Why is piracy legal in Cayman?

| 29/01/2010

After years of grumbling about the sacrilegious horror of grown men cross dressing as flamboyant 18th century pirates in the streets of Grand Cayman every October, the government finally threw a bone to the fundamentalist Christian community. Premier McKeeva Bush promised last year that Pirates Week will walk the plank.

The annual festival will be banished forever, so no more need to worry about Caymanian children being inspired raise the Jolly Roger and attack merchant ships. Bush explained that Pirates Week had to go because piracy has nothing to do with our culture.

Piracy has nothing to do with our culture? Oh really? This must have drawn giggles from the genuine pirates of Grand Cayman. They may not wear phony beards and wave plastic swords, but these guys engage in real piracy, nonetheless. And they do it with the legal sanction of our government.

Grand Cayman has several shops that rent pirated DVDs by the hundreds. Some have been in business for decades, while others have only just recently opened for business. The brazen way these shops go about their trade is astonishing. One does not have to enter a secret backroom or utter a password to make the shady transaction. It all goes down at the front counter as if nothing could be more legal than renting a movie that just hit theaters last week, or in some cases hasn’t even arrived at theaters yet.

As crimes go, this is hardly a top priority for our police, of course. No one expects them to drop a murder investigation so they can rush to bust grandma for renting some pirated Tyler Perry flick. The key question here is how these store owners are able to obtain and maintain business licenses from our government for the purpose of selling stolen goods. The civil servants who have the responsibility of handing out these licenses cannot be oblivious to what is going on. It’s not like these pirate shops make any attempt to hide what they are doing. It’s as plain to see as the posters in their windows! For example, while the movie “Sherlock Holmes” was showing at Grand Cayman’s theater, it was also available for rent in at least one Grand Cayman shop. For those who may not know, studios do not release DVDs films at the same time or before their movies are in theaters. There is usually at least a six-month to one-year lag time. So any film that currently is in theaters is not available for sale or rent in any legal sense. Well, except in the Cayman Islands, perhaps.

Cayman is not unique when it comes to the business of bootleg DVDs. Movie piracy is huge around the world. What makes the Cayman Islands unusual compared to places like New York, London, and Paris is that in those places one at least has to do the dirty deed with some transient petty crook in a subway station or park. The ripoff DVDs are laid out on fold-up table or on a blanket. This is so the pirate can make a fast getaway if a cop comes strolling his way. It’s also necessary because governments in those countries do not give out trade and business licenses for the purpose of selling stolen products in stores. In Cayman, however, one can obtain a license, open for business in a permanent location, and then advertise their pirate trade as prominently as possible, all without fear of running afoul of the law.

This is bizarre. Imagine a construction supply store in George Town that displayed posters in the window announcing to everyone that they sell stolen tools. Would they get a business license from government, no questions asked? Not likely.

While I won’t lose any sleep over Hollywood’s international piracy problems, I do, however, have concerns about my government’s competence. Granting business licenses to deal in stolen property? Something is seriously wrong when Cayman’s government not only ignores a particular criminal trade in its midst but goes so far as to grant an official blessing upon it well.
 

Category: Viewpoint

Comments (157)

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  1. Dred says:

    Now. Can someone tell me how important Piracy is to us? Now that we have lost the life of a precious child. How important is someone halfway around the world’s millions important to us here? Do we really believe now it’s important for us to divert resources of the police away from preventing heinous crime like this for Piracy? Do ya?

    as I said most of you ranting here have absolutely positively no clue about priorities. I would care about this as much as I would a rat crossing the street when I am driving to work.

    • nater says:

      Thumbs down on you!

      Why would you bring such a thing up on this forum!  I agree with many things you’ve said, but you shouldn’t bring this precious child up on this forum!

      • Dred says:

        Do you actually think I care about your thumbs? Really now!!

        The people you should be XXXX at is these selfrighteous fools on this topic who would prefer us loose more innocent lives so they can protect their precious artist who is making more in a month then most families in Cayman in one year.

        Our Police should commit ALL resources to this matter and COMPLETELY forget about Piracy. It has nothing to do with it being right or wrong but everything to do about PRIORITIES.

         WHEN we get this problem in check then we can commit more to the matter. Not a second before.

        We need guns, gangs and drugs in check.

        I don’t care about people buying numbers, people bootlegging videos music. I don’t care about all that small crap right now.

        I am a Caymanian and it hurts me to see innocent lives lost. It hurts me to see the country I love being pillaged by young wanna be thugs. It hurts me to think about the fact that foreigners could soon be saying Cayman is not safe for them to come here.

        We are on the brink of something terrible, a precipist and unless we stamp this out and fast we will loose EVERYTHING.

        If you don’t get whatI am saying it’s because you are not INVESTED here as I am. This is my home and the only one I have ever known and I have no where to go but here. I could really care less about Piracy because in the grand scheme of things if affects extremely little.

        So thumbs up thumbs down I do not care. What I care about is my home.

        • Anonymous says:

          To read you comments on this forum is like me wasting time to read a comic book!  I care… and for your reckless comment, I would give you a thumbs down too

          Think before you comment next time!

        • noname says:

           Dred, seriously, can you read or what? The viewpoint is about our government issuing trade and business licenses to shops so that they can rent pirated movies openly. The viewpoint specifically states that no police resources should be dedicated to this matter. It’s about our government endorsing illegal activity. 

          Read before commenting and you won’t seem so clueless. 

           

           

        • Dred says:

          You are the idiots that missed the point.

          Previously people commented saying police needed to focus more efforts on piracy. My comment at the time was that we should divert all resouces to fighting gangs related crime and such and people "thumbs down" me for saying it.

          My point I commented on was at them and then you idiots jumped in. This was to them who wanted us to divert resources on crime that affects .000000005% of our community.

          So in the end you are the fools not following stuff and jumping in on comments you have no clue what is going on.

          So to you…baaah. Learn to read cause if you read my comments initially you would see I was targetting someoneelse not straight at the artical itself….

          Here is my post and the subsequent post….

          Divide and conquer.

          The more we try to divide up our police force the easier it is for criminals to slip by them. Do you not see how hard it is already for our crimes to get solved?

          These are crimes but they should be sidestepped at this time due to the escalating SERIOUS crime we are having.

          I’m sorry if you do not agree but the facts remain quite simple. As long as we are leveraging someone not even on Island loosing money VS a life being taken locally with me you will never ever ever win. The two just are not in the same stratosphere.

          I have no issue with this matter being looked over if we can bring drugs, murders and gangs under better control.

          If and when we do manage to achieve more stability then by all means focuss on this and numbers and the lot but until then I would not waste even one police officer on this matter. Not even one.

          And this is the return…

          Ah yes. Let’s devote all of

          Ah yes. Let’s devote all of our resources to drugs, murder and gangs and forget everything else. And you mention how hard it is to solve crime now, its the bleeding incompetence that buggers up all attempts to make any headway there. Can be seen from the glaring examples of the investigating officers of these recent events.

          This all sounds like thinking from the school of Mackeeva … difference is he wants all resources used to bring down the AG… while forgetting he still has a government to run.

          Don’t get me wrong, I agree those are most serious and need to be addressed but you can’t deliberately leave the island to fall apart while we wait for RCIPS to figure out how to properly investigate violent crime. So when the PD finally ‘feels’ ready to tackle non-violent crime it will be so out of control that no one will know what to do.

          Now I came back with my post saying basically THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE SPLIT THE FORCE UP.

          Now who did not READ before they spoke. Next time go shopping for a brain. It’s on aisle 4 at Fosters…

        • frank rizzo says:

          To whom much is given, much is required. How on earth are we going to stamp out serious crime if we cannot even stop the inconsequential, petty, so-called small, non-priority crime? Who is to say that the major crimes do not stem from seemingly petty crime? Who is to say that this child’s death was not precipitated over a dispute involving proceeds of this sort of inconsequential crime? Lawlessness is lawlessness and outsiders do see it when they visit and they see it when they read these posts on the Internet. I think you are wrong to assume that this issue does not affect the average vested Caymanian.

    • Anonymous says:

      Robing the turists and steeling cars isnt impartant as a kid getting shot either – open season – gwan boy!

  2. Anonymous says:

    In the piracy community these arguments have been raging on for years. The different viewpoints on whether something like this can be owned and therefore stolen can be of endless debate. What is important to me is these rental shops should simply not allowed to exist as it creates a very poor image of us as a community in the Cayman Islands. Maybe we don’t agree with copyright and all its restrictions, the one thing we have to agree on is that having these shops is poor for our image to people outside of Cayman. Imagine a tourist or overseas business man walking down the street and seeing these stores and wondering how is it possible that the CI Gov can allow them to exist. He or she might think its just like being in China. It’s simply embarrassing.

