JUSTICE STEVENS delivered the opinion of the Court.
 Petitioners manufacture and sell home video tape recorders.
Respondents own the copyrights on some of the television [p*420] programs that
are broadcast on the public airwaves. Some members of the general public use
video tape recorders sold by petitioners to record some of these broadcasts,
as well as a large number of other broadcasts. The question presented is whether
the sale of petitioners‘ copying equipment to the general public violates any
of the rights conferred upon respondents by the Copyright Act.
 Respondents commenced this copyright infringement
action against petitioners in the United States District Court for the Central
District of California in 1976. Respondents alleged that some individuals had
used Betamax video tape recorders (VTR’s) to record some of respondents‘ copyrighted
works which had been exhibited on commercially sponsored televisionand contended
that these individuals had thereby infringed respondents’ copyrights. Respondents
further maintained that petitioners were liable for the copyright infringement
allegedly committed by Betamax consumers because of petitioners‘ marketing of
the Betamax VTR’s. [n1] Respondents sought no relief
against any Betamax consumer. Instead, they sought money damages and an equitable
accounting of profits from petitioners, as well as an injunction against the
manufacture and marketing of Betamax VTR‘s.
 After a lengthy trial, the District Court denied respondents
all the relief they sought and entered judgment for petitioners. 480 F.Supp.
429 (1979). The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed
the District Court’s judgment on respondents‘ copyright claim, holding petitionersliable
for contributory infringement and ordering the District Court to fashion appropriate
relief. 659 F.2d 963 (1981). [p*421] We granted certiorari, 457 U.S. 1116 (1982);
since we had not completed our study of the case last Term, we ordered reargument,
463 U.S. 1226 (1983). We now reverse.
 An explanation of our rejection of respondents’ unprecedented
attempt to impose copyright liability upon the distributors of copying equipment
requires a quite detailed recitation of the findings of the District Court.
In summary, those findings reveal that the average member of the public uses
a VTR principally to record a program he cannot view as it is being televised
and then to watch it once at a later time. This practice, known as "time-shifting,"
enlarges the television viewing audience. For that reason, a significant amount
of television programming may be used in this manner without objection from
the owners of the copyrights on the programs. For the same reason, even the
two respondents in this case, who do assert objections to time-shifting in this
litigation, were unable to prove that the practice has impaired the commercialvalue
of their copyrights or has created any likelihood of future harm. Given these
findings, there is no basis in the Copyright Act upon which respondents can
hold petitioners liable for distributing VTR‘s to the general public. The Court
of Appeals’ holding that respondents are entitled to enjoin the distribution
of VTR‘s, to collect royalties on the sale of such equipment, or to obtain other
relief, if affirmed, would enlarge the scope of respondents’ statutory monopolies
to encompass control over an article of commerce that is not the subject of
copyright protection. Such an expansion of the copyright privilege is beyond
the limits of the grants authorized by Congress.
 The two respondents in this action, Universal City
Studios, Inc., and Walt Disney Productions, produce and hold the copyrights
on a substantial number of motion pictures and other audiovisual works. In the
current marketplace, they can exploit their rights in these works in a number
of ways: [p*422] by authorizing theatrical exhibitions, by licensing limited
showings on cable and network television, by selling syndication rights for
repeated airings on local television stations, and by marketing programson prerecorded
videotapes or videodiscs. Some works are suitable for exploitation through all
of these avenues, while the market for other works is more limited.
 The two respondents in this action, Universal City
Studios, Inc., and Walt Disney Productions, produce and hold the copyrights
on a substantial number of motion pictures and other audiovisual works. In the
current marketplace, they can exploit their rights in these works in a number
of ways: [p*422] by authorizing theatrical exhibitions, by licensing limited
showings on cable and network television, by selling syndication rights for
repeated airings on local television stations, and by marketing programson prerecorded
videotapes or videodiscs. Some works are suitable for exploitation through all
of these avenues, while the market for other works is more limited.
 Petitioner Sony manufactures millions of Betamax video
tape recorders and markets these devices through numerous retail establishments,
some of which are also petitioners in this action. [n2]
Sony’s Betamax VTR is a mechanism consisting of three basic components: (1)
a tuner, which receives electromagnetic signals transmitted over the television
band of the public airwaves and separates them into audio and visual signals;
(2) a recorder, which records such signals on a magnetic tape; and (3) an adapter,
which converts the audio and visual signals on the tape into a composite signal
that can be received by a television set.
 Several capabilities of the machine are noteworthy.
The separate tuner in the Betamax enables it to record a broadcast off one station
while the television set is tuned to another channel, permitting the viewer,
for example, to watch two simultaneous news broadcasts by watching one "live"
and recording the other for later viewing. Tapes may be reused, and programs
that have been recorded may be erased either before or after viewing. A timer
in the Betamax can be used to activate and deactivate the equipment at predetermined
[p*423] times, enabling an intended viewer to record programs that are transmitted
when he or she is not at home. Thus a person may watch a program at home in
the evening even though it was broadcast while the viewer was at work during
the afternoon. The Betamax is also equipped with a pause button and a fast-forward
control. The pause button, when depressed, deactivates the recorder until it
is released, thus enabling a viewer to omit a commercial advertisement from
the recording, provided, of course, that the viewer is present when the program
is recorded. The fast-forward control enables the viewer of a previously recorded
program to runthe tape rapidly when a segment he or she does not desire to see
is being played back on the television screen.
 The respondents and Sony both conducted surveys of
the way the Betamax machine was used by several hundred owners during a sample
period in 1978. Although there were some differences in the surveys, they both
showed that the primary use of the machine for most owners was "time-shifting"
-- the practice of recording a program to view it once at a later time, and
thereafter erasing it. Time-shifting enables viewers to see programs they otherwise
would miss because they are not at home, are occupied with other tasks, or are
viewing a program on another station at the time of a broadcast that they desire
to watch. Both surveys also showed, however, that a substantial number of interviewees
had accumulated libraries of tapes. [n3] Sony‘s survey
indicated [p*424] that over 80 of the interviewees watched at least as much
regular television as they had before owning a Betamax. [n4]
Respondents offered no evidence of decreased television viewing by Betamax owners.
 Sony introduced considerable evidence describing
television programs that could be copied without objection from any copyright
holder, with special emphasis on sports, religious, and educational programming.
For example, their survey indicated that 7.3 of all Betamax use is to record
sports events, and representatives of professional baseball, football, basketball,
and hockey testified that they had no objection to the recording of their televised
events for home use. [n6] [p*425] Respondents offered
opinion evidence concerning the future impact of the unrestricted sale of VTR‘s
on the commercial value of their copyrights. The District Court found, however,
that they had failed to prove any likelihood of future harm from the use of
VTR’s for time-shifting. 480 F.Supp., at 469.
The District Court‘s Decision
 The lengthy trial of the case in the District Court
concerned the private, home use of VTR’s for recording programs broadcast on
the public airwaves without charge to the viewer. [n7]
No issue concerning the transfer of tapes to other persons, the use ofhome-recorded
tapes for public performances, or the copying of programs transmitted on pay
or cable television systems was raised. See id., at 432-433, 442.
 The District Court concluded that noncommercial
home use recording of material broadcast over the public airwaves was a fair
use of copyrighted works and did not constitute copyright infringement. It emphasized
the fact that the material was broadcast free to the public at large, the noncommercial
character of the use, and the private character of the activity conducted entirely
within the home. Moreover, the court found that the purpose of this use servedthe
public interest in increasing access to television programming, an interest
that "is consistent with the First Amendment policy of providing the fullest
possible access to information through the public airwaves. Columbia Broadcasting
System, Inc. v. Democratic National Committee, 412 U.S. 94, 102."
Id., at 454. [n8] Even when an entire copyrighted
work was recorded, [p*426] the District Court regarded the copying as fair use
"because there is no accompanying reduction in the market for ‘plaintiff’s
original work.‘" Ibid.
 As an independent ground of decision, the District
Court also concluded that Sony could not be held liable as a contributory infringereven
if the home use of a VTR was considered an infringing use. The District Court
noted that Sony had no direct involvement with any Betamax purchasers who recorded
copyrighted works off the air. Sony’s advertising was silent on the subject
of possible copyright infringement, but its instruction booklet contained the
"Television programs, films, videotapes and other materials may be copyrighted.
Unauthorized recording of such material may be contrary to the provisions
of the United States copyright laws." Id., at 436.
 The District Court assumed that Sony had constructive
knowledge of the probability that the Betamax machine would be used to record
copyrighted programs, but found that Sony merely sold a "product capable
of a variety of uses, some of them allegedly infringing." Id., at
461. It reasoned:
"Selling a staple article of commerce -- e. g., a typewriter,
a recorder, a camera, a photocopying machine -- technically contributes to
any infringing use subsequently made thereof, but this kind of ‘contribution,’
if deemed sufficient as a basis for liability, would expand the theory beyond
precedentand arguably beyond judicial management.
. . . .
". . . Commerce would indeed be hampered if manufacturers of staple
items were held liable as contributory infringers whenever they ‘constructively’
knew that some purchasers on some occasions would use their product [p*427]
for a purpose which a court later deemed, as a matter of first impression,
to be an infringement." Ibid.
 Finally, the District Court discussed the respondents‘
prayer for injunctive relief, noting that they had asked for an injunction either
preventing the future sale of Betamax machines, or requiring that the machines
be rendered incapable of recording copyrighted works off the air. The court
stated that it had "found no case in which the manufacturers, distributors,
retailers and advertisers of the instrument enabling the infringement were sued
by the copyright holders," and that the request for relief in this case
"is unique." Id., at 465.
 It concluded that an injunction was wholly inappropriate
because any possible harm to respondents was outweighed by the fact that "the
Betamax could still legally be used to record noncopyrighted material or material
whose owners consentedto the copying. An injunction would deprive the public
of the ability to use the Betamax for this noninfringing off-the-air recording."
Id., at 468.
The Court of Appeals’ Decision
 The Court of Appeals reversed the District Court‘s
judgment on respondents’ copyright claim. It did not set aside any of the District
Court‘s findings of fact. Rather, it concluded as a matter of law that the home
use of a VTR was not a fair use because it was not a "productive use."
[n9] It therefore held that it was unnecessary for
plaintiffs to prove any harm to the potential market for the copyrighted works,
but then observed that it seemed clear that the cumulative effect of mass reproduction
made possible by VTR’s would tend to diminish the potential market for respondents‘
works. 659 F.2d, at 974.
 [p*428] On the issue of contributory infringement,
the Court of Appeals first rejected the analogy to staple articles of commerce
such as tape recorders or photocopying machines. It noted that such machines
"may have substantial benefit for some purposes" and do not "even
remotely raise copyright problems." Id., at 975. VTR’s, however,
are sold "for the primary purpose of reproducing television programming"
and "[virtually] all" such programming is copyrighted material. Ibid.
