Distributing content without a license is already illegal here, but the new copyright regime modernizes the law and puts enforcement mechanisms in place to make it easier for copyright holders to stop infringement and ask for damages.
LIME and C3 told the Cayman Compass that they have distribution agreements for the content on their networks. Logic, which bought WestStar last year, would not comment on content licenses but did say the company fully complies with copyright protection laws.
Bill McCabe, CEO of LIME, said his company encouraged the copyright update. The Information and Communication Technology Authority, he said, “has the opportunity to use this copyright law so that all TV providers, both local and international, are subject to the same laws to ensure both a fair and competitive playing field.”
“There are satellite companies broadcasting TV content to the Cayman Islands and it is a significant but important change to ensure that they are appropriately licensed,” Mr. McCabe said.
ICTA general counsel Russell Richardson, who serves on the advisory committee to update Cayman’s copyright laws, said the authority “strongly supports” the new rules. He said, “When the application of the U.K. Copyright Law is brought into force, there will be clear obligations on people to ensure that they have the rights to broadcast the content they broadcast, whether it be via the radio, television or, indeed, the Internet.”
Mr. Richardson added, “As to how this may affect our licensees, if any of our licensees haven’t yet done so, they should ensure that they are compliant with the U.K. Copyright Law before it comes into force.”
WestStar, now part of Logic, got in trouble several years ago when the HBO network accused the company publicly and in a complaint with the ICTA of intercepting its satellite signal and selling the channel to customers without paying licensing fees. The dispute did not come to an end until Logic bought WestStar, bringing WestStar customers under the license Logic already had with the premium cable channel that produces popular shows such as “Game of Thrones.”
Last month, according to The Gleaner newspaper in Jamaica, the Jamaican Broadcasting Commission ordered television providers to pull 19 cable channels. The commission said the companies did not have licenses to broadcast the channels, including Encore, Showtime and Starz. Jamaican TV viewers will lose the stations at the end of the month.