    • Bodden says:

      ha!  I would say to you, you think too much!  I don’t think tourists have such thoughts running through their minds on vacation; at least, if I was traveling to China, the last thing that would be on my mind is copyright violations – unless of course I’m a broke celebrity

      • Q says:

        Maybe we need to think more.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree! Tourists will be too busy getting mugged and running for their lives here to worry about copyright infringement. Why bother trying to run a decent society, gimme all I can get in the short term and forget about the future generation, that’s their problem to deal with.

        How myopic. How ridiculuous. How Caymanian.

         

  3. A Teef in the night says:

    Ha ha, I’m stealing my neighbours internet connection so I can post this! Guess what? I don’t care!

    • noname says:

      lol that’s hilarious..you wasted your time when you could’ve been looking up porn….and I just wasted time replying to this oh crap

      • Brian Logger says:

        Nah!  You can post on CNS and watch porn at the same time, especially with Windows 7.

        I was interrupting my evening’s porn watching one night to post on CNS.  I can’t remember the topic, but the thread had somehow miraculously turned into a UDP/PPM insult fest with a nuance of xenophobia and religious fervor thrown in (does not narrow it down I suppose).

        Suddenly I had an idea.  Why can’t I watch two websites side by side easily?  Why can’t I post that there are many flights departing daily while still admiring the some of San Pedro Valley’s finest artists at work? 

        So I posted my idea to Microsoft.  And look they have done it.  One click and they are both there.  I can rant and watch porn with ease.

        My name I Brian and I am Windows 7.

         

  4. J Steveson says:

    Copyright law is ‘intended’ to be international (you’ll have noticed the INTERPOL statement), however, as we see, very hard to effectively police. Just because the music/movie, etc. is in digital form doesn’t mean there’s nothing ‘tangible’ there, taking it without permission is the same as walking into an art store and taking something off the wall. Royalties are paid to artisits based on the number of sales, rentals, radio platys, etc., and by not purchasing/renting through legal channels, you are depriving them of those royalties. Yes, you say, "Why not? They’re rich", but how would you feel if it was your song that you just paid $20,000 to record, or your movie that you spent $20M making? Can I start selling ‘burned’ copies of Hi Tide, Barefott, etc.? Guess so according to the posts, I’ll setup my download shop today. Don’t worry though, I’ll only sell to people in the US, so it won’t ‘infringe’ on any Cayman laws.

     As for the rental shops here, in North America, EU, etc., each rental is tracked, and royalties are payed based on the number of times it is rented. If the shops track all their rentals here – who do they pay the royalties to? There’s no ASCAP/BMI, etc. here that oversees and governs this in Cayman. So while I note it IS illegal, and morally wrong, there’s nore to it – how should we implement a proper procedure to ‘get in compliance’?

    Hmmm.

    • nater says:

      Oh please…

       

      Morally wrong???  I must say that is not so in all circumstances.

      School teacher says to class: "Remember this class, lying is an abomination unto the Lord!"

      But before she could finish, little Johnny stands up and replies, "But teacha, teacha, it is a present help in time of trouble!"

      And so it is with stealing, killing, et cetera… In this life, morality should be based on life/death’ situation that arises. I find people who can’t accept situational ethics, are usually the first ones who quote Bible and associate with fundamental Christians or religious folks. These same ones would tell you that no matter what, stealing, lying, and killing, is wrong. But are they right?

      Here’s a test:  Try saying that killing is wrong to a mother who sees another man attempting to kill her son! Try saying that to a man who needs to sell his dvd’s to earn a living!

  5. Anonymous says:

    If I bought blank DVD’s why can’t I sell them with content?  I did work to download the content!  And how are you going to say that I am stealing?  How can you steal music?  How can you steal someone’s idea?  Suppose you came up with the idea of tap dancing a certain way, and everyone decides to dance that same way. Should everyone pay you to dance that way, or else, they would be stealing??? 

    People music or the contents of a film is not a physical object, and therefore CAN NOT BE STOLEN! The reason why it is against the law is because MONEY HAS MADE IT SO!!!  I have seen people for years, sell in Cayman, and because of creativity in running a business, poor people who can’t afford to buy them, have something to entertain them at home.

    So… everyone is doing it – not only in Cayman, but in the World.  There are so many pirates out there!  Are you going to arrest everyone???

    Come on!  You need to grow up and live life!

    • Anonymous says:

      So why should money be used to pay for music or even a book or a painting or print.

      The reason is simple to improve the arts and progession in the arts soceity has created a system where the top artists are paid for their work, otherwise they could not survive financially and produce such works.

      That band you love, what do you think pays for the marketing or printing or even their instruments, money from sales and royalties.

      In fact with out the current system you like to abuse, they probbaly would not even exist or you would never have heard of them.

  6. M. Lite says:

    Lets get something straight, if you watch TV or movies on this Island you are all pretty much thieves!

    Lets break it down:

    I purchased this DVD in Best Buy?! : Well guess what, that DVD you got in Best Buy is coded for Region 1 ONLY. Region 1 is U.S., Canada and U.S. Territories. This DVD was not intended to be viewed in the Caribbean, that would be Region 4. You are watching this movie Illegally!!!

    I watch my TV and Movies on Westar : The majority of channels on Westar are not available for purchase in our region. XXXXX

    I have Dish Network with a legal subscription : No such thing in Cayman. You cannot subscribe to Dish or Direct TV for that matter with a Cayman address. You might be paying for your subscription, but that false address you gave them means you’re a thief!!

    I rent my Movies from Blockbuster : This is a particular favorite ofmine. First of all Blockbuster in Cayman is NOT a legitimate Blockbuster franchise. Just go to the Blockbuster website and look at their corporate branding. Check out the Blockbuster logo. Now go to your Cayman Blockbuster or just check out the Cayman Blockbuster website. The logos are nothing alike. Now why would you spend all that money on franchise fees if you’re not even going to use the proper corporate logo? Go to the “store locator” on the real Blockbuster website, try and find a store in Cayman. Go to the Cayman Blockbuster site, try and find a link back to the real Blockbuster corporate site.

    So, first of all there is defiantly some copyright and trademark infringement going on here.

    Ok, but besides from the name, I am renting legal copies of movies right? Wrong!!! Besides from the region issue I spoke of earlier, DVD’s that are purchased for rental are NOT the same as DVD’s that are purchased for resale. Just because Mr. xyz goes to Wal-Mart and buys 20 copies of Legally Blond does not give him the right to rent those DVD’s. In fact, the license agreement on the DVD (the same notice we see at the beginning of the movie) expressly prohibits it. So guess what, Illegal!

    All of you up in arms about these guys selling bootleg DVD’s get off your high horse. You are breaking the same moral or maybe even legal code that you are condemning them for. What you should be angry about is the quality of these bootleg DVD’s. That should be illegal!!

    Don’t buy or rent bootleg DVD’s, but not because of any moral or legal reasons, because the quality is CRAP. They spend a lot of money in Hollywood making movies look good, you shouldn’t have to watch it with snow and voice sync issues.
     

    • Anonymous says:

      Rubbish. If you are subscribing to Dishnetwork you are not a thief since you are paying them for the service. When I admitted to Dishnetwork that I lived in Cayman they simply forced me to pay more by having two separate accounts, one for each receiver. As for legality, that is a matter of U.S. internal laws and rules. We are not acting illegally either under Cayman law or international law to view a legitimate DVD that we have bought or a satellite TV program that we have subscribed for. There is no moral lapse involved.      

      • Anonymous says:

        Rubbish. If you did what you say they would have turn you off. Don’t believe me? try this associate a CI phone number with your DN account and see what happens.  They won’t come looking for us (they are making money) but they will turn you off if you are discovered.

        It is illegal to veiw US TV programs via Dish network in Cayman.  You may not be a thief but you are using the video contents illegally.   Why is that?  Dish network don’t have the rights to broadcast programs beyond the US borders.  If you subscribe to dish network in Cayman your are breaking the law.

        • Anonymous says:

          You are extremely impertinent and out of order to call me a liar. Dishnetwork ALWAYS had my Cayman telephone number and they did do exactly as I said. They did not turn me off but they caused me to add another account. In fact now that I have unsubsrcibed (I had enough of paying for two accounts) they are now incessantly calling me on my CAYMAN telephone number inviting me to re-subscribe for a special package.  Those are simply the facts.   

          I was not breaking any laws. Laws are either international or jurisdictional. I was breaking no relevant international or jurisdictional laws. Possibly Dishnetwork was breaking relevant juridictional laws. 