The Court of Appeals concluded, therefore, that VTR‘s were not suitable for
any substantial noninfringing use even if some copyright owners elect not to
enforce their rights.
 The Court of Appeals also rejected the District
Court’s reliance on Sony‘s lack of knowledge that home use constituted infringement.
Assuming that the statutory provisions defining the remedies for infringement
applied also to the nonstatutory tort of contributory infringement, the court
stated that a defendant’s good faith would merely reduce his damages liability
but would not excuse the infringing conduct. It held that Sony was chargeable
with knowledge of the homeowner‘s infringing activity because thereproduction
of copyrighted materials was either "the most conspicuous use" or
"the major use" of the Betamax product. Ibid.
 On the matter of relief, the Court of Appeals concluded
that "statutory damages may be appropriate" and that the District
Court should reconsider its determination that an injunction would not be an
appropriate remedy; and, referring to "the analogous photocopying area,"
suggested that a continuing royalty pursuant to a judicially created compulsory
license may very well be an acceptable resolution of the relief issue. Id.,
 Article I, § 8, of the Constitution provides:
"The Congress shall have Power . . . To Promote the Progress of Science
and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the
exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."
 [p*429] The monopoly privileges that Congress may
authorize are neither unlimited nor primarily designed to provide a special
private benefit. Rather, the limited grant is a means by which an important
public purpose may be achieved. It is intended to motivate the creative activity
of authors and inventors by the provisionof a special reward, and to allow the
public access to the products of their genius after the limited period of exclusive
control has expired.
 "The copyright law, like the patent statutes,
makes reward to the owner a secondary consideration. In Fox Film Corp.
v. Doyal, 286 U.S. 123, 127, Chief Justice Hughes spoke as follows respecting
the copyright monopoly granted by Congress, ’The sole interest of the United
States and the primary object in conferring the monopoly lie in the general
benefits derived by the public from the labors of authors.‘ It is said that
reward to the author or artist serves to induce release to the public of the
products of his creative genius." United States v. Paramount
Pictures, Inc., 334 U.S. 131, 158 (1948).
 As the text of the Constitution makes plain, it
is Congress that has been assigned the task of defining the scope of the limited
monopoly that should be granted to authors or to inventors in order to give
the public appropriate access to their work product. Because this task involves
a difficult balance between the interests of authors and inventors in the control
and exploitation of their writingsand discoveries on the one hand, and society’s
competing interest in the free flow of ideas, information, and commerce on the
other hand, our patent and copyright statutes have been amended repeatedly.
[n10] [p*430] From its beginning, the law of copyright
has developed in response to significant changes in technology. [n11]
Indeed, it was the invention of a new form of copying equipment -- the printing
press -- that gave rise to the original need for copyright protection. [n12]
Repeatedly, as new developments have [p*431] occurred in this country, it has
been the Congress that has fashioned the new rules that new technology made
necessary. Thus, long before the enactment of the Copyright Act of 1909, 35
Stat. 1075, it was settled that the protection given to copyrights is wholly
statutory. Wheaton v. Peters, 8 Pet. 591, 661-662 (1834). The
remedies for infringement "are only those prescribed by Congress."
Thompson v. Hubbard, 131 U.S. 123, 151 (1889).
 The judiciary‘s reluctance to expand the protections
afforded by the copyright without explicit legislative guidance is a recurring
theme. See, e. g., Teleprompter Corp. v. Columbia Broadcasting System,
Inc., 415 U.S. 394 (1974); Fortnightly Corp. v. United Artists
Television, Inc., 392 U.S. 390 (1968); White-Smith Music Publishing Co.
v. Apollo Co., 209 U.S. 1 (1908);Williams & Wilkins Co. v.
United States, 203 Ct. Cl. 74, 487 F.2d 1345 (1973), aff’d by an equally
divided Court, 420 U.S. 376 (1975). Sound policy, as well as history, supports
our consistent deference to Congress when major technological innovations alter
the market for copyrighted materials. Congress has the constitutional authority
and the institutional ability to accommodate fully the varied permutations of
competing interests that are inevitably implicated by such new technology.
 In a case like this, in which Congress has not
plainly marked our course, we must be circumspect in construing the scope of
rights created by a legislative enactment which never contemplated such a calculus
of interests. In doing so, we are guided by Justice Stewart‘s exposition of
the correct approach to ambiguities in the law of copyright:
"The limited scope of the copyright holder’s statutory monopoly, like
the limited copyright duration required by the Constitution, reflects a balance
of competing claims upon the public interest: Creative work is to be [p*432]
encouraged and rewarded, but private motivation must ultimately servethe cause
of promoting broad public availability of literature, music, and the other
arts. The immediate effect of our copyright law is to secure a fair return
for an ‘author’s‘ creative labor. But the ultimate aim is, by this incentive,
to stimulate artistic creativity for the general public good. ’The sole interest
of the United States and the primary object in conferring the monopoly,‘ this
Court has said, 'lie in the general benefits derived by the public from the
labors of authors.‘ Fox Film Corp. v. Doyal, 286 U.S. 123, 127.
See Kendall v. Winsor, 21 How. 322, 327-328; Grant v.
Raymond, 6 Pet. 218, 241-242. When technological change has rendered
its literal terms ambiguous, the Copyright Act must be construed in light
of this basic purpose." Twentieth Century Music Corp. v. Aiken,
422 U.S. 151, 156 (1975) (footnotes omitted).
 Copyright protection "subsists . . . in original
works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression." 17 U.
S. C. § 102(a) (1982 ed.). This protection has never accorded the copyright
owner complete control over all possible usesof his work. [n13]
Rather, the Copyright Act grants the [p*433] copyright holder "exclusive"
rights to use and to authorize the use of his work in five qualified ways, including
reproduction of the copyrighted work in copies. § 106. [n14]
All reproductions of the work, however, are not within the exclusive domain
of the copyright owner; some are in the public domain. Any individual may reproduce
a copyrighted wor for a "fair use"; the copyright owner does not possess
the exclusive right to such a use. Compare § 106 with § 107.
 "Anyone who violates any of the exclusive rights
of the copyright owner," that is, anyone who trespasses into his exclusive
domain by using or authorizing the use of the copyrighted work in one of the
five waysset forth in the statute, "is an infringer of the copyright."
§ 501(a). Conversely, anyone who is authorized by the copyright owner to use
the copyrighted work in a way specified in the statute or who makes a fair use
of the work is not an infringer of the copyright with respect to such use.
 The Copyright Act provides the owner of a copyright
with a potent arsenal of remedies against an infringer of his work, including
an injunction to restrain the infringer from violating [p*434] his rights, the
impoundment and destruction of all reproductions of his work made in violation
of his rights, a recovery of his actual damages and any additional profits realized
by the infringer or a recovery of statutory damages, and attorney‘s fees. §§
 The two respondents in this case do not seek relief
against the Betamax users who have allegedly infringed their copyrights. Moreover,
this is not a class action on behalf of all copyright owners who license their
works for television broadcast, and respondents have no right to invoke whatever
rights other copyright holders may have to bring infringement actions based
on Betamax copying of their works. [n16] As was made
clear by their own evidence, the copying of the respondents‘ programs represents
a small portion of the total use of VTR’s. It is, however, the taping of respondents'
own copyrighted programs that provides them with standing to charge Sony with
contributory infringement. To prevail, they have the burden of proving that
users of the Betamax have infringed their copyrights and that Sony should be
held responsible for that infringement.
 The Copyright Act does not expressly render anyone
liable for infringement committed by another. In contrast, the [p*435] Patent
Act expressly brands anyone who "actively induces infringement of a patent"
as an infringer, 35 U. S. C. § 271(b), and further imposes liability on certain
individuals labeled "contributory" infringers, § 271(c). The absence
of such express language in the copyright statute does not preclude the imposition
of liability for copyright infringements on certain parties who have not themselves
engaged in the infringing activity. [n17] For vicarious
liability is imposed in virtually all areas of the law, and the concept of contributory
infringement is merely a species of the broader problem of identifying the circumstances
in which it is just to hold one individual accountable for the actions of another.
 Such circumstances were plainly present in Kalem
Co. v. Harper Brothers, 222 U.S. 55 (1911), the copyright decision
of this Court on which respondents place their principal reliance. In Kalem,
the Court held that the producer of an unauthorized film dramatization of the
copyrighted book Ben Hur was liable for his sale of the motion picture to jobbers,
who in turn arranged for the commercial exhibition of the film. Justice Holmes,
writing for the Court, explained:
"The defendant not only expected but invoked by advertisement the use
of its films for dramatic reproduction [p*436] of the story. That was the
most conspicuous purpose for which they could be used, and the one for which
especially they were made. If the defendant did not contribute to the infringement
it is impossible to do so except by taking part in the final act. It is liable
on principles recognized in every part of the law." Id., at 62-63.
 The use for which the item sold in Kalem
had been "especially" made was, of course, to display the performance
that had already been recorded upon it. The producer had personally appropriated
the copyright owner‘s protectedwork and, as the owner of the tangible medium
of expression upon which the protected work was recorded, authorized that use
by his sale of the film to jobbers. But that use of the film was not his to
authorize: the copyright owner possessed the exclusive right to authorize public
performances of his work. Further, the producer personally advertised the unauthorized
public performances, dispelling any possible doubt as to the use of the film
which he had authorized.
 Respondents argue that Kalem stands for the
proposition that supplying the "means" to accomplish an infringing
activity and encouraging that activity through advertisement are sufficient
to establish liability for copyright infringement. This argument rests on a
gross generalization that cannot withstand scrutiny. The producer in Kalem
did not merely provide the "means" to accomplish an infringing activity;
the producer supplied the work itself, albeit in a new medium of expression.
Sony in the instant case does not supply Betamax consumers with respondents’
works; respondents do. Sony supplies a piece of equipment that is generally
capable of copying the entire range of programs thatmay be televised: those
that are uncopyrighted, those that are copyrighted but may be copied without
objection from the copyright holder, and those that the copyright holder would
prefer not to have copied. The Betamax can be used to [p*437] make authorized
or unauthorized uses of copyrighted works, but the range of its potential use
is much broader than the particular infringing use of the film Ben Hur involved
in Kalem. Kalem does not support respondents‘ novel theory of liability.
