Sony in its capacity as the manufacturer of Betamax video recorders. A 1979 Supreme Court case between the two established the foundations of time-shifting law. Universal Studios argued that the Betamax video recorder violated its copyright laws by giving consumers the right to reproduce and maintain their own copies of the programming. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Sony, a ruling which was subsequently challenged, overturned, and reversed yet again by the Supreme Court in 1984.

As a result, the right of consumers to engage in time-shifting practices for their own convenience has been established. This does not mean that consumers may record broadcasts and resell the videotapes or DVDs of these for commercial profit or gain. Rather, time-shifting law simply allows for consumers to record a program and view it at their own convenience.

The introduction of digital video recording (DVR) applications such as Tivo has also been deemed legally acceptable for consumers. However, the time-shifting law regarding the ability to skip advertisements has not yet been fully clarified. Some providers, such as satellite TV companies, have introduced DVR features allowing consumers to skip over advertising entirely when watching a program that has been recorded to their DVR. The legality of this service, for which an extra fee can be assessed, has been challenged by television broadcasters, who assert that this form of time-shifting is a violation of their copyright. As of October 2012, the law in this area remains ambiguous.

When you consider the above United States Supreme Court decision it gives you the consumer the ability to record (time-shift) videos produced online for individual use…  When you download and use “CamShow Recorder” (the software) are agreeing that you are NOT using the software for commercial use.