(CNS Business): Minister of Commerce Wayne Panton announced the Cayman Islands would soon be falling under the UK’s umbrella regarding copyright laws. The minister explained the aim is to offer stronger intellectual property protection that is in line with Britain.
As of now, Cayman Islands copyright laws date back to the UK Copyright Act of 1956. The UK repealed that act in 1988 but the Cayman Islands law remained the same. In a release sent this week government officials said the UK had extended its current copyright act to the Cayman Islands.
The act has been extended by the Copyright (Cayman Islands) Order 2015, which was passed by the UK Privy Council on 19 March. The new set of copyright laws will replace the UK’s 1956 Act in the Cayman Islands and in its place will be the extensions of the UK’s 1988 Copyright Act.
“Cayman’s intellectual property legislation — the big three of which are copyrights, patents, and trade marks — affects all commerce, from financial services to creative endeavours,” Panton said.
The minister explained in the press release that government officials have heard the cries from local entrepreneurs and artists, as well as from potential investors, who need the security provided by stronger intellectual property protection to safeguard their current works, to engage in either the development of new business, or to relocate business to the Cayman Islands.
“These persons recognise the importance of having IP rights. They also understand that having those rights also means exercising the responsibility to uphold them by not infringing upon the rights of others,” Minister Panton explained.
He explained the extension of the UK’s 1988 Copyright Act is the first step in the modernisation of copyright laws in Cayman and is a major piece of Cayman’s overall IP modernisation initiative.
“Without the extension, Cayman still would be bound by the UK’s 1956 Copyright Act. That Act was enacted some 60 years ago,” Panton said. “To put this into perspective, let’s look at copyrighting for music alone and think about how music is made and distributed today. There was nothing like digital sampling or digital music downloading to mobile phones and tablets back in 1956.”
Government officials stated the IP modernisation initiative would become the “backbone” of future efforts to enhance the information technology sector in Cayman’s economy.
The minister explained the new Copyright Order would not go into effect until regulations have been finalized and issued. Ministry of Commerce officials said they are planning an education campaign that will last at least six months to make the necessary arrangement for local implementation.