 Justice Holmes stated that the producer had "contributed"
to the infringement of the copyright, and the label "contributory infringement"
has been applied in a number of lower court copyright cases involving an ongoing
relationship between the direct infringer and the contributory infringer at
the time the infringing conduct occurred. In such cases, as in other situations
in which the imposition of vicarious liability is manifestly just, the "contributory"
infringer was in a position to control the use of copyrighted works by others
and had authorized the use without permission from the copyright owner. [n18]
This case, however, plainly does not fall [p*438] in that category. The only
contact between Sony and the users of the Betamax that is disclosed by this
record occurred at the moment of sale. The District Court expressly found that
"no employee of Sony, Sonam or DDBI had either direct involvement with
the allegedly infringing activity or direct contact with purchasers of Betamax
who recorded copyrighted works off-the-air." 480 F.Supp., at 460. And it
further found that "there was no evidence that any of the copies made by
Griffiths or the other individual witnesses in this suit were influenced or
encouraged by [Sony‘s] advertisements." Ibid.
 [p*439] If vicarious liability is to be imposed
on Sony in this case, it must rest on the fact that tit has sold equipment with
constructive knowledge of the fact that its customers may use that equipment
to make unauthorized copies of copyrighted material. There is no precedent in
the law of copyright for the imposition of vicarious liability on such a theory.
The closest analogy is provided by the patent law cases to which it is appropriate
to refer because of the historic kinship between patent law and copyright law.
[n19] [p*440] In the Patent Act both the concept
of infringement and the concept of contributory infringement are expressly defined
by statute. [n20] The prohibition against contributory
infringement is confined to the knowing sale of a component especially made
for use in connection with a particular patent. There is no suggestion in the
statute that one patentee may object to the sale of a product that might be
used in connection with other patents. Moreover, the Act expressly provides
that the sale of a "staple article or commodity of commerce suitable for
substantial noninfringing use" is not contributory infringement. 35 U.
S. C. § 271(c).
 When a charge of contributory infringement is predicated
entirely on the sale of an article of commerce that is used by the purchaser
to infringe a patent, the public interest in access to that article of commerce
is necessarily implicated. A [p*441] finding of contributory infringement does
not, of course, remove the article from the market altogether; it does, however,
give the patentee effective control over the sale of that item. Indeed, a finding
of contributory infringement is normally the functional equivalent of holding
that the disputed article is within the monopoly granted to the patentee. [n21]
 For that reason, in contributory infringement cases
arising under the patent laws the Court has always recognized the critical importance
of not allowing the patentee to extend his monopoly beyond the limits of his
specific grant. These cases deny the patentee any right to control the distribution
of unpatented articles unless they are "unsuited for any commercial noninfringing
use." Dawson Chemical Co. v. Rohm & Hass Co., 448 U.S.
176, 198 (1980). Unless a commodity "has no use except through practice
of the patented method," id., at 199, the patentee has no right
to claim that its distribution constitutes contributory infringement. "To
form the basis for contributory infringement the item must almost be uniquely
suited as a component of the patented invention." P. Rosenberg, Patent
Law Fundamentals § 17.02 (2d ed. 1982). "[A] sale of an article which
though adapted to an infringing use is also adapted to other and lawful uses,
is not enough to make the seller a contributory infringer. Such a rule would
block the wheels of commerce." Henry v. A. B. Dick Co., 224
U.S. 1, 48 (1912), overruled onother grounds, [p*442] Motion Picture Patents
Co. v. Universal Film Mfg. Co., 243 U.S. 502, 517 (1917).
 We recognize there are substantial differences between
the patent and copyright laws. But in both areas the contributory infringement
doctrine is grounded on the recognition that adequate protection of a monopoly
may require the courts to look beyond actual duplication of a device or publication
to the products or activities that make such duplication possible. The staple
article of commerce doctrine must strike a balance between a copyright holder‘s
legitimate demand for effective -- not merely symbolic -- protection of the
statutory monopoly, and the rights of others freely to engage in substantially
unrelated areas of commerce. Accordingly, the sale of copying equipment, like
the sale of other articles of commerce, does not constitute contributory infringement
if the product is widely used for legitimate, unobjectionable purposes. Indeed,
it need merely be capable of substantial noninfringing uses.
 The question is thus whether the Betamax is capable
of commercially significant noninfringing uses. In order to resolve that question,
we need not explore all the different potential uses of the machine and
determine whether or not they would constitute infringement. Rather, we need
only consider whether on the basis of the facts as found by the District Court
a significant number of them would be noninfringing. Moreover, in order to resolve
this case we need not give precise content to the question of how much use is
commercially significant. For one potential use of the Betamax plainly satisfies
this standard, however it is understood: private, noncommercial time-shifting
in the home. It does so both (A) because respondents have no right to prevent
other copyright holders from authorizing it for their programs, and (B) because
the District Court’s factual findings reveal that even the unauthorized home
time-shifting of respondents‘ programs is legitimate fair use. [p*443]
A. Authorized Time-Shifting
 Each of the respondents owns a large inventory of
valuable copyrights, but in the total spectrum of television programming their
combined market share is small. The exact percentage is not specified, but it
is well below 10. [n22] If they were to prevail,
the outcome of this litigation wouldhave a significant impact on both the producers
and the viewers of the remaining 90 of the programming in the Nation. No doubt,
many other producers share respondents’ concern about the possible consequences
of unrestricted copying. Nevertheless the findings of the District Court make
it clear that time-shifting may enlarge the total viewing audience and that
many producers are willing to allow private time-shifting to continue, at least
for an experimental time period. [n23] District Court
"Even if it were deemed that home-use recording of copyrighted material
constituted infringement, the Betamax could still legally be used to record
noncopyrighted material or material whose owners consented to the copying.
An injunction would deprive the public of the ability to use the Betamax for
this noninfringing off-the-air recording.
[p*444] "Defendants introduced considerable testimony at trial about
the potential for such copying of sports, religious, educational and other
programming. This included testimony from representatives of the Offices of
the Commissioners of the National Football, Basketball, Baseball and Hockey
Leagues and Associations, the Executive Director of National Religious Broadcasters
and various educational communications agencies. Plaintiffs attack the weight
of the testimony offered and also contend that an injunction is warranted
because infringing uses outweigh noninfringing uses.
"Whatever the future percentage of legal versus illegal home-use recording
might be, an injunction which seeks to deprive the public of the very tool
or article of commerce capable of some noninfringing use would be an extremelyharsh
remedy, as well as one unprecedented in copyright law." 480 F.Supp.,
 Although the District Court made these statements
in the context of considering the propriety of injunctive relief, the statements
constitute a finding that the evidence concerning "sports, religious, educational
and other programming" was sufficient to establish a significant quantity
of broadcasting whose copying is now authorized, and a significant potential
for future authorized copying. That finding is amply supported by the record.
In addition to the religious and sports officials identified explicitly by the
District Court, [n24] two items in the record deserve
 [p*445] First is the testimony of John Kenaston,
the station manager of Channel 58, an educational station in Los Angeles affiliated
with the Public Broadcasting Service. He explained and authenticated the station‘s
published guide to its programs. [n25] For each program,
the guide tells whether unlimited home taping is authorized, home taping is
authorized subject to certain restrictions (such as erasure within seven days),
or home taping is not authorized at all. The Spring 1978 edition of the guide
described 107 programs. Sixty-two of those programs or 58 authorize some home
taping. Twenty-one of them or almost 20 authorize unrestricted home taping.
 Second is the testimony of Fred Rogers, president
of the corporation that produces and owns the copyright on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
The program is carried by more public television stations than any other program.
Its audience numbers over 3,000,000 families a day. He testified that he had
absolutely no objection to home taping for noncommercial use and expressed the
opinion that it is a real service to families to be able to record children‘s
programs and to show them at appropriate times. [n27]
[p*446] If there are millions of owners of VTR’s who make copies of televised
sports events, religious broadcasts, and educational programs such as Mister
Rogers‘ Neighborhood, and if the proprietors of those programs welcome the practice,
the business of supplying the equipment that makes such copying feasible should
not be stifled simply because the equipment is used by some individuals to make
unauthorized reproductions of respondents’ works. The respondents do not represent
a class composed of all copyright holders. Yet a finding of contributory infringement
would inevitably frustrate the interests of broadcasters in reaching the portion
of their audience that is available only through time-shifting.
 Of course, the fact that other copyright holders
may welcome the practice of time-shifting does not mean that respondents should
be deemed to have granted a license to copy their programs. Third-party conduct
would be wholly irrelevant in an action for direct infringement of respondents‘
copyrights. But in an action for contributory infringement against the
seller of copying equipment, the copyright holder may not prevail unless the
relief that he seeksaffects only his programs, or unless he speaks for virtually
all copyright holders with an interest in the outcome. In this case, the record
makes it perfectly clear that there are many important producers of national
and local television programs who find nothing objectionable about the enlargement
in the size of the television audience that results from the practice of time-shifting
for private home use. [n28] The seller of the equipment
that expands those producers‘ audiences cannot be a contributory [p*447] infringer
if, as is true in this case, it has had no direct involvement with any infringing
B. Unauthorized Time-Shifting
 Even unauthorized uses of a copyrighted work are
not necessarily infringing. An unlicensed use of the copyright is not an infringement
unless it conflicts with one of the specific exclusive rights conferred by the
copyright statute. Twentieth Century Music Corp. v. Aiken, 422
U.S., at 154-155. Moreover, the definition of exclusive rights in § 106 of the
present Act is prefaced by the words "subject to sections 107 through 118."
Those sections describe a variety of uses of copyrighted material that "are
not infringements of copyright" "notwithstanding the provisions of
section 106." The most pertinent in this case is § 107, the legislative
endorsement of the doctrine of "fair use." [n29]
[p*448] That section identifies various factors [n30]
that enable a court to apply an "equitable rule of reason" analysis
to particular claims of infringement. [n31] Although
not conclusive, the first [p*449] factor requires that "the commercial
or nonprofit character of an activity" be weighed in any fair use decision.
[n32] If the Betamax were used to make copies for
a commercial or profit-making purpose, such use would presumptively be unfair.
The contrary presumption is appropriate here, however, because the District
Court’s findings plainly establish that time-shifting for private home use must
be characterized as a noncommercial, nonprofit activity. Moreover, when one
considers the nature of a televised copyrighted audiovisual work, see 17 U.
S. C. § 107(2) (1982 ed.), and that time-shifting merely enables a viewer to
see such a work which he had been invited to witness in its entirety free of
charge, the fact [p*450] that the entire work is reproduced, see § 107(3), does
not have its ordinary effect of militating against a finding of fair use. [n33]
This is not, however, the end of the inquiry because Congress has also directed
us to consider "the effect of the use upon the potential market for or
value of the copyrighted work." § 107(4). The purpose of copyright is to
create incentives for creative effort. Even copying for noncommercial purposes
may impair the copyright holder’s ability to obtain the rewards that Congress
intended him to have. But a use that has no demonstrable effect upon the potential
market for, or the value of, the copyrighted work need not be prohibited in
order to protect the author‘s incentive to create. The prohibition of such noncommercial
uses would [p*451] merely inhibit access to ideas without any countervailing
benefit. [n34] although every commercial use of copyrighted
material is presumptively an unfair exploitation of the monopoly privilege that
belongs to the owner of the copyright, noncommercial uses are a different matter.
