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Question ID: 31376
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Assalamualaikum
I am requesting a fatwa regarding the use of pirated software.
Many people believe that copyright doesnt exist on intellectual property, on lectures, recitation of quran, kitaabs etc.
On e.g. things to do with deen, kitaabs this is understandable that the content cannot be copyrighted.
However, many people now have extrapolated that fatwa to mean that in shariah there is no problem with using pirated software (usually downloaded from the internet for free whereas the software is sold in shops) under the pretext that it is ‘intellectual property’. Software is not just information, it is an engineered tool, like a machine etc. So the ‘intellectual property’ doesn’t apply I think. Some use the proof that pirating” is in reality simply recieving files from other people who have bought the software and shared it etc.Sad to say, I have heard that even many ulema are using pirated software and their students are under the impression that it is perfectly halal. In many countries over 50% of all software is copyright.
How can something like this be halaal, nevermind the intellectual property/copyright debate, when it is against the law of the country firstly.
Please can some light be shed on this issue by yourself mufti saheb, because many people are ignorant regarding this issue.
JazakAllah

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Asked on November 16, 2012 12:04 pm
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This is a highly debatable matter. Due to both views existing, the flexibility of using and ignoring copyright arises. Thus to convince one over the other is going to be virtually impossible.
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Answered on November 16, 2012 12:04 pm