  7. Sam Puk-Puk says:

    You can’t beat free!……. However selling for profit I don’t agree with. XXXXXX  I download movies/TV shows but I don’t sell them. Not right but I sleep well at night. Sellers of downloaded media amplify the situation for the studios & industry as they allow easy access to the buyers. No wonder some movies get bad ratings when they don’t deserve them. Watching a crappy copy of a movie without the full visual and sound experience dampens the effect(s) the Director, Actors and Producers are trying to convey. Some movies on the other hand should be watched as a crappy CAM capture or copied version, because they are that bad! I’ve noticed a lot of house wives are the culprits who buy/rent these low quality copies. Is it because a lot of women don’t or care to appreciate a good action film? Oh yes, they mostly get the chick flicks as these type of movies don’t have much thrill or loud explosions and the like. Shame on you house wives! Time for Atonement perhaps?

     

    I tried paying for services but was slapped in the face with “Not available in your country” or the like message. Only the Apple TV will work here (without a VPN service) and only if you have a US based credit card. You can however purchase Apple gift cards and add the credit to your Apple account. The Apple user account system is now able to let you sign up without adding a credit card. This was in response from users worldwide who could not even signup for the free stuff. When it comes to digital media, Apple has the best agreements with ALL the major studios and Networks and somewhere in their agreements they stated that Apple users/customers may travel to another country not on the approved list for vacation etc and we/they would like those customers to still have access to the content…or something to that effect. This is why we here in Cayman can use the iTunes service seemingly without restrictions. However that could change at anytime. Every now and then you have to accept a new agreement from Apple that states its service can only be used in certain countries etc.

     

    I rent from the iTunes store via Apple TV and also download movies and I feel no way about it. Make it easy & priced fairly and I’ll buyall day and night. It would be much easier for me to point and click to rent/buy a movie/TV show than to search for it on the Internet. Searching for a movie/TV show is much easier now but still a hassle at times. Soon that hassle will be erased entirely and than it’s party time! I hope by than the studios will have it together and let the media be available. In Hi-Def/Blu-ray quality too!

     

    As it stands, Xbox Live, Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand, Vudu etc do not work here (unless you use a VPN service). Not because they don’t want my money but because their agreements with the studios are not as solid as Apple’s. Apple has proven they can make profit for them and they are the 500lb gorilla. Not a big fan of Apple & their products (which work very well), but I still like my Windows for an OS ;).

     

    This issue of people wanting to pay for digital media is world over, even in Canada; you know the other country in North America! So bitch all you want about people who "steal" this media that is shared by others (where do they get it from to share in the first place? Some buy it, others steal it from the suppliers & delivery companies etc and some are the artist/studios themselves!), all of you against media piracy that have commented would gladly take a DVD/Blu-ray/Music CD from me if I offered it at a cheaper price than you could get it for. That option is not available according to the studios.

     

    Some food for thought:

    “There’s a big business feeling that there’s piracy.”  But the truth is: “Pirates are Underserved customers.” From this article: http://fwd4.me/Eh2

     

    “Ironically, piracy is cited as a dominant reason for a (small) decline in profits, while economic conditions and a shift in the public’s consumption of media are not. The industry should focus on marketing to individuals who are prone to buy music, rather than chasing after individuals who have no intention of paying for it.” -Unknown

     

    “Media companies, under the guise of piracy, are asking congress to give them more control over fair use. Hollywood wants to control innovation.” – Joe Kraus the founder of Excite, JotSpot, and DigitalConsumer.org.

     

    And that’s a wrap!

    -SPP

    CNS: The answer to your deleted question is no, they did not.

     

  8. Anonymous says:

    Is it theft?

    Before you try and dram up some excuses to cover youself, cut through the c**p.

    When God views this will he see it as stealing? You can try and fool yourself but you can’t fool God.

    But then I suppose Cayman isn’t a Christian society.

    And if it is maybe we should start actually acting like it

  9. Joe Bananas says:

    Watch ANY legal DVD from the front and what do you see before you get to the movie?  It doesn’t say anything about what YOU think. It tells you and any person watching it what is expected of you and the penalties that you will be held responsible for if you don’t use the DVD responsibly.  THATS THE LAW.  I belive the jist of the viewpoint is why is it (the law) not followed in Cayman. And the answer is the same as why is there so many robberies, rapes, unlawfull drivers,corruption in Goverment, Drug dealers, corrupt police officers,and just plain incompetence in Cayman.

    Little to no respect for law.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you, from one of the few who posted earlier and agrees its plain wrong and something should be done about it.

    • Nope says:

      Nope.  The start of the DVD tells me what to do in America under American law.  I don’t live there and the more I see that stuff the happier I am to be watching the pirate version.

      • Ricky Head says:

        So, would you be happier if the American Government banned the export of DVD’s because mindless prix see it fine to copy it once they have it in their slimey little hands???

        They could do this if you lowlife’s made enough of a dent – then what – gonna smuggle DVD’s from SFLA in a longboat?

        Just pay the $10-$15-$20 and stop being such a cheap bast@rd

        Don’t you realise, if it wasn’t for the MAJORITY of people being honest, Hollywood would make nothing – then noone would act…  Or would you jump in and be our new supa-stah?  Everyone is entitled to be paid for their work, and I don’t thik a few bucks is unreasonable to pay for a movie that cost tens-or-hundreds of millions to produce…  The guys behind it took risk and paid out big bucks.  Like any entrepreneur, they do it with the expectation they will be rewarded and some petty low life thug won’t see fit to rip them off.

        Then again, there are people who make a fuss when they are short-changed by 1 penny – guess you do that in your free time Terry Tightwad!!!

         

      • foreign turtle says:

        As I said little to no respect for the law.

  10. Anonymous says:

    As someone who is in the industry that’s affected by this, I have to say al of these comments are ill-informed, short-sighted and ignorant.  Not only are BILLIONS lost to bootlegging, but serves as major funding for terrorism

    • lol says:

      Oh please!

    • No link says:

      There is no link between online file sharing and terrorism.  There is no established link to DVD piracy and terrorism.  People who say there is a link have bought the hype of spin doctors who are using the memories of the victims of terrorist attacks to make money.  When I hear that spiel it makes me want to go down to the 4 Way and pick up a handful of DVDs.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The film and music industry does not care about an individual who legally buys a movie or musicCD and then gives or sells it to another individual.

    The issue that has been raised here is about a "legal" business in the Cayman Islands–one with C.I. government sanction–mass producing illegal copies of films and renting them to the public by the hundreds every day.

    This is a clear crime, a blatant violation of international copyright laws, yet our government issues trade and business licenses to business owners for just this purpose.

    All the comments here about individuals downloading movies off of the internet or unscrambling satellite signals are confusing the original question raised which asks why our government gives legal authority to people to engage in illegal activity.

    • Anonymous says:

      But if our main cable supplier steals much of its stuff from other countries/producers and broadcasts it to the Caymanian public for extortionate fees this is also relevant and really ought not be overlooked either.

  12. Anonymous says:
    I like the story:
     
    “Imagine the time when men lived in caves. One bright guy—let’s call him Galt-Magnon—decides to build a log cabin on an open field, near his crops. To be sure, this is a good idea, and others notice it. They naturally imitate Galt-Magnon, and they start building their own cabins. But the first man to invent a house, according to IP (Intellectual Property) advocates, would have a right to prevent others from building houses on their own land, with their own logs, or to charge them a fee if they do build houses. It is plain that the innovator in these examples becomes a partial owner of the tangible property (e.g., land and logs) of others, due not to first occupation and use of that property (for it is already owned), but due to his coming up with an idea. Clearly, this rule flies in the face of the first-user homesteading rule, arbitrarily and groundlessly overriding the very homesteading rule that is at the foundation of all property rights.”
     
    Against Intellectual property (2008), p. 44.
     
    Note: Homesteading applies to anyone who is a limb of the back-to-the-land movement – a migration from cities to rural areas that took place in the United States during the 1960’s to 1970’s, and those who chose to live a sustainable, self-sufficient lifestyle.

    SO STEVE… what you are saying is that a SONG or MOVIE is not tangible or physical property (but intellectual property), and therefore can not be stolen?  Am I wrong?

  13. Richard Wadd says:

     The Law is the Law, irrespective of how "Minor" it may seem. Those who feel free to break the Law at ANY level, soon do just that …..

     Case in point, the great NYC during the late ’70s & early ’80s. When the New Mayor clamped down with Community (Beat) Policing, ALL Crime dropped dramatically, both Major and Petty.

     By the way, as part of the EU (yes, we are as a British O.T), are we not bound by Higher Laws than our own on such matters?

    I wonder what the ‘Powers that be’ in Brussels would think of our brazen disregard of International Copyright Laws?

     What if a ‘Caymanian’ had written a hit song, and had it Illegally ‘Covered’ by others who profited from its sales?

    Hmmm …….

    • Oi Dick says:

      We are not in the EU.  Short, simple and accurate.

