And they may well have a point: Theft is theft, and who's going to actually pay for the programming if they can get it for free? For the first time in history, people are capable of recording and sharing video ripped straight from the very bosom of Sweet Lady Television herself, like some sort of Video Recording Device that is hitherto unprecedented in the history of- waaait a second...
Home-use VCRs were available as far back as 1963, but didn't catch on until mass-production dropped the price in the late 1970s. In an almost unrelated note: Shortly afterwards Jack Valenti, head of the MPAA, completely lost his s**t.
Appearing before Congress--flecks of spittle presumably slinging from his red, swollen face and melting caustic holes into the floor--he proceeded to proclaim in all seriousness that "...the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone." He then gave this stump speech that is either the most insane or the most awesome that ever happened in Congress:
"This is more than a tidal wave. It is more than an avalanche. It is here. Now, that is where the problem is...We are going to bleed and bleed and hemorrhage, unless this Congress at least protects one industry that is able to retrieve a surplus balance of trade and whose total future depends on its protection from the savagery and the ravages of this machine."