A challenge to a noncommercial use of a copyrighted work requires proof either
that the particular use is harmful, or that if it should become widespread,
it would adversely affect the potential market for the copyrighted work. Actual
present harm need not be shown; such a requirement would leave the copyright
holder with no defense against predictable damage. Nor is it necessary to show
with certainty that future harm will result. What is necessary is a showing
by a preponderance of the evidence that some meaningful likelihood of
future harm exists. If the intended use is for commercial gain, that likelihood
may be presumed. But if it is for a noncommercial purpose, the likelihood must
 In this case, respondents failed to carry their
burden with regard to home time-shifting. The District Court described respondents’
evidence as follows:
"Plaintiffs‘ experts admitted at several points in the trial that the
time-shifting without libraryingwould result in ’not a great deal of harm.‘
Plaintiffs’ greatest concern about time-shifting is with ‘a point of important
philosophy that transcends even commercial judgment.’ They fear that with
any Betamax usage, ‘invisible boundaries’ are passed: ‘the copyright owner
has lost control over his program.’" 480 F.Supp., at 467.
 [p*452] Later in its opinion, the District Court
"Most of plaintiffs‘ predictions of harm hinge on speculation about
audience viewing patterns and ratings, a measurement system which Sidney Sheinberg,
MCA’s president, calls a ‘black art’ because of the significant level of imprecision
involved in the calculations." Id., at 469. [n35]
 There was no need for the District Court to say
much about past harm. "Plaintiffs have admitted that no actual harm to
their copyrights has occurred to date." Id., at 451.
 On the question of potential future harm from time-shifting,
the District Court offered a more detailed analysis of the evidence. It rejected
respondents‘ "fear that persons ’watching‘ the original telecast of a program
will not be measured in the live audience and the ratings and revenues will
decrease," by observing that current measurement technology allows the
Betamax audience to be reflected. Id., at 466. [n36]
It rejected respondents’ prediction "that live television [p*453] or movie
audiences will decrease as more people watch Betamax tapes as an alternative,"
with the observation that "[there] is no factual basis for [the underlying]
assumption." Ibid. [n37] It rejected
respondents’ "fear that time-shifting will reduce audiences for telecast
reruns," and concluded instead that "given current market practices,
this should aid plaintiffs rather than harm them." Ibid. [n38]
And it declared that respondents‘ suggestion that "theater or film rental
exhibitionof a program will suffer because of time-shift recording of that program"
"lacks merit." Id., at 467. [n39]
[p*454] After completing that review, the District Court restated its overall
conclusion several times, in several different ways. "Harm from time-shifting
is speculative and, at best, minimal." Ibid. "The audience
benefits from the time-shifting capability have already been discussed. It is
not implausible that benefits could also accrue toplaintiffs, broadcasters,
and advertisers, as the Betamax makes it possible for more persons to view their
broadcasts." Ibid. "No likelihood of harm was shown at trial,
and plaintiffs admitted that there had been no actual harm to date." Id.,
at 468-469. "Testimony at trial suggested that Betamax may require adjustments
in marketing strategy, but it did not establish even a likelihood of harm."
Id., at 469. "Television production by plaintiffs today is more
profitable than it has ever been, and, in five weeks of trial, there was no
concrete evidence to suggest that the Betamax will change the studios’ financial
 The District Court‘s conclusions are buttressed
by the fact that to the extent time-shifting expands public access to freely
broadcast television programs, it yields societal benefits. In Community
Television of Southern California v. Gottfried, 459 U.S. 498, 508,
n. 12 (1983), we acknowledged the public interest in making television broadcasting
more available. Concededly, that interest is not unlimited. But it supports
an interpretation of the concept of "fair use" thatrequires the copyright
holder to demonstrate some likelihood of harm before he may condemn a private
act of time-shifting as a violation of federal law.
 When these factors are all weighed in the "equitable
rule of reason" balance, we must conclude that this record amply [p*455]
supports the District Court’s conclusion that home time-shifting is fair use.
In light of the findings of the District Court regarding the state of the empirical
data, it is clear that the Court of Appeals erred in holding that the statute
as presently written bars such conduct. [n40] [p*456]
In summary, the record and findings of the District Court lead us to two conclusions.
First, Sony demonstrated a significant likelihood that substantial numbers of
copyright holders who license their works for broadcast on free television would
not object to having their broadcasts time-shifted by private viewers. And second,
respondents failed to demonstrate that time-shifting would cause any likelihood
of nonminimal harm to the potential market for, or the value of, their copyrighted
works. The Betamax is, therefore, capable of substantial noninfringing uses.
Sony‘s sale of such equipment to the general public does not constitute contributory
infringement of respondents’ copyrights.
 "The direction of Art. I is that Congress
shall have the power to promote the progress of science and the useful arts.
When, as here, the Constitution is permissive, the sign of how far Congress
has chosen to go can come only from Congress." Deepsouth Packing Co.
v. Laitram Corp., 406 U.S. 518, 530 (1972).
 One may search the Copyright Act in vain for any
sign that the elected representatives of the millions of people who watch televisionevery
day have made it unlawful to copy a program for later viewing at home, or have
enacted a flat prohibition against the sale of machines that make such copying
 It may well be that Congress will take a fresh look
at this new technology, just as it so often has examined other innovations in
the past. But it is not our job to apply laws that have not yet been written.
Applying the copyright statute, as it now reads, to the facts as they have been
developed in this case, the judgment of the Court of Appeals must be reversed.
 It is so ordered.
[p*457] JUSTICE BLACKMUN, with whom JUSTICE MARSHALL, JUSTICE POWELL, and JUSTICE
REHNQUIST join, dissenting.
 A restatement of the facts
and judicial history of this case is necessary, in my view, for a proper focus
upon the issues. Respondents‘ position is hardly so "unprecedented,"
ante, at 421, in the copyright law, nor does it really embody a "gross
generalization," ante, at 436, or a "novel theory of liability,"
ante, at 437, and the like, as the Court, in belittling their claims,
describes the efforts of respondents.
 The introduction of the home videotape recorder
(VTR) upon the market has enabled millions of Americans to make recordings of
television programs in their homes, for future and repeated viewing at their
own convenience. While this practice has proved highly popular with owners of
television sets and VTR’s, it understandably has been a matter of concern for
the holders of copyrights in the recorded programs. A result is the present
litigation, raising the issues whether the home recording of a copyrighted television
program is an infringement of the copyright, and, if so, whether the manufacturers
and distributors of VTR‘s are liable as contributory infringers. I would hope
that these questions ultimately will be considered seriously and in depth by
the Congress and be resolved there, despite the fact that the Court’s decision
today provides little incentive for congressional action. Our
task in the meantime, however, is to resolve these issues as best we can in
the light of ill-fitting existing copyright law.
 It is no answer, of course, to refer to and stress,
as the Court does, this Court‘s "consistent deference to Congress"
whenever "major technological innovations" appear. Ante, at
431. Perhaps a better and more accurate description is that the Court has tended
to evade the hard issues when they arise in the area of copyright law. I see
no reason for the Court to be particularly pleased with this tradition or to
continue it. Indeed, it is fairly clear from the legislative
history of the 1976 Act that Congress meant to change the old pattern and [p*458]
enact a statute that would cover new technologies, as well as old.
 In 1976, respondents Universal
City Studios, Inc., and Walt Disney Productions (Studios) brought this copyright
infringement action in the United States District Court for the Central District
of California against, among others, petitioners Sony Corporation, a Japanese
corporation, and Sony Corporation of America, a New York corporation, the manufacturer
and distributor, respectively, of the Betamax VTR. The Studios sought damages,
profits, and a wide-ranging injunction against further sales or use of the Betamax
or Betamax tapes.
 The Betamax, like other VTR’s,
presently is capable of recording television broadcasts off the air on videotape
cassettes, and playing them back at a later time. [n1]
Two kinds of Betamax usage are at issue here. [n2]
The first is "time-shifting," wherebythe user records a program in
order to watch it at a later time, and then records over it, and thereby erases
the program, after a single viewing. The second is "library-building,"
[p*459] in which the user records a program in order to keep it for repeated
viewing over a longer term. Sony’s advertisements, at various times, have suggested
that Betamax users "record favorite shows" or "build a library."
Sony‘s Betamax advertising has never contained warnings about copyright infringement,
although a warning does appear in the Betamax operating instructions.
 The Studios produce copyrighted
"movies" and other works that they release to theaters and license
for television broadcast. They also rent and sell their works on film and on
prerecorded videotapes and videodiscs. License fees for television broadcasts
are set according to audience ratings, compiled by rating services that do not
measure any playbacks of videotapes. The Studios make the serious claim that
VTR recording may result in a decrease in their revenue from licensing their
works to television and from marketing them in other ways.
 After a 5-week trial, the District
Court, with a detailed opinion, ruled that home VTR recording did not infringe
the Studios’ copyrights under either the Act of Mar. 4, 1909 (1909 Act), 35
Stat. 1075, as amended (formerly codified as 17 U. S. C. § 1 et seq.),
or the Copyright Revision Act of 1976 (1976 Act), 90 Stat. 2541, 17 U. S. C.
§ 101 et seq. (1982 ed.). [n3] The District
Court also held that even if home VTR recording were an infringement, Sony could
not be held liable under theories of direct infringement, contributory infringement,
or vicarious liability. Finally, the court concluded that an injunction against
sales of the Betamax would be inappropriate even if Sony were liable under one
or more of those theories. 480 F.Supp. 429 (1979).
 [p*460] The United States
Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed in virtually every respect.
659 F.2d 963 (1981). It held that the 1909 Act and the 1976 Act contained no
implied exemption for "home use" recording, that such recording was
not "fair use," and that the use of the Betamax to record the Studios’
copyrighted works infringed their copyrights. The Court of Appeals also held
Sony liable for contributory infringement, reasoning that Sony knew and anticipated
that the Betamax would be used to record copyrighted material off the air, and
that Sony, indeed, had induced, caused, or materially contributed to the infringing
conduct. The Court of Appeals remanded the case to the District Court for appropriate
relief; it suggested that the District Court could consider the award of damages
or a continuing royalty in lieu of an injunction. Id., at 976.
