18

Is using pirated software allowed? Please answer with clear evidence supporting your view.

Note that I'm not asking about whether software piracy itself is sinful. My question is regarding the actual using of software that was obtained from a pirated source, either with or without the end user's knowledge.

For example, many of the computer centres here will sell computers with a pirated OS pre-installed, and they will provide discs of the pirated software. Is it haram to use these, given that most of the users don't even realize that what they have is pirated software? Must they stop using the software when they actually learn that it was originally pirated?

  • 3
    related question: islam.stackexchange.com/questions/207/… – goldPseudo Jun 25 '12 at 5:12
  • Why don't you just use Free and Open Source Software, right now I am using Linux as the Operating System. You will find FOSS alternatives for all your needs, they will be free and even better trust me ;) – Sameer Shemna Oct 10 '14 at 17:45
  • @SameerShemna : I am linux user :-) – Tachyons Oct 11 '14 at 4:03
  • mansalai abu backer checking you out on github ;) – Sameer Shemna Oct 11 '14 at 4:50
25

Ask yourself this: If someone gave you a computer, and it turns out the computer itself was stolen, would it still be halal to use? Piracy is stealing, plain and simple. I've been working in software development for over ten years and I know first hand how much hard work goes into making it, and to have someone come and get it for free hurts.

I also grew up in the Middle East and I know what you're talking about when you refer to not knowing the software is pirated. Now that you know, you have to stop. Especially in this day and age where there is PLENTY of free software that is intended to be free by its developers, it further removes the excuse for any piracy.

  • 4
    Personally I am computer science student , so I know this issues . But here people who are not software developers are not aware of it . Even the religious groups giving link to pirated softwares in their official website . I am a linux user so pirated softwares are not necessary for me :-) – Tachyons Jun 29 '12 at 11:52
  • What if this pirated software is essential to your work and it is not possible to get the real software. (I'm not talking about money) – user4456 Mar 12 '14 at 18:00
  • @user4456, buy it and use it. Or get exclusive permission from the owner. – BlueBird Apr 17 '17 at 10:08
6

And eat up not one another’s property unjustly (in any illegal way e.g. stealing, robbing, deceiving, etc.), nor give bribery to the rulers (judges before presenting your cases) that you may knowingly eat up a part of the property of others sinfully. Sura Al-Baqara:188 (2:188)

It is wrong to steal, plain and simple. Obviously, piracy is stealing by definition, hence piracy cannot be possibly allowed.

4

If you buy from someone who is selling those pirated softwares/computers with pirated softwares, you are basically taking part in his evil by aiding/encouraging him. I cannot say it is outright haraam because I have no authority or evidence to do so. But, I would like to admonish you regarding that.

Also, I would like you to listen to the audio of a scholar regarding this issue (parts of which seems relevant to this question) - Shaykh al-Albani on Copyright (It is a small clip anyway!)

2

License agreement is agreement as any other.
Violation to agreement is haram, no matter with whom it signed "accepted"

1

Just see the matter from another perspective: You are a developer by profession, you make money by developing software. If someone uses your software for free without your concern, isn’t he/she harming you? Are they respecting you? Aren't they stealing your property? Aren't they violating your right? What do you think?

Islam is for maintaining peace, integrity, social justice, rights, security, humanity and .... So on across the society, applicable to every aspect of our life whether we go digital or social, that doesn't matter. So clearly it is haram.

Just go for free alternatives...

  • 1
    Welcome to Islam.SE, Please go through How to write a good answer. Specifically, the part that talks about providing islamic sources for your answer. – Sohaeb Jul 31 '14 at 7:09
-1

The question is, is that software itself 100% genuine, or is it pirated itself?

E.g.

Microsoft illegally copied illegally many aspects of various other OS and was sued too, details here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_litigation#Private

So now the question becomes, is it allowed to use a software, which copied others work illegally and is selling it as part of their package, fine to be used illegally?

This might help you answer better.

About some people saying that what if your friend gave you a stolen computer. Again, in that case, if you knew that the person who he stole it from stole it from someone else and the chain was like that, would it be a weird decision?

Someone said that what if you're a developer and people use your software for free, would you want that? Well I wouldn't want people to talk to me for free either! But it doesn't matter what I want and what I don't! If your software contained illegally included snippets of other people's copyrighted code, do you have any rights to demand copyrights for that?

Hope it helps

  • Microsoft's allegedly stealing does not grant you or anyone else the right to steal. – ozbek Nov 9 '16 at 5:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.