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Copyrights for personal usage

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org


Aslam-u-Alyqum

Can I photocopy a book for personal use, which has got copy rights published. The copy rights statements doesn’t specifically say anything related to personal or commercial usage  of the photo copied version. It only says “All rights reserverd, Neither this publication nor any part of it may be copied or reproduced in any form…….”

Regards

Akilahmed

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh

A copyright is designed to prevent a person from extensive or commercial use of a work. Due to the labor involved in producing that work, the copyright holder is considered more deserving of the work’s commercial benefits. Any other person is not to be allowed to violate his rights according to Shariah.

With regards to your specific query, copyrighted material can be reproduced depending on the law of the country in which you reside. Termed as “fair use doctrine” in some countries, it allows limited non-commercial usage of a copyrighted work without having to obtain permission from the author of that work. Alternatively you may obtain direct permission from the publishing house of the authored work.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Ismail Desai,

Darul Iftaa

This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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