 The Copyright Clause of the
Constitution, Art. I, § 8, cl. 8, empowers Congress "To promote the Progress
of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors
the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." This
Nation‘s initial copyright statute was passed by the First Congress. Entitled
"An Act for the encouragement of learning," it gave an author "the
sole right and liberty ofprinting, reprinting, publishing and vending"
his "map, chart, book or books" for a period of 14 years. Act of May
31, 1790, § 1, 1 Stat. 124. Since then, as the technology available to authors
for creating and preserving their writings has changed, the governing statute
has changed with it. By many amendments, and by complete revisions in 1831,
1870, 1909, and 1976, [n4] authors’ rights have been
[p*461] expanded to provide protection to any "original works of authorship
fixed in any tangible medium of expression," including "motion pictures
and other audiovisual works." 17 U. S. C. § 102(a) (1982 ed.). [n5]
 Section 106 of the 1976 Act
grants the owner of a copyright a variety of exclusive rights in the copyrighted
work, [n6] including [p*462] the right "to reproduce
the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords." [n7]
This grant expressly is made subject to §§ 107-118, which create a number of
exemptions and limitations on the copyright owner‘s rights. The most important
of these sections, for present purposes, is § 107; that section states that
"the fair use of a copyrighted work . . . is not an infringement of copyright."
[n8] The 1976 Act, like its predecessors,
[n9] does not give the copyright owner full
and complete control over all possible [p*463] uses of his work. If the work
is put to some use not enumerated in § 106, the use is not an infringement.
See Fortnightly Corp. v. United Artists Television, Inc., 392
U.S. 390, 393-395 (1968). Thus, before considering whether home videotaping
comes within the scope of the fair use exemption, one first must inquire whether
the practice appears to violate the exclusive right, granted in the first instance
by § 106(1), "to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords."
 Although the word "copies" is in the plural
in § 106(1), there can be no question that under the Act the making of even
a single unauthorized copy is prohibited. The Senate and
House Reports explain: "The references to ‘copies or phonorecords,’ although
in the plural, are intended here and throughout the bill to include the singular
(1 U. S. C. § 1)." [n10] [p*464] S. Rep. No.
94-473, p. 58 (1975) (1975 Senate Report); H. R. Rep. No. 94-1476, p. 61 (1976)
(1976 House Report). The Reports then describe the reproduction right established
by § 106(1):
"[The] right ‘to reproduce the copyrighted work
in copies or phonorecords’ means the right to produce a material object in
which the work is duplicated, transcribed, imitated, or simulated in a fixed
form from which it can be ‘perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated,
either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.’ As under the present
law, a copyrighted work would be infringed by reproducing it in whole or in
any substantial part, and by duplicating it exactly or by imitation or simulation."
1975 Senate Report 58; 1976 House Report 61.The making of even a single videotape
recording at homefalls within this definition; the VTR user produces a material
object from which the copyrighted work later can be perceived. Unless Congress
intended a special exemption for the making of a single copy for personal
use, I must conclude that VTR recording is contrary to the exclusive rights
granted by § 106(1).
 The 1976 Act and its accompanying Reports specify
in some detail the situations in which a single copy of a copyrighted work may
be made without infringement concerns. Section 108(a), for example, permits
a library or archives "to reproduce no more than one copy or phonorecord
of a work" for a patron, but only under very limited conditions; an entire
work, moreover, can be copied only if it cannot be obtained elsewhere at a fair
price. [n11] § 108(e); see
also § 112(a) (broadcaster [p*465] may "make no more than one copy or phonorecord
of a particular transmission program," and only under certain conditions).
In other respects, the making of single copies is permissible only within the
limited confines of the fair use doctrine. The Senate Report, in a section headed
"Single and multiple copying," notes that the fair use doctrine would
permit a teacher to make a single copy of a work for use in the classroom, but
only if the work was not a "sizable" one such as a novel or treatise.
1975 Senate Report 63-64; accord, 1976 House Report 68-69,
71. Other situations in which the making of a single copy would be fair use
are described in the House and Senate Reports. [n12]
But neither the statute nor its legislative history suggests any intent to create
a general exemption for a single copy made for personal or private use.
 Indeed, it appears that Congress considered and
rejected the very possibility of a special private use exemption. The
issue was raised early in the revision process, in one of the studies prepared
for Congress under the supervision of the Copyright Office. A. Latman, Fair
Use of Copyrighted Works (1958), reprinted in Study No. 14 for the Senate Committee
on the Judiciary, Copyright Law Revision, Studies Prepared for the Subcommittee
on Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights, 86th Cong., 2d Sess., 1 (1960) (LatmanFair
Use Study). This study found no reported case supporting the existence of an
exemption for private use, although it noted that "the purpose and nature
of a private use, and in some [p*466] cases the small amount taken, might lead
a court to apply the general principles of fair use in such a way as to deny
liability." Id., at 12. After reviewing a number of foreign copyright
laws that contained explicit statutory exemptions for private or personal use,
id., at 25, Professor Latman outlined several approaches that a revision
bill could take to the general issue of exemptions and fair use. One of these
was the adoption of particularized rules to cover specific situations, including
"the field of personal use." Id., at 33. [n13]
 Rejecting the latter alternative,
the Register of Copyrights recommended that the revised copyright statute simply
mention the doctrine of fair use and indicate its general scope. The Register
opposed the adoption of rules and exemptions to cover specific situations, [n14]
preferring, instead, to rely on the judge-made fair use doctrine to resolve
new problems as they arose. See Register’s 1961 Report 25; Register‘s Supplementary
 The Register’s approach was
reflected in the first copyright revision bills, drafted by the Copyright Office
in 1964. [p*467] These bills, like the 1976 Act, granted the copyright owner
the exclusive right to reproduce the copyrighted work, subject only to the exceptions
set out in later sections. H. R. 11947S. 3008, 88th Cong., 2d Sess., § 5(a)
(1964). The primary exception was fair use, § 6, containing language virtually
identical to § 107 of the 1976 Act. Although the copyright revision bills underwent
change in many respects from their first introduction in 1964 to their final
passage in 1976, these portions of the bills did not change. [n15]
I can conclude only that Congress, like the Register, intended to rely on the
fair use doctrine, and not on a per se exemption for private use, to
separate permissible copying from the impermissible. [n16]
[p*468] When Congress intended special and protective treatment for private
use, moreover, it said so explicitly. One such explicit statement appears in
§ 106 itself. The copyright owner‘s exclusive right to perform a copyrighted
work, in contrast to his right to reproduce the work in copies, is limited.
Section 106(4) grants a copyright owner the exclusive right to perform the work
"publicly," but does not afford the owner protection with respect
to private performances by others. A motion picture is
"performed" whenever its images are shown or its sounds are made audible.
§ 101. Like "[singing] [p*469] a copyrighted lyric in the shower,"
Twentieth Century Music Corp. v. Aiken, 422 U.S. 151, 155 (1975),
watching television at home with one’s family and friends is now considered
a performance. 1975 Senate Report 59-60; 1976 House Report 63. [n17]
Home television viewing nevertheless does not infringe any copyright -- but
only because § 106(4) contains the word "publicly." [n18]
See generally 1975 Senate Report 60-61; 1976 House Report 63-64; Register’s
1961 Report 29-30. No such distinction between public and private uses appears
in § 106(1)‘s prohibition on the making of copies. [n19]
Similarly, an explicit reference to private use appears in § 108. Under that
section, a library can make a copy for a patron only for specific types of private
use: "private study, scholarship, or research." [n20]
§§ 108(d)(1) and (e)(1); see 37 CFR § 201.14(b) (1983). [p*470]
Limits also are imposed on the extent of the copying and the type of institution
that may make copies, and the exemption expressly is made inapplicable to motion
pictures and certain other types of works. § 108(h). These limitations would
be wholly superfluous if an entire copy of any work could be made by any person
for private use. [n21]
 The District Court in this case nevertheless concluded
that the 1976 Act contained an implied exemption for "home-use recording."
480 F.Supp., at 444-446. The court relied primarily on the legislative history
of a 1971 amendment to the 1909 Act, a reliance that this Court today does not
duplicate. Ante, at 430, n. 11. That amendment, however, was addressed
to the specific problem of commercial piracy of sound recordings. Act of Oct.
15, 1971, 85 Stat. 391 (1971 Amendment). The House Report
on the 1971 Amendment, in a section entitled "Home Recording," contains
the following statement:
"In approving the creation of a limited copyright
in sound recordingsit is the intention of the Committee that this limited
copyright not grant any broader rights than are accorded to other copyright
proprietors under the existing title 17. Specifically, it is not the intention
of the Committee to restrain the home recording, from broadcasts or from tapes
or records, of recorded performances, [p*471] where the home recording is
for private use and with no purpose of reproducing or otherwise capitalizing
commercially on it. This practice is common and unrestrained today, and the
record producers and performers would be in no different position from that
of the owners of copyright in recorded musical compositions over the past
20 years." H. R. Rep. No. 92-487, p. 7 (1971) (1971 House Report).
 Similar statements were made
during House hearings on the bill [n22] and on the
House floor, [n23] although not in the Senate [p*472]
proceedings. In concluding that these statements created a general exemption
for home recording, the District Court, in my view, paid too little heed to
the context in which the statements were made, and failed to consider the limited
purpose of the 1971 Amendment and the structure of the 1909 Act.
 Unlike television broadcastsand other types of motion
pictures, sound recordings were not protected by copyright prior to the passage
of the 1971 Amendment. Although the underlying musical
work could be copyrighted, the 1909 Act provided no protection for a particular
performer‘s rendition of the work. Moreover, copyrighted musical works that
had been recorded for public distribution were subject to a "compulsory
license": any person was free to record such a work upon payment of a 2-cent
royalty to the copyright owner. § 1(e), 35 Stat. 1075-1076. While reproduction
without payment of the royalty was an infringement under the 1909 Act, damages
were limited to three times the amount of the unpaid royalty. § 25(e), 35 Stat.
1081-1082; Shapiro, Bernstein & Co. v. Goody, 248 F.2d 260,
262-263, 265 (CA2 1957), cert. denied, 355 U.S. 952 (1958). It was observed
that the practical effect of these provisions was to legalize record piracy.
See S. Rep. No. 92-72, p. 4 (1971); 1971 House Report 2.
 In order to suppress this piracy, the 1971 Amendment
extended copyright protection beyond the underlying work and to the sound recordings
themselves. Congress chose, however, to provide only limited protection: owners
of copyright in sound recordings were given the exclusive right "[to] reproduce
[their works] and distribute [them] to the public." [p*473] 1971 Amendment,
§ 1(a), 85 Stat. 391 (formerly codified as 17 U. S. C. § 1(f)). [n24]
This right was merely the right of commercial distribution. See 117 Cong. Rec.
34748-34749 (1971) (colloquy of Reps. Kazen and Kastenmeier)
("the bill protects copyrighted material that is duplicated for commercial
 Against this background, the
statements regarding home recording under the 1971 Amendment appear in a very
different light. If home recording was "common and unrestrained" under
the 1909 Act, see 1971 House Report 7, it was because sound recordings had no
copyright protection and the owner of a copyright in the underlying musical
work could collect no more than a 2-cent royalty plus 6 cents in damages for
each unauthorized use. With so little at stake, it is not at all surprising
that the Assistant Register "[did] not see anybody going into anyone‘s
home and preventing this sort of thing." 1971 House Hearings 23.