      Take your "white van man" far right rantings onto turf you might know something about.

      • Oi Dick Head says:

        Jealous nothing intellegant and pirate-able has eva cum outta unna back yard???

        Stop thiefin’ an’ start payin’ ya lowlife moron!!!

        Massa Dickie Waddsta is right on dis one…

  14. Dodgy1 says:

    Baah humbug.

    If DNet does not want their signal unscrambled they should keep it out of my yard.

    It’s thin ice really to call it theft and let me explain why. Here is English Law description of theft.

    In English law, theft was codified into a statutory offence in the Theft Act 1968 which defines it as:

    "A person is guilty of theft, if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it".

    Now with Satellite dish there is no deprevation at all. No one is deprived the property. Dish N still are allowed to send and each and all of their clients still receive so no deprevation of the property as such.

    But lets break it down.

    appropriates property translates into the wrongly assertion of right of ownership. This can mean physically taking of property or failure of return.

    Well since the signal is not "taken" as such because all parties still have use of the signal then the property is not technically appropriated.

    The kicker is the last part of the sentence which states "permanently depriving the other of it". This is not correct again there is no deprevation at all.

    Let’s frame this another way.

    Some people like to assimulate a signal as a physical item so as to attach the word theft to it. Now if we use that premise I would say what if someone left a car in your drive way day in day out for years on end and they would not remove it. After a certain period of time would you not have rights to that car if they refused to remove it? (get back to this in a sec)

    Now some would say if a situation like that arose you would call the police and they would remove it. Well a signal in this case is unlike a car because it can not be collected by a local anything really and moved. That takes the big guy DN to move their signal but would they do it because one man in the Cayman Islands don’t want their signal coming into his yard? Hell no. So basically its a refusal to remove of which the law can do basically nothing about. So what is Joe Blow to do?

    So saying that after awhile do I not have some rights to my property and what is in it especially when the original owners don’t care about violating my space.

    Now to the point from above. I guess you all have heard land claims house. So say you bought a property here and went away for 2 years only to come back and find someone has built a home on top of it. Who now owns what? Well unless the home builder decides to move the house (and I be gracious enough to allow it) the home would become mine because it is on my land and the land owner has rights to all items thereon. Same should hold true with the car in time. How long I don’t know exactly.

    I know this is a lot of dribble and seeming crap but it’s the realities of the situation. Who knows in 20 years or so we might find out that the reason we have more brain tumors and the lot is because of all these things being beamed down at us.

    I’m actually just trying to play devil’s advocate here as to TV and how that actually is kind of different from say DVD but even that too is shady at best.

    Here is my point and this goes back to the days of Tape recorders really. We think we buy a Music CD but in fact we are only renting the property.

    Generally when a sale is executed there is the exchange of one item for another and usually this is a payment in one form or another for a product or service. Generally the ownership of that product exchanges also.This does not happen in terms of certain items such as music, videos, games etc. These basically amount to rental where you are allowed to use the property for as long as you see fit but you can not do anything more with it.

    Many people still today struggle with that concept because in their minds when they BUY something it’s THEIRS and they have all rights to do what they want with that CD including making copies of it and possibly sharing with their friends. Well they don’t.

    The problem is that these industries did something underhanded many moons ago by implication. The term sale should never have been used with these industries because what they are doing are not in fact a SALE. Their are no rights truly exchanged here. But they did it because it’s more sellable a term than saying to someone I want you to pay this price for the item but it’s not yours even though you can keep it for as long as you want but it does not "BELONG" to you. It still belongs to the artist or creator.

    Well I think I have rambled enough.

    • frank rizzo says:

      It is not a crime to intercept the satellite signal. The crime comes when you attempt to defeat the encryption (usually copyrighted) contained in the signal.

    • Anonymous says:

      And in England you’d be in court and fined to the max if you tried to do that.  Your interpretation of the law is good, but not good enough to win in court.  But dont worry, here you can do what you want without consequences it seems. 

    • Joe Bananas says:

      Rambled is right.  I get that this makes sense to you and many others for a thousand made up reasons.  Watch the front part of a legal DVD then try and convince the actual owners of the property that is not property that they should just give it away because…………….

      P.S. you have qualified yourself as a thief because of YOUR beliefs but don’t worry but a ting because all the other theives think your right!

  15. Joe Bananas says:

       Crime grows in any kind of society that will tolerate it in any form.  Caymans crime will grow to the point of acceptance in the community.  It grows quickly now because it is so accepted and it will only start to slow down when the community as a whole will not accept it.  Crime on Cayman now as bad as it is will grow much much worse because of this.  No amount of complaining will have any effect at all.  Nothingthe police can do will slow it down.  A leader that begs is a begger and can lead no one.  Only when the community as a whole takes action by itself for itself will the tide turn.  The fact that this (Small) Crime is barely noticed here in this country and not tolerated at all in all developed countrys clearly shows Caymanians stance on crime.  That and the fact that crime is growing and nothing is stopping it.

  16. Mista Money Man says:

    apply the law this, apply the law that..

    but does cayman even have a copyright law?! i dont think so! :s

    thats probably the reason why the government allows the licenses to be distributed without hinderance! the truth of the matter is that even though it might be morally wrong, it is not illegal…in the Cayman Islands.

    (that’s if I’m correct about the local law.)

  17. Homophobic censorship says:

    Illegal DVD’s are sometimes the only way cinema with sympathetic gay themes can get to Cayman for the first six months they are in the developed world’s consciousness given the practical censorship which seems to operate at Caymana Bay.  Was "MIlk" shown for even one night?  No.  Was "Bruno"?  No.  (It was pretty awful but I would have liked to see the viewing public having the choice of seeing it).

    When has the new cinema ever shown a good movie dealing with these themse?

    • Dred says:

      This has less to do with Homophobic and more to do with money.

      When Cinemas get movies they pay a royalty to get them and they have to recover those funds from sales. No sales or limited sales equal loss.

      The other side of the coin is one theatre dedicated to this means another movie which probably could make a profit can now not be shown.

      So in short it’s not because of the type of movie from a position they have taken on those sort of films but about the fact that they would have a hard time making a profit in their view.

      Now I don’t know how the Film Association of Cayman would take to it but they allowed that other controversional film with the religious undertone to it from the anti-religious director/writer so I don’t think they would have screamed too loudly but maybe the Pastors Association might have said something who knows.

      I do believe in the end it came down to dollars and cents (or sense as in commonsense). Businesses are about making money not assisting any segregation of society plain and simple. That’s the sad reality.

      • Not so much says:

        Bruno grossed over $60m – it would have clearly made economic sense to show it here.  Self-imposed censorship is the only possible explanation.

        • Durrrr says:

          Another explanation is that Bruno was crap.

          • Not so much says:

            It was crap, but a lot of people paid money to find out it was crap.  It was the 55th highest grossing film in America last year.  Given that the cinema shows about 150 films a year there is only one explanation – Hollywood or Dart are self-censoring.  It is a disgrace.

            • Hmmmph says:

              They did however show possibly I Hate Valentine’s Day…. possibly the worst movie ever…..

              That movie grossed $1,590,094.

        • Anonymous says:

          That does not follow. Large audiences in North America does not automatically translate into large audiences in Cayman. But they did have that film Broke Back Mountain here.  

          • Not so much says:

            Not at the new cinema – there has not been a single gay themed film shown there. 

  18. Anonymous says:

    You use the word ‘Stolen’ but many would disagree.  If I stand outside a New York bakers store on a cold winters day catching the heat that is escaping from his shop, am I stealing it?

    If the USA decides to broadcast a scrambled signal over my country when I did not ask them to, and I decided to decode this signal am I stealing it?

    If I collect the water from a raincloud that developed over the USA and deposited the water here and I collect and drink it, am I stealing it?

    I am not so sure the ‘pirates’ are stealing, perhaps they are so ‘brazen’ because they are not doing anything illegal.

    • Premmie B says:

       To the first one – no – the store owner is letting it escape and you are using his discard – much the same way as if you took thrown away buns from a baker’s trash.

      To the second – yes – they scramble the signal, and only those legally unscrambling it through a subscription are entitled to use it.  Your cellphone signals bounce around me all day – guess you are fine with me using a receiver to listen in…

      The third – trying to bring nature into it is crazy – but you better pay duty on the fair and reasonable value when you bring it in or you are stealing from the CI Government!!

       

      • Anonymous says:

        The US cable companies have no agreement or permission to invade our airspace with scrambled signals, so as far as I am concerned they are discarding it.  Descrambling any signal in this country is not illegal as far as I am aware (if someone knows different please post).

        Yes there are receivers capable of listening to cellphone calls and don’t believe for one minute no one is listening, including government agencies!

