Cable companies welcome copyright

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. 

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  1. I now understand how these changes made it to the floor of the LA so quickly and who was behind the push to implement these changes.

    I fully support the move to do things legally so I have no problem with the changes. I would however like to take this opportunity to remind our elected officials that elections are just around the corner and people are going to want to know how it is that so many other long outstanding changes that would benefit the average worker in the Cayman Islands have not yet made it to the floor of the LA for a vote.

  2. I am not certain about c3 but I can say Lime internet service sucks! Yet when I complain I keep hearing its peak times so circuits are busy and the customer service in every Caribbean jurisdiction for phone sucks! So why are consumers being forced to a company that don’t even meet the minimum criteria to assist and provide value for money?

    This law is so wrong.

  3. @Hugh makes a very good point

    There are 2 very cynical sales ploys which internet providers use.

    Mega Bit vs. Mega Byte
    Everyone is familiar with the term Megabyte (file size) and the typical assumption is that they mean the same thing – they sell you a 1Mb per second connection and you think that means a 10Mb file will download in 10 seconds?
    The truth is that a Megabit is only an EIGHTH of a Megabyte, so with error checking and transmission data it be more like a minute and a half for the file on a TRUE 1 Megabit connection.

    Contended Service (Contention Ratio)
    Think of a water company – if they have a 1000 customers and opening a tap/faucet delivers 2 gallons a minute;-
    In theory, they need to be able to deliver 2000 gallons every minute?
    In practice 95-99 percent of customers will be turned off at any given moment so they need only deliver 20 to 100 gallons every minute?
    BUT first thing in the morning when everyone is having a shower and making coffee, demand is much higher, customers notice…

    The internet is the same, we spend a couple of minutes composing an email, but it is sent in a second;
    We download a web page in a few seconds (which seems slow) and then spend several minutes reading it;
    Internet providers know this and so they can oversell or oversubscribe the service – how many times it is oversold is called the contention ratio.

    The problem is that technology has moved on and we have continuous data applications like streaming movies – a few users can monopolize the resources which were ”supposed” to be shared by many.

    The ISP”s on island have invested heavily in Fiber, but that sales drive might mean many More customers now sharing the same resources.

    The regulatory body needs to set a minimum service level so a 1Mb service is comparable across providers, and they can”t weasel out of their responsibilities by citing high demand or other excuses.