 But the references to home sound recording in the
1971 Amendment’s legislative history demonstrate no congressional intent to
create a generalized home-use exemption from copyright protection. Congress,
having recognized that the 1909 Act had been unsuccessful in controlling home
sound recording, addressed only the specific problem of commercial record piracy.
To quote Assistant Register Ringer again, home use was "not what this legislation
[was] addressed to." Id., at 22. [n25]
[p*474] While the 1971 Amendment narrowed the sound recordings loophole in then
existing copyright law, motion pictures and other audiovisual works have been
accorded full copyright protection since at least 1912, see Act of Aug. 24,
1912, 37 Stat. 488, and perhaps before, see Edison v. Lubin, 122
F. 240 (CA3 1903), appeal dism'd, 195 U.S. 625 (1904). Congress continued this
protection in the 1976 Act. Unlike the sound recording rights created by the
1971 Amendment, the reproduction rights associated with motion pictures under
§ 106(1) are not limited to reproduction for public distribution; the
copyright owner’s right to reproduce the work exists independently, and the
"mere duplication of a copy may constitute an infringement even if it is
never distributed." Register‘s Supplementary Report 16; see
1975 Senate Report 57 and 1976 House Report 61. Moreover, the 1976 Act was intended
as a comprehensive treatment of all aspects of copyright law. The Reports accompanying
the 1976 Act, unlike the 1971 House Report, contain no suggestion that home-use
recording is somehow outside the scope of this all-inclusive statute. It was
clearly the intent of Congress that no additional exemptions were to be implied.
[n26] [p*475] I therefore find in the 1976
Act no implied exemption to cover the home taping of television programs, whether
it be for a single copy, for private use, or for home use. Taping a copyrighted
television program is infringement unless it is permitted by the fair use exemption
contained in § 107 of the 1976 Act. I now turn to that issue.
 The doctrine of fair use has
been called, with some justification, "the most troublesome in the whole
law of copyright." Dellar v. Samuel Goldwyn, Inc., 104 F.2d
661, 662 (CA2 1939); see Triangle Publications, Inc. v. Knight-Ridder
Newspapers, Inc., 626 F.2d 1171, 1174 (CA5 1980); Meeropol v. Nizer,
560 F.2d 1061, 1068 (CA2 1977), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 1013 (1978). Although
courts have constructed lists of factors to be considered in determining whether
a particular use is fair, [n27] no fixed criteria
have emerged by which that [p*476] determination can be made. This Court thus
far has provided no guidance; although fair use issues have come here twice,
on each occasion the Court was equally divided and no opinion was forthcoming.
Williams & Wilkins Co. v. United States, 203 Ct. Cl. 74, 487
F.2d 1345 (1973), aff’d, 420 U.S. 376 (1975); Benny v. Loew‘s Inc.,
239 F.2d 532 (CA9 1956), aff’d sub nom. Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc.
v. Loew‘s Inc., 356 U.S. 43 (1958).
 Nor did Congress provide definitive
rules when it codified the fair use doctrine in the 1976 Act; it simply incorporated
a list of factors "to be considered": the "purpose and character
of the use," the "nature of the copyrighted work," the "amount
and substantiality of the portion used," and, perhaps the most important,
the "effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of
the copyrighted work" (emphasis supplied). § 107. No particular weight,
however, was assigned to any of these, and the list was not intended to be exclusive.
The House and Senate Reports explain that § 107 does no more than give "statutory
recognition" to the fair use doctrine; it was intended "to restate
the present judicial doctrine of fair use, not to change, narrow, or enlarge
it in any way." 1976 House Report 66. See 1975 Senate Report 62; S. Rep.
No. 93-983, p. 116 (1974); H. R. Rep. No. 83, 90th Cong., 1st Sess., 32 (1967);
H. R. Rep. No. 2237, 89th Cong., 2d Sess., 61 (1966).
 Despite this absence of clear standards, the fair
use doctrine plays a crucial role in the law of copyright. The purpose of copyright
protection, in the words of the Constitution, is to "promote theProgress
of Science and useful Arts." Copyright is based on
the belief that by granting authors the exclusive rights to reproduce their
works, they are given an incentive to create, and that "encouragement of
individual effort by personal gain is the best way to advance public welfare
through the talents of authors and inventors in ’Science and the useful Arts.‘"
Mazer v. Stein, 347 U.S. 201, 219 (1954). The monopoly
created by copyright thus rewards the individual author in order to benefit
the public. Twentieth Century Music Corp. v. Aiken, 422 U.S.,
at 156; Fox Film Corp. v. Doyal, 286 U.S.
123, 127-128 (1932); see H. R. Rep. No. 2222, 60th Cong., 2d Sess., 7 (1909).
 There are situations, nevertheless, in which strict
enforcement of this monopoly would inhibit the very "Progress of Science
and useful Arts" that copyright is intended to promote. An
obvious example is the researcher or scholar whose own work depends on the ability
to refer to and to quote the work of prior scholars. Obviously, no author could
create a new work if he were first required to repeat the research of every
author who had gone before him. [n28] The scholar,
like the ordinary user, of course could be left to bargain with each copyright
owner for permission to quote from or refer to prior works. But there is a crucial
difference between the scholar and the ordinary user. When the ordinary user
decides that the owner’s price is too high, and forgoes use of the work, only
the individual is the loser. When the scholar forgoes the use of a prior work,
not only does his own [p*478] work suffer, but the public is deprived of his
contribution to knowledge. The scholar‘s work, in other words, produces external
benefits from which everyone profits. In such a case, the fair use doctrine
acts as a form of subsidy -- albeit at the first author’s expense -- to permit
the second author to make limited use of the first author‘s work for the public
good. See Latman Fair Use Study 31; Gordon, Fair Use as Market Failure: A Structural
Analysis of the Betamax Case and its Predecessors, 82 Colum. L. Rev.
1600, 1630 (1982).
 A similar subsidy may be appropriate
in a range of areas other than pure scholarship. The situations in which fair
use is most commonly recognized are listed in § 107 itself; fair use may be
found when a work is used "for purposes such as criticism, comment, news
reporting, teaching, . . . scholarship, or research." The House and Senate
Reports expand on this list somewhat, [n29] and
other examples may be found in the case law. [n30]
Each of these uses, however, reflects a common theme: each is a productive
use, resulting in some added benefit to the public beyond that produced by the
first author’s work. [n31] The fair use doctrine,
in other words, permits works [p*479] to be used for "socially laudable
purposes." See Copyright Office, Briefing Papers on Current Issues, reprinted
in 1975 House Hearings 2051, 2055. I am aware of no case in which the reproduction
of a copyrighted work for the sole benefit of the user has been held to be fair
use. [n32] I do not suggest, of course, that every
productive use is a fair use. A finding of fair use still must depend
on the facts of the individual case, and on whether, under the circumstances,
it is reasonable to expect the user to bargain with the copyright owner for
use of the work. The fair use doctrine must strike a balance
between the dual risks created by the copyright system: on the one hand, that
depriving authors of their monopoly will reduce their incentive to create, and,
on the other, that granting authors a complete monopoly will reduce the creative
ability of others. [n33] The inquiry is [p*480]
necessarily a flexible one, and the endless variety of situations that may arise
precludes the formulation of exact rules. But when a user reproduces an entire
work and uses it for its original purpose, with no added benefit to the public,
the doctrine of fair use usually does not apply. There is then no need whatsoever
to provide the ordinary user with a fair use subsidy at the author’s expense.
 The making of a videotape recording for home viewing
is an ordinary rather than a productive use of the Studios‘ copyrighted works.
The District Court found that "Betamax owners use the copy for the same
purpose as the original. They add nothing of their own." 480 F.Supp., at
453. Although applying the fair use doctrine to home VTR recording, as Sony
argues, may increase public access to material broadcast free over the public
airwaves, I think Sony’s argument misconceives the nature of copyright. Copyright
gives the author a right to limit or even to cut off access to his work. Fox
Film Corp. v. Doyal, 286 U.S., at 127. A VTR recording creates no
public benefit sufficient to justify limiting this right. Nor is this right
extinguished by the copyright owner‘s choice to make the work available over
the airwaves. Section 106 of the 1976 Act grants the copyright owner the exclusive
right to control the performance and the reproduction of his work, and the fact
that he has licensed a single television performance is really irrelevant to
the existence of his right to control its reproduction. Although a television
broadcast maybe free to the viewer, this fact is equally irrelevant; a book
borrowed from the public library may not be copied any more freely than a book
that is purchased.
 It may be tempting, as, in my view, the Court today
is tempted, to stretch the doctrine of fair use so as to permit unfettered use
of this new technology in order to increase access [p*481] to television programming.
But such an extension risks eroding the very basis of copyright law, by depriving
authors of control over their works and consequently of their incentive to create.
[n34] Even in the context of
highly productive educational uses, Congress has avoided this temptation; in
passing the 1976 Act, Congress made it clear that off-the-air videotaping was
to be permitted only in very limited situations. See 1976 House Report 71; 1975
Senate Report 64. And, the Senate Report adds, "[the] committee does not
intend to suggest . . . that off-the-air recording for convenience would under
any circumstances, be considered ‘fair use.’" Id., at 66. I cannot
disregard these admonitions.
 I recognize, nevertheless, that there are situations
where permitting even an unproductive use would have no effect on the author‘s
incentive to create, that is, where the use would not affect the value of, or
the market for, the author’s work. Photocopying an old newspaper clipping to
send to a friend [p*482] may be an example; pinning a quotation on one‘s bulletin
board may be another. In each of these cases, the effect on the author is truly
de minimis. Thus, even though these uses provide no benefit to the public
at large, no purpose is served by preserving the author’s monopoly, and the
use may be regarded as fair.
 Courts should move with caution, however, in depriving
authors of protection from unproductive "ordinary" uses. As
has been noted above, even in the case of a productive use, § 107(4) requires
consideration of "the effect of the use upon the potential market
for or value of the copyrighted work" (emphasis added). "[A] particular
use which may seem to have little or no economic impact on the author‘s rights
today can assume tremendous importance in times to come." Register’s Supplementary
Report 14. Although such a use may seem harmlesswhen viewed in isolation,
"[isolated] instances of minor infringements, when multiplied many times,
become in the aggregate a major inroad on copyright that must be prevented."