        I think if someone was to charge a ‘pirateer’ with theft in this country it would be a difficult case and a controversial one.

         

        • P'Irate says:

          Come on now – so you leaving an open wireless network connection that anyone can tap into is ‘discarding’ the privacy aspect that you would hope to expect in an honest world where far too many people are trying toget free stuff… 

          I am sure that Government agencies (LOL – in the CIG) are spending all their days tapping into our phones.  Their office is located next to the one housing the ET carcass recovered on the Mastic Trail last year and 3 doors down from the Department of Conspiracy Theorists…

          Clearly the US providers realise they cannot control wherethe signal goes.  Hence they scramble it – if you are unscrambling it, you are intentionally stealing something they tried to prevent you from stealing…

           

        • Anonymous says:

          For anyone who thinks that all of our electronic communications are note monitered – take a read through this official 2001 report from the EU.

          http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/echelon/echelon_eur_parliament.pdf

           

    • Cayman Bobby says:

      Theft is defined in the penal code as ‘dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of premanently depriving the other of it’ This includes real and intangible property, and there are also offences of obtaining services (Cable TV) by deception, and obtaining property by deception. Property and appropriation are defined in the Penal Code, but basically have their usual meanings. There are defences to theft ( I thouight I’d have permission etc) but these are the definitions.

      Is Piracy theft? Maybe so, but theft may not be the most appropriate offence to charge/allege in this case.

    • Joe Bananas says:

      Think like a thief…………Face it.  You are one of many in Cayman who belives its OK.  We get it.  If you take something from me I won’t care why you think its alright. I will protect my right to keep whats mine because thats how I think.  Come get some.

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe you should read the post again.  The viewpoints were posed as philosophical questions, not what I think.  If my Lime tree hangs over your yard, are the limes that fall in your yard mine or yours?

        The point I am trying to make is that it is difficult to define theft in a case like this.  If it was clear cut, why has no one been taken to court? (to protect your right as you say)

        If I set up my company in the Cayman Islands to avoid paying taxes in my home country, am I stealing from the government of my home country?

        I think that the pirateers may just be enjoying a legal loophole.

  19. Read a Book says:

    Seriously, go read a book. TV was the beginning of the end.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if the Premier and his followers really know what is our heritage.  To stamp out Pirate’s Week would be like stampinf out about 100 years of the history of the Cayman Islands.  Just about every genuine, born Caymanian descends from either pirates or slaves.  So what is our heritage?  We never knew about the churches until the islands were already growing.  Why don’t we remember the seamen, whose lives were spent at sea trying to provide for their families and to help build up Cayman.  The only people who support this nonsense seem to be the religious ones. I find it hard to have people try to force their beliefs on others.  Caymanians, on a whole are very intelligent and have the full capabities to make up their own minds.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is no evidence that Caymanians are the descendants of pirates. ‘Founded Upon the Seas’ (p. 28) has this to say about our supposed ‘pirate heritage’: "During the main pirate era the Cayman Islands had few if any permanent inhabitants, so modern Caymanians have no authentic pirate legacies either in their genes or in their cultural heritage".  

      The churches on the other hand, have had a great deal to do with the life of these Islands over the past 160+ years. For many decades the churches were the centre of all social life in the Islands. The churches established the first secondary schools with qualified teachers in the Islands (Triple C and Cayman High School) and even today provide the vast majority of private school education in the Islands (United Church, Church of God, Roman Catholic, Wesleyan, Seventh Day Adventist and others). It was the churches who helped tame the ‘lawless Caymanas’. The churches were here when this was was mosquito-infested backwater. You simply do not know your history if you believe that the churches only came along when we were already growing.  

      We owe a great debt to the merchant seamen who did help to build this country at great personal sacrifice. However, seamen are not pirates and this does not really assist your point.  

  21. Pastor Bucket says:

    Personally, I think these vendors should be prosecuted for selling crap copies, and the buyers should be prosecuted for not getting with the times & downloading themselves, not forgetting the sheer wastage in disks

    yes it is illegal. i am not condoning it, but the same old arguments  – just like when VHS came out, the movie industry cried foul. Build a bridge & get over it

    this is an unbeatable issue so best to work out how to comprimise rather than crying

    we have always been "pirates" it’s in our genes to share information

    http://www.stealthisfilm.com

    anyway what about WestTel – uis it not true they STEAL the signal & charge us?! How else do we explain the terrible editing of local ads from Canada/S.America/USA?

     

     

    • Don't 4get Me! says:

      I agree with you there. Spending $5 to buy a half-decent copy of a movie is so 2007.

      Also not condoning it but it is just man’s nature to want to get as much as possible while spending as little as possible. 

      My final point on this topic is: people want these movies, simple.  That’s why the shops exist, civilization in Cayman is a bit more entertained thanks to these pirates.  I’m considering selling porn DVDs, wouldn’t that be a market, anyone interested? Gonna call myself the Porn Pirate (just kidding).

      Another thing … I always smile when I drive past and see the sign for the Tony Montana DVD shop. Priceless.

      • Anonymous says:

        You actually think no one is selling porn DVD’s?

        • Jeremy Ron says:

          Do you know what is one of the few things better than porn?  Illegal porn.

          • Night Flyer says:

            Jeremy Ron,  hilarious! where can I get some?

            • Jeremy Ron says:

              Are you wanting vanilla or are you looking for a little iguana or stingray action?

              • Rorschach says:

                No, no,..I want that freaky turtle on agouti stuff you keep way up high on the back shelf….

                • Heanous says:

                  Can we get turtle on turtle with agouti watching while parrot jer….

                  Neva mind, seen dat one…

            • Anonymous says:

              lol… excellent

              I am a pirate too, and I love selling me illigal DVD’s for half price!

              Beside, I bought them blank!

        • Don't 4get Me! says:

          Whoa whoa I know porn is all over the place … of course I’m not that naive… was just throwing that out there

    • PQL says:

      You’re a Pastor???

      I can see you don’t think right. Mind too full of mere beliefs!  What?  Because you are "Pastor Bucket," we should affirm like you that all vendors should be prosecuted?

  22. Anonymous says:

    I must agree.  The content was obtained by way of theft (in other words not paid for) and then we choose to make our own profit from denying the authors their right to sale?  If the whole world did this, would we have any entertainment?  Who would be willing to or afford to?

    We should also note that the same goes for movies, music, software and everyone’s favorite Dish Network… I think it is time we strive to have these done legally.

    Yes, crimes such as murder, shootings and rape are more pressing but should we send a message that the law only applies in some areas and not all?  Could it be that some in power or a large number of ‘presigious’ folk in the community challenge these laws where they want to and it is allowed?

    Time for Cayman to allow the law to be effective in ALL areas across the board and for EVERYONE.

    • Dred says:

      Divide and conquer.

      The more we try to divide up our police force the easier it is for criminals to slip by them. Do you not see how hard it is already for our crimes to get solved?

      These are crimes but they should be sidestepped at this time due to the escalating SERIOUS crime we are having.

      I’m sorry if you do not agree but the facts remain quite simple. As long as we are leveraging someone not even on Island loosing money VS a life being taken locally with me you will never ever ever win. The two just are not in the same stratosphere.

      I have no issue with this matter being looked over if we can bring drugs, murders and gangs under better control.

      If and when we do manage to achieve more stability then by all means focuss on this and numbers and the lot but until then I would not waste even one police officer on this matter. Not even one.

      • anonymous says:

        Read the commentary before commenting.

        You (Dred) are the only one bringing up the police. The question that has been raised is why our government grants trade and business licenses to stores that openly deal in illegal goods (pirated movies).  

        Are you defending that? 

      • anonymous says:

        Dred, since you don’t read before commenting, here are a few lines from the original view point to help you:

        "As crimes go, this is hardly a top priority for our police, of course. No one expects them to drop a murder investigation so they can rush to bust grandma for renting some pirated Tyler Perry flick. The key question here is how these store owners are able to obtain and maintain business licenses from our government for the purpose of selling stolen goods." 

         

        So why are you going on and on about diverting police resources from serious crimes? No one suggested that.

        Read before writing.  

      • Don't 4get Me! says:

        Ah yes. Let’s devote all of our resources to drugs, murder and gangs and forget everything else. And you mention how hard it is to solve crime now, its the bleeding incompetence that buggers up all attempts to make any headway there. Can be seen from the glaring examples of the investigating officers of these recent events.

        This all sounds like thinking from the school of Mackeeva … difference is he wants all resources used to bring down the AG… while forgetting he still has a government to run.

        Don’t get me wrong, I agree those are most serious and need to be addressed but you can’t deliberately leave the island to fall apart while we wait for RCIPS to figure out how to properly investigate violent crime. So when the PD finally ‘feels’ ready to tackle non-violent crime it will be so out of control that no one will know what to do.

