Most compact cassettes were sold blank and used for recording (dubbing) the owner's records (as backup, to play in the car, or to make mixtape compilations), their friends' records or music from the radio. This practice was condemned by the music industry with such alarmist slogans as "Home Taping Is Killing Music". However, many claimed that the medium was ideal for spreading new music and would increase sales, and strongly defended at least their right to copy their own records onto tape. For a limited time in the early 1980s Island Records sold chromium dioxide “One Plus One” cassettes that had an album prerecorded on one side and the other was left blank for the purchaser to use. Cassettes were also a boon to people wishing to tape concerts (unauthorized or authorized) for sale or trade, a practice tacitly or overtly encouraged by many bands with a more counterculture bent such as the Grateful Dead. Blank Compact Cassettes also were an invaluable tool to spread the music of unsigned acts, especially within tape trading networks.
Various legal cases arose surrounding the dubbing of cassettes. In the UK, in the case of CBS Songs v. Amstrad (1988), the House of Lordsfound in favor of Amstrad that producing equipment that facilitated the dubbing of cassettes, in this case a high-speed twin cassette deck that allowed one cassette to be copied directly onto another, did not constitute the infringement of copyright. In a similar case, a shop owner who rented cassettes and sold blank tapes was not liable for copyright infringement even though it was clear that his customers were likely dubbing them at home. In both cases, the courts held that manufacturers and retailers could not be held accountable for the actions of consumers.
As an alternative to home dubbing, in the late 1980s, the Personics company installed booths in record stores across America which allowed customers to make personalized mixtapes from a digitally-encoded back-catalogue with customised printed covers.