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Assalamu Alaikum

I need a copyrighted software that is not available in the marketplace to buy anymore. The developer company of the software had entirely closed. Some copy of that paid software are available in few websites for free. There is no way to contact with the owner to paid the price. I tried all the way to contact with them but no luck.

I need the software very much, it is only for my personal use, is there any permissible way I can use it?

Thank you.

Sorry if my English is bad

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In the name of Allah, the most gracious, the most merciful.

The general rule is that using copyrighted content (content where the author has not given permission to use for free) is NOT permissible, however there are some exceptions.

In your case:

  1. If it is not available in the marketplace; in that case it is permissible to copy it for personal use or charitable distribution, and it is not to be sold or profited from.

Basically, in your case you describe you need it for personal use, and while those sites that probably have the free copy available, those were most likely copyrighted as well. So in this case, it is permissible since the content that is available is from free access also.

Some other exceptions could be:

2 – If there is a great need for it and the owners are demanding more for it than it is worth, and they have already made enough money to cover their costs with a reasonable amount of profit, and that is something to be decided by experts. In that case it is permissible to copy it for personal use, not with the aim of selling it.

3 – If these disks belong to a company in a state that is at war against the Muslims, there is nothing wrong with copying them, because those whose rights are to be respected are: Muslims, non-Muslims living under Muslim rule, and non-Muslims with whom the Muslims have a peace treaty – not non-Muslims who are in a state of war against the Muslims.

Source: Islam QA Question Link

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