        This is why the PD has to have separate departments, supposedly each will be staffed by competent individuals with specialty in different types of crime. It’s a method that actually works very well (elsewhere).

        … or we can, as your comments suggest, wake up the beat cops snoozing by the roadside on the bypass and the fresh out of police academy rookies, shove em all on a recently committed murder scene and tell them to bring back a killer.  Then again, sounds like that’s whats been happening lately anyway.

      • kim says:

        Dred, I agree 100% with what you have said!

        It makes sense:  The more splinters in the force, the weaker the force become. We need to stick to the hardcore offences and concentrate our officers upon these offences.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Under the new Proceeds of Crime Law, piracy of copyrights is illegal.

     

    However it is not being enforced.  Maybe it is not seen as a priority.

    • Mr Bumbastic says:

      It is not a priority.

      • Anonymous says:

        Money Laundering and possible terrorist financing is not a priority? No wonder the world thinks so poorly of us.

        (The trade in counterfeit goods are a major source of terrorist financing – but hell, if it makes money for us too… Where is our morality and WTF are our standards). 

         

        And by the way, priority or not, it is easy to stop. Just don’t grant or renew the licences and have customs actually do their job and confiscate the goods. How hard is that?

         

        • Anonymous says:

          There is no link between counterfeit DVDs and terrorist financing.  The attempts to establish a link by the major film and music companies’ PR machines have never been substantiated and show how willing they are to use anything to try to protect their profit margins.

          • Anonymous says:

            But there is a definite link with handbags, clothing , and sunglasses etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      The commentary is not directed at enforcement. It is asking why these businesses are granted a license to rent and sell illegal goods in the first place.

      Because of a decision somebody in government made, these businesses are "legally" engaged in "illegal" activity. It doesn’t make any sense.

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Most, but not all of the stores existed before the revamped POC law. In the previous version of the law it did not include copyright infringements.

        • Anonymous says:

          Irrelevant. Patents and trademarks law trumps anyway, as does the common law offence of theft.

  24. Dred says:

    All I have to say is WOW. With all the serious crap we have going on here like people being shot down in cold blood our greatest desire and mental efforts are being thrown behind people who are living the life making gazillions of dollars?

    Is this your 15 seconds of fame being used up?

    Please Big Mac cares for no one but Big Mac. He said that for votes.

    As for Pirates Week I hope I die and its still going because we need Tourist coming to the Cayman Islands and Heritage Day will end all that extremely quick.

    As for the DVD, Satellite Dishes Aaah bah humbug. Look how about keeping our eyes on the ball for a second. Let’s get the major issues in check first such as drugs, murders, guns, burglaries, rape, child molestation. I think we can survive a few DVDs being sold illegally much more than more murders or guns being diseminated on our streets.

    Until I see musicians, actors and the lot walking down the street begging and not walking on red carpets in clothes costing more than some of us make in a year I for one am not going to place them in front of my child possibly being shot because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. You can take that how you choose but my eyes are on the BALL not on some side dish which hardly impacts our society at all on a financial level.

    This is half of our problem. We keep getting distracted by every whim that comes along and all the while the gangs continue to do what they do best, benefit from our lack of focus and tenacity. Mind you they never loose focus. You not going to see them stop for a heart beat and say ‘huum maybe I should go golfing this weekend".

    We need our Police Force committing most of its assets to stamping out the gangs in Cayman. The collateral effect with this will be lowering of most of the above issues. We created a gang act awhile back but fail to use it. I thought it was illegal itself to just be in a gang. How about using the law liberally to be a pain in the posterior of gang members by arresting them at will for just this act.

    Big Mac needs to get his head screwed on. Stop thinking about other things and start focussing on getting us out of our "situation".

    • Anonymous says:

      Okay, so can I steal a little bit of money from you each week? Come on, just a little bit. Compared to everything else going on, who cares? You will hardly miss it. Please.

      • Dred says:

        WOW. What mental midgets we are dealing with here.

        How about if someone broke into your home and …………………………… your family. How would you feel after that?

        This is petty crap people. Facts are crimes are not equal no matter how we fancy them up. In court they are not equal either with some receiving slaps on wrist to some receiving life sentences.

        When you wake up in the middle of the night to find someone over you with a gun EVERYTHING ON EARTH WILL CHANGE FOR YOU. EVERYTHING.

        The coming days, weeks, months maybe even years you will wake up with coldsweats. If your family was hurt or worse killed you will be asking yourself what if. Your life as you knew it prior to that day is over. OVER!

        These sorts of things are happening right here in our community. Just check your egos for a second and imagine yourself in the position of someone like Mr Rayle Roberts. Can you even begin to fathom the emotions he would have gone through?

        How can you even begin to compare the two?

        How can you sit there and make so idle of this?

        "Okay, so can I steal a little bit of money from you each week? Come on, just a little bit. Compared to everything else going on, who cares? You will hardly miss it. Please." How pathetic.

        You people amaze me even when I think I couldn’t be amazed.

        Aah bah. My last post on this topic as everyone seems to be mindless.

        • Anonymous says:

          Ok, different types of crimes, but CRIMES NONETHELESS.

          You are not going to spend 20 yrs in "prison" for buying pirated dvds, but you should pay at least a $500 fine for doing so.

           

        • Mental Midget says:

          Watch your language, Dred.  I may be a midget but I am also quite mental. 

  25. Tom McCallum says:

    First of all, it seems odd to me that nobody is posting on this thread with their real name, are they really that scared to state an opinion on this matter ? Anyway, I am glad this viewpoint poster has brought this up.

    I’ll put my points simply :

    – Piracy IS theft, pure and simple

    – Semantics aside, Cayman is not an independent country, we are simply a territory, hence all copyright law obligations of the UK extend to us. 

    – Buying pirate DVDs may be a minor crime on a case by case basis, but along the lines of the "broken window" theory on crime (which has at least some merit), what kind of message to adults send their children when they bring home pirate DVDs for their kids to watch ?

    To be honest, I have friends, otherwise totally law abiding citizens, who are guilty (yes, guilty) of this. It bothers me, and I do raise this with them, but they pretty much laugh it off. 

    Again, I’m glad this is being openly and actively discussed, hopefully more people will recognise that if we don’t address the small crimes, how can we expect any rule of law to be effective in our society.

  26. Don't 4get Me! says:

    Somewhat unrelated, or maybe not… but does anyone know if radio stations pay for the songs they play? I was under the impression a royalty or some licensing charge had  to be paid each time a song was played.  Does that happen here?

    • Anon says:

      If they are paid up members of the Performing Rights Society(PRS), then yes – as the PRS will pursue the fees for them.  However, in order for this to take effect, Cayman singers, musicians, technicians, composers, etc. need to become members and submit all their info (discography, proof of ownership, etc.) to the PRS who will thereafter take action to recover royalties from radio, TV, commercial stores, the hairdressers, the barbers… you name it, provided they publicly broadcast it… and YES this membership and protection extends to Cayman as a British Territory.

  27. Tim Dim says:

    Illegal downloads from UK television are among the few things that keep me sane especially as a bufferfrom the mindless purgatory of American network television.

    • Gonococal says:

      Oh really? I spent a week buried in snow in an English hotel once. There were three channels in my hotel. One kept showing a documentary about cheese, another had a cricket match on. Fortunately, the third channel showed AMERICAN movies.

      If not for that third channel I would have killed myself. 

       

       

       

      • Tim Dim says:

        It has been 28 years since there were only three channels in the UK.

        I quite like documentaries.  It is what the BBC are very good at.  Documentaries require an intention span and a desire to be educated.  That is why the American networks never show any.

        • Anonymous says:

          except history channell, discovery…etc….. american tv ain’t as a bad as the brits like to think….. (and i’m not a yank)

          • Anonymous says:

            This is true, but is the lengthy and noisy advertisements every 5 mins that the Brits hate most about American TV if you ask me – drives me nuts!

      • frank rizzo says:

        If you don’t like the programming in the UK, just wait a little while…it will change. I actually saw a young Anthony Hopkins action man movie in America one Sunday afternoon, quite good. Cheesy, but good.

      • Night Flyer says:

        Yikes! wha kinda hotel was it? "The "Bates" ? Never stayed in a hotel with only 3 channels.

    • Anon says:

      Yes I wonder if its true what I hear about our cable TV providers on that issue?

      • Anonymous says:

        Let’s hope they are not planning to add BBC America.  It is the BBC’s version of ITV2 – aimed at the mind-numbed masses.  If I wanted to watch the same episode of Kitchen Nightmares 7 times I would buy the DVD box set or better still kill myself.

    • Fellow Brit says:

       Couldn’t agree more…

      • Dred says:

        I could not agree more. Just read CNS daily and you will see where our priorities should lie.

