By Candace Westby
Trade Mark Examiner

Ms. Westby works for CIIPO, which provides information about IP protection in the Cayman islands. Get Creating Cayman is a regular column on your rights and responsibilities under Cayman’s IP laws. For more info, visit email

Copyright: Fair dealing and exceptions

A copyright owner is the ONLY person who can adapt their work; make copies and distribute them; perform, broadcast or play the work in public; put it on the internet; or lend copies. It’s illegal for anyone else to do these things without the copyright owner’s permission.

But like other copyright laws around the world, Cayman’s Copyright Law lists exceptions to these rules. Known as ‘fair dealing’, the exceptions allow the use of copyright-protected works without the permission of the rights holder, for specific purposes.

In the Cayman law, some exceptions are:

• Personal copying for private use

• Non-commercial research and private study

• Text and data mining for non-commercial research

• Criticising, reviewing and reporting current events

• Educational use by schools, universities or other educational establishments

• Helping disabled people by making a braille copy

• Time shifting, by recording TV to privately view later

• Use for parody, caricature and pastiche

• Use by libraries, archives and public administrations

• Making backup copies, decompilation, observing, testing and studying, and correcting computer programme errors

• Any acts necessary to access the contents of a database

• Using a design to make a product

• Creating backup copies of eBooks when originals are no longer usable

• Making notes or recordings for purpose of recording current events

• Publicly reciting a reasonable extract from a published literary or dramatic work

• Using abstracts of scientific and technical articles

• When it’s difficult to identify authors or to ascertain if the copyright has expired.

To help determine if your use of copyright-protected works without permission constitutes fair dealing, ask yourself:

• Is the amount copied reasonable and appropriate, or does the copied portion constitute a significant part of the work? Was it necessary to copy that amount?

For example, if the conclusion of the work is one page, it may not be considered fair for you to copy that entire page. This would be based upon the amount and substantiality of the portion taken.

• What is the nature or purpose for copying the work?

Are you in college, or reporting current events? If your reason for copying does not fall under the previously listed exceptions, you may be guilty of infringement.

• Does copying this work deprive the copyright owner of income?

If your use of the work ends up causing the owner to lose revenue, this would not be considered fair.

While these factors will vary from case to case, it’s worth considering them when planning to use copyright-protected works without the owner’s permission. So keep these things in mind as you get creating, Cayman!