1975 Senate Report 65.
 I therefore conclude that, at least when the proposed
use is an unproductive one, a copyright owner need prove only a potential
for harm to the market for or the value of the copyrighted work. See 3 M. Nimmer,
Copyright § 13.05[E][c], p. 13-84 (1983). Proof of actual
harm, or even probable harm, may be impossible in an area where the effect of
a new technology is speculative, and requiring such proof would present the
"real danger . . . of confining the scope of an author‘s rights on the
basis of the present technology so that, as the years go by, his copyright loses
much of its value because of unforeseen technical advances." Register’s
Supplementary Report 14. Infringement thus would be found if the copyright owner
demonstrates a reasonable possibility that harm will result from the proposed
use. When the use is one that creates no benefit to the public at large,
copyright protection should not be denied on the basis that a new technology
that may result in harm has not yet done so.
 [p*483] The Studios have identified a number of
ways in which VTR recording could damage their copyrights. VTR
recording could reduce their ability to market their works in movie theaters
and through the rental or sale of prerecorded videotapes or videodiscs; it also
could reduce their rerun audience, and consequently the license fees available
to them for repeated showings. Moreover, advertisers may be willing to pay for
only "live" viewing audiences, if they believe VTR viewers will delete
commercials or if rating services are unable to measure VTR use; if this is
the case, VTR recording could reduce the license fees the Studios are able to
charge even for first-run showings. Library-building may raise the potential
for each of the types of harm identified by the Studios, and time-shifting may
raise the potential for substantial harm as well. [n35]
Although the District Court found no likelihood of harm
from VTR use, 480 F.Supp., at 468, I conclude that it applied an incorrect substantive
standard and misallocated the [p*484] burden of proof. The District Court reasoned
that the Studios had failed to prove that library-building would occur "to
any significant extent," id., at 467; that the Studios‘ prerecorded
videodiscs could compete with VTR recordings and were "arguably . . . more
desirable," ibid.; that it was "not clear that movie audiences
will decrease," id., at 468; and that the practice of deleting commercials
"may be too tedious" for many viewers, ibid. To the extent
any decrease in advertising revenues would occur, the court concluded that the
Studios had "marketing alternatives at hand to recoup some of that predicted
loss." Id., at 452. Because the Studios’ prediction of harm was
"based on so many assumptions and on a system of marketing which is rapidly
changing," the court was "hesitant to identify ‘probable effects’
of home-use copying." Ibid.
 The District Court‘s reluctance
to engage in predictionin this area is understandable, but, in my view, the
court was mistaken in concluding that the Studios should bear the risk created
by this uncertainty. The Studios have demonstrated a potential for harm,
which has not been, and could not be, refuted at this early stage of technological
 The District Court’s analysis of harm, moreover,
failed to consider the effect of VTR recording on "the potential
market for or the value of the copyrighted work," as required by § 107(4).
[n36] The requirement that
a putatively infringing use [p*485] of a copyrighted work, to be "fair,"
must not impair a "potential" market for the work has two implications.
First, an infringer cannot prevail merely by demonstrating that the copyright
holder suffered no net harm from the infringer’s action. Indeed, even a showing
that the infringement has resulted in a net benefit to the copyright holder
will not suffice. Rather, the infringer must demonstrate that he had not impaired
the copyright holder‘s ability to demand compensation from (or to deny access
to) any group who would otherwise be willing to pay to see or hear the copyrighted
work. Second, the fact that a given market for a copyrighted work would not
be available to the copyright holder were it not for the infringer’s activities
does not permit the infringer to exploit that market without compensating the
copyright holder. See Iowa State University Research Foundation, Inc.
v. American Broadcasting Cos., 621 F.2d 57 (CA2 1980).
 In this case, the Studios and
their amici demonstrate that the advent of the VTR technology created
a potential market for their copyrighted programs. That market consists of those
persons who find it impossible or inconvenient to watch the programs at the
time they are broadcast, and who wish to watch them at other times. These persons
are willing to pay for the privilege of watching copyrighted work at their convenience,
as is evidenced by the fact that they are willing to pay for VTR‘s and tapes;
undoubtedly, most also would be willing to pay some kind of royalty to copyright
holders. The Studios correctly argue that they have been deprived of the ability
to exploit this sizable market.
 It is thus apparent from the
record and from the findings of the District Court that time-shifting does have
a substantial [p*486] adverse effect upon the "potential market for"
the Studios’ copyrighted works. Accordingly, even under the formulation
of the fair use doctrine advanced by Sony, time-shifting cannot be deemed a
 From the Studios‘ perspective, the consequences
of home VTR recording are the same as if a business had taped the Studios’ works
off the air, duplicated the tapes, and sold or rented them to members of the
public for home viewing. The distinction is that home VTR users do not record
for commercial advantage; the commercial benefit accrues to the manufacturer
and distributors of the Betamax. I thus must proceed to
discuss whether the manufacturer and distributors can be held contributorily
liable if the product they sell is used to infringe.
 It is well established that
liability for copyright infringement can be imposed on persons other than those
who actually carry out the infringing activity. Kalem Co. v. Harper
Brothers, 222 U.S. 55, 62-63 (1911); 3 M. Nimmer, Copyright § 12.04[A] (1983);
see Twentieth Century Music Corp. v. Aiken, 422 U.S., at 160,
n. 11; Buck v. Jewell-LaSalle Realty Co., 283 U.S. 191, 198 (1931).
Although the liability provision of the 1976 Act provides simply that "[anyone]
who violates any of the exclusive rights of the copyright owner . . . is an
infringer of the copyright," 17 U. S. C. § 501(a) (1982 ed.), the House
and Senate Reports demonstrate that Congress intended to retain judicial doctrinesof
contributory infringement. 1975 Senate Report 57; 1976 House Report 61. [n37]
[p*487] The doctrine of contributory copyright infringement, however, is not
well defined. One of the few attempts at definition appears in Gershwin Publishing
Corp. v. Columbia Artists Management, Inc., 443 F.2d 1159 (CA2 1971).
In that case the Second Circuit stated that "one who, with knowledge of
the infringing activity, induces, causes or materially contributes to the infringing
conduct of another, may be held liable as a ‘contributory’ infringer."
Id., at 1162 (footnote omitted). While I have no quarrel with this general
statement, it does not easily resolve the present case; the District Court and
the Court of Appeals, both purporting to apply it, reached diametrically opposite
 In absolving Sony from liability, the District Court
reasoned that Sony had no direct involvement with individual Betamax users,
did not participate in any off-the-air copying, and did not know that such copying
was an infringement of the Studios‘ copyright. 480 F.Supp., at 460. I agree
with the Gershwin court that contributory liability may be imposed even
when the defendant has no formal control over the infringer. The
defendant in Gershwin was a concert promoter operating through local
concert associations that it sponsored; it had no formal control over the infringing
performers themselves. 443 F.2d, at 1162-1163. See also Twentieth Century
Music Corp. v. Aiken, 422 U.S., at 160, n. 11.Moreover, a finding
of contributory infringement has never depended on actual knowledge of particular
instances of infringement; it is sufficient that the defendant have reason to
know that infringement is taking place. 443 F.2d, at 1162; [p*488] see Screen
Gems-Columbia Music, Inc. v. Mark-Fi Records, Inc., 256 F.Supp. 399
(SDNY 1966). [n38] In the so-called "dance
hall" cases, in which questions of contributory infringement arise with
some frequency, proprietors of entertainment establishments routinely are held
liable for unauthorized performances on their premises, even when they have
no knowledge that copyrighted works are being performed. In effect, the proprietors
in those cases are charged with constructive knowledge of the performances.
[n39] [p*489] Nor is it necessary that the
defendant be aware that the infringing activity violates the copyright laws.
Section 504(c)(2) of the 1976 Act provides for a reduction
in statutory damages when an infringer proves he "was not aware and had
no reason to believe that his or her acts constituted an infringement of copyright,"
but the statute establishes no general exemption for those who believe their
infringing activities are legal. Moreover, such an exemption would be meaningless
in a case such as this, in which prospective relief is sought; once a court
has established that the copying at issue is infringement, the defendants are
necessarily aware of that fact for the future. It is undisputed in this case
that Sony had reason to know the Betamax would be used by some owners to tape
copyrighted works off the air. See 480 F.Supp., at 459-460.
 The District Court also concluded
that Sony had not caused, induced, or contributed materially to any infringing
activities of Betamax owners. Id., at 460. In a case of this kind, however,
causation can be shown indirectly; it does not depend on evidence that particular
Betamaxowners relied on particular advertisements. In an analogous case decided
just two Terms ago, this Court approved a lower court‘s conclusion that liability
for contributory trademark infringement could be imposed on a manufacturer who
"suggested, even by implication" that a retailer use the manufacturer’s
goods to infringe the trademark of another. Inwood Laboratories, Inc.
v. Ives Laboratories, Inc., 456 U.S. 844, 851 (1982); see id.,
at 860 (opinion concurring in result). I think this standard is equally appropriate
in the copyright context.
 The District Court found that
Sony has advertised the Betamax as suitable for off-the-air recording of "favorite
shows," "novels for television," and "classic movies,"
480 F.Supp., at 436, with no visible warning that such recording [p*490] could
constitute copyright infringement. It is only with the aid of the Betamax or
some other VTR, that it is possible today for home television viewers to infringe
copyright by recording off-the-air. Off-the-air recording is not only a foreseeable
use for the Betamax, but indeed is its intended use. Under the circumstances,
I agree with the Court of Appeals that if off-the-air recording is an infringement
of copyright, Sony has induced and materially contributed to the infringing
conduct of Betamax owners. [n40]
 Sony argues that the manufacturer or seller of a
product used to infringeis absolved from liability whenever the product can
be put to any substantial noninfringing use. Brief for Petitioners 41-42. The
District Court so held, borrowing the "staple article of commerce"
doctrine governing liability for contributory infringement of patents. See 35
U. S. C. § 271. [n41] This Court today is much less
positive. See ante, [p*491] at 440-442. I do not agree that this technical
judge-made doctrine of patent law, based in part on considerations irrelevant
to the field of copyright, see generally Dawson Chemical Co. v. Rohm
& Haas Co., 448 U.S. 176, 187-199 (1980), should be imported wholesale
into copyright law. Despite their common constitutional source, see U.S. Const.,
Art. I, § 8, cl. 8, patent and copyright protections have not developed in a
parallel fashion, and this Court in copyright cases in the past has borrowed
patent concepts only sparingly. See Bobbs-Merrill Co. v. Straus,
210 U.S. 339, 345-346 (1908).
 I recognize, however, that
many of the concerns underlying the "staple article of commerce" doctrine
are present in copyright law as well. As the District Court noted, if liability
for contributory infringement were imposed on the manufacturer or seller of
every product used to infringe -- a typewriter, a camera, a photocopying machine
-- the "wheels of commerce" would be blocked. 480 F.Supp., at 461;
see also Kalem Co. v. Harper Brothers, 222 U.S., at 62.