        Estella Roberts

        Sabrina Schirn

        Courtney Spence

        How many people where murdered last year?

        Shall I continue?

        We have far too many serious issues than to focuss our time and energies on these more trivial matters.

        I really could careless if someone halfway around the world makes 40 million instead of 45 million. Really and truly in the grand scheme of things this is of no real consequence to us. We are not even talking about local artist or musicians.

        Deal with REAL issues!!!

  28. Anonymous says:

    Don’t forget pirated satellite signals that abound in Cayman. It is an interesting article that represents much more than the DVD or the satellite signal it is what can you get away with.

    When you look at the way business is conducted in Cayman the theme is what can you get away with…non paymant of pensions…forget the garbage pickup fees…paying hosapital bills…you begin to get my drift.

    • Except... says:

      There are some of us who "fake" being in the US, pay FULL subscription fees and do everything we can to LEGALLY pay for our satellite signals so we don’t fall into the criminal bracket.

      It is not Dish Network and DirectTV’s faults we cannot LEGALLY get the signals.  The studios and distributors stymie their sales by limiting them to the US.  Sure, the signal reaches us, but to LEGALY obtain it, we need to be IN the US. 

      Both companies will "turn a blind eye" to honest (HONEST) patrons willing to pay for their signals (even if they have to fake a US presence) as they both understand the INTENT of the law is to ensure everyone pays for the right to view.

      TRUST ME….  There are as many PIRATES stealing the signal within the US as there are outside.  Difference is, they have a legal and easy option to get it legally.  For us here – we have to either believe the sham artists selling us illegal cards and telling us its the only way, or find a way to "pseudo-exist" inthe US and pay all the correct fees. 

      I prefer the latter – never lose signal when they zap the low-life signal-thieves!!!

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Can anyone say "rationalization"? The phrase that comes to mind is "obtaining services by deception" – but whatever lets you sleep at night. 

        • Capn Blackbeard says:

          Actually some illegally downloaded movies help me sleep at night.

  29. Anonymous3 says:

    Unfortunately, this is as common as numbers.  No one finds anything wrong with doing illegal things.  One crime is decided to be more illegal than the other by these pirates. 

    I for one believe in upholding the law in all areas because if it’s okay to pirate movies, it’s okay to rob stores.  Either way, you are a thief. People fail to see the link between hard crimes murder, rape) and white collar crimes (stealing)  but you are teaching your children that it is okay to steal and commit other crimes once you don’t get caught.

    I know of a government official that not only gambles big money but also rents pirated movies to you.

    This is our examples for our children.  Reading the comments so far is very sad. 

    To the commenters: how would you feel if it was your music being pirated?  If it was your money being stolen?

    • Yup... says:

      Someone needs to tel El-Jefe, Premier-o that he cannot abolish Pirate’s Week on the grounds that it does a disservice to our image – we are rife with piracy here…

      Stolen satellite feeds….

      Bootleg DVDs…

      Fake sunglasses and purses…

      It is a veritable NYC TIMES SQUARE here – you just dunna have fi run when di cops dem come – cause we don’t see it as illegal…

      NOW, if we could just adopt the Amsterdam model and legalise POT – do you KNOW how fast our tourism would grow…

      Stick THAT in UNNA pipe and smoke it, Massa Premier, SAH!!!

    • Dred says:

      "To the commenters: how would you feel if it was your music being pirated?  If it was your money being stolen?"

      I hear what you are saying but since you like throwing out what ifs here’s mine to you.

      If your child was shot by accident by a drive by where would you stand on this issue? Would you be about moving resources away from dealing with drugs and guns to dealing with Copyright issues?

      Now before you bleed stupidity let me answer the question for you. NO. You would not. Right now you have a luxury someone who has lost a child or love one does not and that is YOU HAVEN’T.

      While we sit here idly trying to fix every single thing that is wrong with our Islands we fail to do the sensible thing and that is tackle first the things that impact us the greatest.

      Simply put Serious Crime affects not only us DIRECT and on a massive level but it impacts our economy. As serious crime escalates tourism will start to disappear. Once that happens more people loose jobs and taxes will have to be raised even higher and crime will become a more viable option for people who are on the brink.

      Now you are saying we should divide our resources for solving these issues for crimes which do not even have a significant impact on our society. You see I just don’t get it. If we were living without all these SERIOUS issues I could see you moving to the next level but until I am not seeing this one shot or that one shot I wouldn’t want not even $1 of my hard earned money going to help some artist make $7 million on a record instead of $6 million.

      This is all idle stupidity at its highest level.

      • Anonymous says:

        Dred: No one said anything about diverting police resources.  After all, we all know that someone will call them and tell them the police is coming just like someone knows who is robbing everywhere but no one says anything. 

        The only how the police here will ever solve a crime is with forensic evidence.  They need to get those cameras everywhere.

        I don’t buy/rent pirated dvd and by setting the proper example, my kids won’trob you. 

  30. Anonymous says:

    Poor movie stars I feel so sorry for them, and the singers too. Shut up and worry about really important things such as the needy in Haiti.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not about the movie stars. They get paid up front in most cases. The studios and directors who get a percentage of a film’s box office take may lose some. How much is unknown. Ultimately, however, it doesn’t matter if we are talking about multi-millionaires losing money, which admittedly may be difficult to care about. This is because stealing is supposed to be wrong no matter how wealthy the victim may be, right?

      Banks have a lotmoney, but one still gets in trouble if you rob one.

      Closer to home, you and I probably do or will one day take an economic hit because of this stuff. Theaters might have to charge more for tickets because of the money they lose when their first-run movies are simultaneously available for rent in these Cayman businesses. It’s unfair and illegal competition for a local theater to have to compete with pirates–even if they have a valid business license up on the wall.

  31. Steve says:

    You may disagree – but I strongly believe allowing property rights in ideas and information (such as the contents found in DVD’s and CD’s) creates ARTIFICIAL SCARCITY, and in the long run infringes on the RIGHT to own tangible property. Here’s a demonstration by N. Stephan Kinsella, an American Lawyer. I think you will find this interesting:

     
    “Imagine the time when men lived in caves. One bright guy—let’s call him Galt-Magnon—decides to build a log cabin on an open field, near his crops. To be sure, this is a good idea, and others notice it. They naturally imitate Galt-Magnon, and they start building their own cabins. But the first man to invent a house, according to IP (Intellectual Property) advocates, would have a right to prevent others from building houses on their own land, with their own logs, or to charge them a fee if they do build houses. It is plain that the innovator in these examples becomes a partial owner of the tangible property (e.g., land and logs) of others, due not to first occupation and use of that property (for it is already owned), but due to his coming up with an idea. Clearly, this rule flies in the face of the first-user homesteading rule, arbitrarily and groundlessly overriding the very homesteading rule that is at the foundation of all property rights.”
     
    Against Intellectual property (2008), p. 44.
     
    Note: Homesteading applies to anyone who is a limb of the back-to-the-land movement – a migration from cities to rural areas that took place in the United States during the 1960’s to 1970’s, and those who chose to live a sustainable, self-sufficient lifestyle.
     
    I believe the idea of intellectual property would “arbitrarily and groundlessly overriding the very homesteading rule that is at the foundation of all property rights.” It makes sense to me. The only reason why you hear of celebrities complaining about others “stealing” their copyrights in other countries has to all do with the money-making.
     
    But what can you do? 
     
    Kill the pirates???  
    • Anonymous says:

      That’s crazy.

      Artistic creations such films are not simply "ideas". They are unique products. Taking them without permission and selling them is a crime.

      You seem to suggest that James Cameron can spend years of his life creating a film like Avatar, a studio can invest millions of dollars in it, and it’s justifiable for a disconnected third party to sell that creation solely for their own profit? That’s nuts. No different than me stealing a car from a Ford factory and then selling it for my own profit.

      Yes, the broad "idea" of film making (like log cabin building) is free for all to use. But using an actual film created by someone else is theft.

      • StillgoingStrong says:

        I understand clearly what he is saying though. A tangible property is completely different from an idea or mental creation. If I burn a song on "MY" blank DVD, how can you say I am stealing from the Artist?  It is my blank DVD and "the song" is not a tangible property. You can say I must pay for the DVD, but how can you say I must pay for the song?  

        I think that is what Steve is trying to say. He has a valid point!

         

        • Anonymous says:

          Okay, then I’m going to open a bookstore in George Town and sell neatly scanned books for a small fraction of their retail price. I won’t pay anything to the authors or publishers.

          Any book you want on the NYTimes bestseller list that you want, drop in and I’ll sell it to you for $1.

          Nothing wrong with that, according to you, because the words in a book are not tangible property right?

