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In the Name of God بسم الله
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Dhulfiqar313

Is Torrenting Copyrighted Material Haraam?

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From Ayatullah Sistani's site:

1. Question: What is the ruling on copying computer software, movies, audio CDs and other such things, which bear the wording “All Rights Reserved” or “Copyright”? Does this rule apply equally to Muslim made products and those made by non-Muslim individuals or companies?

Answer: Copyrights must be respected; it is not permissible to copy a software product, if it is against the law.

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From Ayatullah Sistani's site:

1. Question: What is the ruling on copying computer software, movies, audio CDs and other such things, which bear the wording “All Rights Reserved” or “Copyright”? Does this rule apply equally to Muslim made products and those made by non-Muslim individuals or companies?

Answer: Copyrights must be respected; it is not permissible to copy a software product, if it is against the law.

Gayest. Fatwa. Ever.

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The fact that it's illegal in the 'secular' sense is enough for it to be haram (law of the land).

Also, a small side comment (yes, I know people don't ONLY download movies): most of the movies nowadays are full of haram content, please keep this in mind. I see an alarming amount of people in our communities talking about movies they've watched. This seems to be an area where awareness is needed.

Wallahu A'lam

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I don't even download haraam stuff like music. I just downloaded an audio Farsi learning thing :S

I mean, seriously, where the hell do the Prophet (pbuh) or one of the Imams (as) say that one person's words are their own property?! Intellectual property is illogical.

It's not just "one person's words."

Very basically: Someone took their knowledge, or spent a lot of time and effort to learn two languages; put in the time and energy to create those lessons; invested money to make a book or audio lessons; and then set up a mechanism to sell it; along with any other miscellaneous fees involved with a business. And it is expected that they will be compensated for their intellectual and monetary effort, and the service they provide, when the product is purchased...

All of which you then bypass by obtaining it for free--no different than if you were to steal it out of the store. It is like any good being sold--the end product is vastly different and improved from the original components that went into it through someone's creativity, time, money, and effort--that is what business and trade is (which is certainly talked about in religion). And they need to be compensated for it.

You are stealing if you download it.

And why would a religious person use such language? Have some respect.

Edited by avjar7

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Unless it is freeware, and intended to be freely distributed, you are stealing it by obtaining it for free. It should be common sense. Someone's hard work and money went into producing it, and they want some compensation for it.

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Well, the West has stolen enough from our previous generation through generations of colonialism, that I don't feel guilty in "stealing" their stuff.

Blah blah rationalization.

Listen, as noted earlier, it takes a large amount of money to put out these products, and if people don't pay for it, it doesn't get done.

A valid rationalization can probably be made to check out or temporarily use the product with the intention of buying if the product is going to be useful and you can afford it.

Example: you want to check a film out, and it's something that wouldn't be found on Netflix or in the local video store. You check it out once. If you love the film and want to have it in your collection and keep and watch over and over again, then buy a copy, even if it's a used copy. It's only fair.

Or a student that needs to learn software for his future profession, and can't yet afford the software. This is valid. Or a professional that needs to spend some time to get familiar with software for professional qualifications and due to work and family busyness he needs more than the 30 days the typical free trial from the software website allows to play with it and try it out.

This is not so problematic. At the same time however, it would be illegitimate to use that software to undertake paid contracts, earning money therefrom, and yet not buy a copy of the software. It's earning bread using stolen tools.

Basically, you need to apply some common sense. There's a certain area of use where you can justify an ethical use of torrents with a clean conscience. But if you like a product and find it useful and you actually make use of it, then buy the product so that the makers get paid and can keep on putting out these products you find so beneficial. If it was your work in question, that is what you would want.

Edited by kadhim

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Well, the West has stolen enough from our previous generation through generations of colonialism, that I don't feel guilty in "stealing" their stuff.

Doesn't work that way in Islam brother. The ends don't justify the means. Western armed forces have also raped and murdered civilians but I'd like to think that we never stoop down to the level where we do the same (naudhubillah).

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The fact that it's illegal in the 'secular' sense is enough for it to be haram (law of the land).

Also, a small side comment (yes, I know people don't ONLY download movies): most of the movies nowadays are full of haram content, please keep this in mind. I see an alarming amount of people in our communities talking about movies they've watched. This seems to be an area where awareness is needed.

Wallahu A'lam

Yeah whatever bruv

Ever hear of "cultural analysis?" You can learn more about a society, its people, its culture, etc... through watching a single movie than through reading all the books in the world.

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