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Ruling concerning copyright law

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by DarulUloomTT.net

Assalamu Alaikum Mufti.

What is the ruling on copyright in Islam? If there’s a copyright image of Islamic reminders as well as Eid images..can I use the photo from the internet and edit it with addition/ subtraction to the design and have it printed for Islamic wall art designs for sale?

Wa Alaikum Assalaam,

Many Scholars have accepted the ‘law of copyright’ and have stated that a person who has written something or created/made/invented something has a right to claim possession and ownership over the rights of its usage, which in reality refers to copyright.

As such, Islamic reminders in the form of images, photographs on the internet etc. which are copyrighted to their owners, cannot be edited, taken and used as a person’s property except that one has permission to do so. For such products, works etc. which are under copyright, one can only use it for one’s own purpose and for what it was meant for.

Without the owner’s permission, these products cannot be modified and sold or distributed. Therefore, it will not be permissible for you to use a copyrighted photo/image from the internet and edit it by adding to, or subtracting from the design, and then print it as an Islamic wall art for sale.

And Allah Knows Best.

Mufti Waseem Khan.

This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.

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