          If Books and Books, Book Nook, and Hobbies and Books complain, I’ll just explain to them that books are mere "ideas" or a "mental creations", free to everyone.

          Would that work for you?

        • Joe Bananas says:

          It is O.K. to you  because you are a thief. You don’t feel like your doing a bad thing or your a bad person because you probably were brought up by thieves and hang with thieves.  And of course you are lead by thieves.  So how can it be wrong?  To you?  And your family? And your friends? And your leaders?  To you and yours the only bad thing is when you get caught by someone and they want to do something to you to protect what they think is theirs alone.  Your body is yours but is your life?  Your body is yours but is your freedom?  Your house?  your car?  Your stuff?  If its all yours than its all theirs.  If you can take it than they can take it.  You are free to make the call for you but expect to lose what you take.  Thief.

      • Amen says:

        Mi name says it all…  TANX

    • Anonymous Theresa says:

      You scared me for a second there. I thought you might have been the person selected to setup the public defender’s office.

    • Discuss not Argue says:

      I agree with your statement to an extent.  Thing is, a movie isn’t just an idea.  It took time, money and what ever else.  Would you ask a man to build your house and not pay him?  Hmmm.  Ideas perhaps fall in the category you suggest, I can’t say I would disagree there.  However, I wouldn’t want to have gone to work all day or even this whole year and when I’ve completed my project find that I won’t get paid.  Believe Gov’t is in a jam now with the schools over this same principle…?

      Many people have to go through years of school (which cost both time & money), work at mastering the tools to create these, effectively get their creative ideas to materialize, make it presentable for the public, make copies on applicable media for distribution, organize the distribution, market and promote, and I’m sure I missed some steps.  Does this not sound like alot of work?  Would you, after all of this, just say, "hey, go ahead, it’s free."  And yes, they get rich but that’s why they went to school and made the sacrifices…  Go ahead, tell ROC or CIMA your not paying the annual fees…

      Ideas perhaps, but service done deserves compensation.  Just my 2 cents at least.

    • PQL says:

      I understand you well… 🙂

      Is a movie a property?  Or, Is it the physical DVD?

       

  32. Anonymous says:

    "conducting illegal business as if it were entirely legal"

     

    It is legal.

     

    There is no law here that says otherwise and so it is legal…now back to dvd quality movie.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry but it is entirely illegal. There are lots of laws that say it is. It is a breach of the Copyright Act 1954 – extended to the Cayman Islands, and a breach of patents and trademarks registered and protected here. It is also Money Laundering under the Proceeds of Crime Law, and dealing in stolen property under the penal code –  and the authorities know it – and like the pensions law, do nothing about it. The Work Permit Board, Customs, Trade & Business etc.  are all actively (although sometimes ignorantly) aiding and abetting in the commission of offences.

       

      We need to grow up and do something. AG (no not you Dan) – Where are you?

      Thanks for bringing this to the fore CNS.

    • noname says:

      International copyright laws have no impact in a British territory? I find that to be very surprising if is true.

      Can we photocopy books and magazines and sell them openly here too?

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, when it comes to copyright law, I think you will find that Cayman follows England… and Englandhas copyright laws.

    • Anonymous says:

      The copyright position isn’t straightforward.

      The UK Copyright Act 1956 was extended to Cayman in the 60s. But, the Act was repealed by the 1988 UK Act. No provision was made in that Act for the continuation of the older Act for Cayman. So, unless the 1960s Order in Council provided that the older Act continued in force notwithstanding its subsequent repeal (which is unlikely, but I can’t find a copy to confirm the position), then there is no copyright law in force. Even if it is in force, it doesn’t create any criminal offences, so the copyright holder would need to sue.

      The UK is signatory to international conventions on copyright. They haven’t been enacted into our law. Until they are, the UK is probably in breach of its international obligations.

      The trademark situation is a bit more straightforward. The UK laws apply here, and we have a Merchandise Marks Law which also protects rights holders. Given that the production of dodgy DVDs necessarily involves the copying of a trademark, the shops find themselves in a potentially precarious position.

  33. Anonymous says:

    http://www.freeandlegaldownloads.com/resources/copyright

    seems to suggest that the Cayman Islands has no copyright law to regulate those businesses with. I think I heard that before from a lawyer here. No law, no enforcement possible.

    • Anonymous says:

      How do you explain the handbags and sunglasses then?

    • Anonymous says:

      Freeandlegaldownloads is wrong.  Cayman follows British law on this issue and Britain has Copyright Law.  Its not usually the government who collect these monies.  Agencies exist in both England and the States who have this duty and also have the ability to prosecute offenders… and we aint talking no small fines here, no sir.  And for those who think its just the movie stars missing out on a few more dollars, don’t forget the Engineer, the Producer, the writer, etc. – just as with musice, these laws exist to protect them all.

      • StillgoingStrong says:

        PROSECUTING people for free-and-legal-downloads is not only a waste of time, but impossible. Anyone can buy a blank DVD right now and record and sell to their friend a song!

        • Anonymous says:

          You are missing the point of the commentary. This is not just about individuals downloading stuff off of the internet for private use. This is about local business owners getting a trade and business license from government to rent illegally obtained films.

          It’s a government sanctioned crime.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Very thought provoking article. However, I would challenge the use of a  "morality" justification for clamping down on pirated DVDs. Rather, I would make the point that the government should clamp down on pirated DVD’s as they lose customs duty that would come from the importation of "legitimate" DVDs. 

    There are no "rights" to property other than those granted and enforced by the society in which the property is located. Even when such "rights" are granted and enforced, it is virtually always that a price is extracted by that society. 

    Further, there is no absolute morality in relation to "rights" to intellectual property in particular. By way of example, it is a fact that pharmaceutical firms have insisted that their "right" to extract huge profits from restrictions on the production and sale of medicines should be given legal protection even at the expense of thousands dying of curable diseases in Africa. Fortunately, and despite all kinds of outrageous behaviour by corporate entities, poor countries are deny intellectual property "rights" when these clash with the rights of the individual. 

    Even when you look at "rights" in relation to the written word, and similar materials, any "rights" of the producer/owner of the material is restricted by what are viewed as the "fair use" rights of consumers. Further, what is viewed as "fair use" varies from country to country and Cayman is [somewhat] free to come up with its own position on what "rights" we choose to grant and enforce.

    As an aside, it is probably more likely that a trade and business license application would only say something generic and to the effect that the proposed activity was "retail sales" rather than the sale of "illegally obtained DVDs", so to blame persons dealing with trade and business license issuing is probably a bit harsh. For those interested in a bit more reading:

    http://w2.eff.org/Misc/Publications/John_Perry_Barlow/HTML/idea_economy_article.html

    • Anonymous says:

      How would Government collect duty on software or movies that are bought online and downloaded Legally?

      • Anonymous says:

        The technology which could be used is called “Deep Packet Inspection” – This could be used to identify both content (at least of material that is not highly encrypted) and destination within the Islands. There is currently a proposal to introduce this technology within the Islands – see previous CNS articles on this. Long live Big Brother

        • Amen says:

          Sadly the repercussions of this go so far above most people’s heads (let alone most of the ignoramous posters here who are akin to giving the keys to a Ferarri to a 5 year old by letting them have the right to post on these boards…)

          Sadly, the technology is there to be used and ABUSED – I suspect our Caymanian culture will test the latter for a while…  Or in a while…

          I trust every poster here realises that what they type now will be tied to them electronically for YEARS to come…  Cookies, tracking software, caches,  browser history and the like come back to haunt you when the right to access them falls into the wrong hands…

          Let alone what would happen if sLIME and the like were forced to unveil their customer browsing histories…

           

  35. Anonymous says:

    I’ve always been fascinated by how this is allowed to happen, will someone please enlighten me?

  36. Anonymous says:

    I gotta confess (as I use several of these stores myself) this practice is extremely common island-wide and I remain amazed at how brazen these operations are, conducting illegal business as if it were entirely legal.  I actually wonder if the girls behind the counter who burn off DVD’s to order, have any idea that they are being employed to break the law?

     

  37. Anonymous says:

    Lmao! you need to get a life.. who ever you are

    • Steve says:

      🙂

       
      A reason why I love Pirate’s Week.  Not all Pirates were bad!  Many of them were Heroes due to economic reasons and social injustice, triggered by governments, and YES…
       
      THEY (the good ones) HAD A LIFE!
       
  38. Legal Beagle says:

    "No one expects them to drop a murder investigation so they can rush to bust grandma for renting some pirated Tyler Perry flick."  Surely there would be a cast-iron defence of insanity for anyone charges with an offence on these facts. 

    • Truth B Told says:

      Tyler Perry movies allow local audiences the opportunity to cheer in unison when a man hits his unfaithful wife.