 I therefore conclude
that if a significant portion of the product‘s use is noninfringing,
the manufacturers and sellers cannot be held contributorily liable for the product’s
infringing uses. See ante, at 440-441. If virtually all of the product‘s
use, however, is to infringe, contributory liability may be imposed; if no one
would buy the product for noninfringing purposes alone, it is clear that the
manufacturer is purposely profiting from the infringement, and that liability
is appropriately imposed. In such a case, the copyright owner’s monopoly would
not be extended beyond its proper bounds; the manufacturer
of such a product contributes to the infringing activities of others and profits
directly thereby, while [p*492] providing no benefit to the public sufficient
to justify the infringement.
 The Court of Appeals concluded
that Sony should be held liable for contributory infringement, reasoning that
"[videotape] recorders are manufactured, advertised, and sold for the primary
purpose of reproducing television programming," and "[virtually] all
television programming is copyrighted material." 659 F.2d, at 975. While
I agree with the first of these propositions, [n42]
the second, for me, is problematic. The key question is not the amount of television
programming that is copyrighted, but rather the amount of VTR usage that is
infringing. [n43] Moreover, the parties and their
amici have argued vigorously about both the amount of television programming
that is covered by copyright and the amount for which permission to copy has
been given. The proportion of VTR recording that is infringing is ultimately
a question of fact, [n44] and the District Court
specifically declined to make [p*493] findings on the "percentage of legal
versus illegal home-use recording." 480 F.Supp., at 468. In light
of my view of the law, resolution of this factual question is essential. I therefore
would remand the case for further consideration of this by the District Court.
 The Court has adopted an approach very different
from the one I have outlined. It is my view that the Court‘s approach alters
dramatically the doctrines of fair use and contributory infringement as they
have been developed by Congress and the courts. Should Congress choose to respond
to the Court’s decision, the old doctrines can be resurrected. As it stands,
however, the decision today erodes much of the coherence that these doctrines
have struggled to achieve.
 The Court‘s disposition of
the case turns on its conclusion that time-shifting is a fair use. Because both
parties agree that time-shifting is the primary use of VTR’s, that conclusion,
if correct, would settle the issue of Sony‘s liability under almost any definition
of contributory infringement. The Court concludes that time-shifting is fair
use for two reasons. Each is seriously flawed.
 The Court’s first reason
for concluding that time-shifting is fair use is its claim that many copyright
holders have no objection to time-shifting, and that "respondents have
no right to prevent other copyright holders from authorizing it for their programs."
Ante, at 442. The Court explains that a finding of contributoryinfringement
would "inevitably frustrate the interests of broadcasters in reaching the
portion of their audience that is available only through time-shifting."
[p*494] Ante, at 446. Such reasoning, however, simply confuses the question
of liability with the difficulty of fashioning an appropriate remedy. It may
be that an injunction prohibiting the sale of VTR‘s would harm the interests
of copyright holders who have no objection to others making copies of their
programs. But such concerns should and would be taken into account in fashioning
an appropriate remedy once liability has been found. Remedies may well be available
that would not interfere with authorized time-shifting at all. The Court of
Appeals mentioned the possibility of a royalty payment that would allow VTR
sales and time-shifting to continue unabated, and the parties may be able to
devise other narrowly tailored remedies. Sony may be able, for example, to build
a VTR that enables broadcasters to scramble the signal of individual programs
and "jam" the unauthorized recording of them. Even were an appropriate
remedy not available at this time, the Court should not misconstrue copyright
holders’ rights in a manner that prevents enforcement of them when, through
development of better techniques, an appropriate remedy becomes available. [n45]
[p*495] The Court‘s second stated reason for finding that Sony is not liable
for contributory infringement is its conclusion that even unauthorized time-shifting
is fair use. Ante, at 447 et seq. This conclusion is even more
troubling. The Court begins by suggesting that the fair use doctrine operates
as a general "equitable rule of reason." That interpretation mischaracterizes
the doctrine, and simply ignores the language of the statute. Section 107 establishes
the fair use doctrine "for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting,
teaching, . . . scholarship, or research." These are all productive uses.
It is true that the legislative history states repeatedly that the doctrine
must be applied flexibly on a case-by-case basis, but those references were
only in the context of productive uses. Such a limitation on fair use comports
with its purpose, which is to facilitate the creation of new works. There is
no indication that the fair use doctrine has any application for purely personal
consumption on the scale involved in this case, [n46]
and the Court’s application of it here deprives fair use of the major cohesive
force that has guidedevolution of the doctrine in the past.
 [p*496] Having bypassed
the initial hurdle for establishing that a use is fair, the Court then purports
to apply to time-shifting the four factors explicitly stated in the statute.
The first is "the purpose and character of the use, including whether such
use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes."
§ 107(1). The Court confidently describes time-shifting as a noncommercial,
nonprofit activity. It is clear, however, that personal use of programs that
have been copied without permission is not what § 107(1) protects. The intent
of the section is to encourage users to engage in activities the primary benefit
of which accruesto others. Time-shifting involves no such humanitarian impulse.
It is likewise something of a mischaracterization of time-shifting to describe
it as noncommercial in the sense that that term is used in the statute. As one
commentator has observed, time-shifting is noncommercial in the same sense that
stealing jewelry and wearing it -- instead of reselling it -- is noncommercial.
[n47] Purely consumptive uses are certainly not
what the fair use doctrine was designed to protect, and the awkwardness of applying
the statutory language to time-shifting only makes clearer that fair use was
designed to protect only uses that are productive.
 The next two statutory factors
are all but ignored by the Court -- though certainly not because they have no
applicability. The second factor -- "the nature of the copyrighted work"
-- strongly supports the view that time-shifting is an infringing use. The rationale
guiding application of this factor is that certain types of works, typically
those involving "more of diligence than of originality or inventiveness,"
New York Times Co. v. Roxbury Data Interface, Inc., 434 F.Supp.
217, 221 (NJ 1977), require less copyright protection than other original works.
Thus, for example, informational [p*497] works, such as news reports, that readily
lend themselves to productive use by others, are less protected than creative
works of entertainment. Sony‘s own surveys indicate that entertainment shows
account for more than 80 of the programs recorded by Betamax owners. [n48]
 The third statutory factor
-- "the amount and substantiality of the portion used" -- is even
more devastating to the Court‘sinterpretation. It is undisputed that virtually
all VTR owners record entire works, see 480 F.Supp., at 454, thereby creating
an exact substitute for the copyrighted original. Fair use is intended to allow
individuals engaged in productive uses to copy small portions of original works
that will facilitate their own productive endeavors. Time-shifting bears no
resemblance to such activity, and the complete duplication that it involves
might alone be sufficient to preclude a finding of fair use. It is little wonder
that the Court has chosen to ignore this statutory factor. [n49]
 The fourth factor requires
an evaluation of "the effect of the use upon the potential market for or
value of the copyrighted work." This is the factor upon which the Court
focuses, but once again, the Court has misread the statute. As mentioned above,
the statute requires a court to consider the effect of the use on the potential
market for the copyrighted work. The Court has struggled mightily to show that
VTR use has not reduced the value of the Studios‘ copyrighted works in
their present markets. Even if true, that showing only begins the proper
inquiry. The development [p*498] of the VTR has created a new market for the
works produced by the Studios. That market consists of those persons who desire
to view television programs at times other than when they are broadcast, and
who therefore purchase VTR recorders to enable them to time-shift. [n50]
Because time-shifting of the Studios‘ copyrighted works involves the copying
of them, however, the Studios are entitled to share in the benefits of that
new market. Those benefits currently go to Sony through Betamax sales. Respondents
therefore can show harm from VTR use simply by showing that the value of their
copyrights would increase if they were compensated for the copies that
are used in the new market. The existence of this effect is self-evident.
 Because of the Court’s conclusion
concerning the legality of time-shifting, it never addresses the amount of noninfringing
use that a manufacturer must show to absolve itself from liability as a contributory
infringer. Thus, it is difficult to discuss how the Court‘s test for contributory
infringement would operate in practice under a proper analysis of time-shifting.
One aspect of the test as it is formulated by the Court, however, particularly
deserves comment. The Court explains that a manufacturer of a productis not
liable for contributory infringement as long as the product is "capable
of substantial noninfringing uses." Ante, at 442 (emphasis supplied).
Such a definition essentially eviscerates the concept of contributory infringement.
Only the most unimaginative manufacturer would be unable to demonstrate that
a image-duplicating product is "capable" of substantial noninfringing
uses. Surely Congress desired to prevent the sale of products that are used
almost exclusively to infringe copyrights; [p*499] the fact that noninfringing
uses exist presumably would have little bearing on that desire.
 More importantly, the rationale for the Court’s
narrow standard of contributory infringement reveals that, once again, the Court
has confused the issue of liability with that of remedy. The Court finds that
a narrow definition of contributory infringement is necessary in order to protect
"the rights of others freely to engage in substantially unrelated areas
of commerce." Ante, at 442. But application of the contributory
infringement doctrine implicates such rights only if the remedy attendant upon
a finding of liability were an injunction against the manufactureof the product
in question. The issue of an appropriate remedy is not before the Court at this
time, but it seems likely that a broad injunction is not the remedy that would
be ordered. It is unfortunate that the Court has allowed its concern over a
remedy to infect its analysis of liability.
 The Court of Appeals, having found Sony liable,
remanded for the District Court to consider the propriety of injunctive or other
relief. Because of my conclusion as to the issue of liability, I, too, would
not decide here what remedy would be appropriate if liability were found. I
concur, however, in the Court of Appeals‘ suggestion that an award of damages,
or continuing royalties, or even some form of limited injunction, may well be
an appropriate means of balancing the equities in this case. [n51]
Although I express no view on the merits [p*500] of any
particular proposal, I am certain that, if Sony were found liable in this case,
the District Court would be able to fashion appropriate relief. The District
Court might conclude, of course, that a continuing royalty or other equitable
relief is not feasible. The Studios then would be relegated to statutory damages
for proveninstances of infringement. But the difficulty of fashioning relief,
and the possibility that complete relief may be unavailable, should not affect
our interpretation of the statute.
 Like so many other problems created by the interaction
of copyright law with a new technology, "[there] can be no really satisfactory
solution to the problem presented here, until Congress acts." Twentieth
Century Music Corp. v. Aiken, 422 U.S., at 167 (dissenting opinion).
But in the absence of a congressional solution, courts cannot avoid difficult
problems by refusing to apply the law. We must "take the Copyright Act
. . . as we find it," Fortnightly Corp. v. United Artists Television,
Inc., 392 U.S., at 401-402, and "do as little damage as possible to
traditional copyright principles . . . until the Congress legislates."
Id., at 404 (dissenting opinion).