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Is pirating software that is not sold anymore haram?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Fatwaa.com
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Is pirating software that is not sold anymore haram? For example there is an old software that is not sold anymore by the company, and I pirate it would that be haram? I don’t think it would be stealing since there is no way for me to buy it from them so they are not losing anything.

Answer

Wa’alaykum as Salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

Copyright laws and intellectual property rights are there to protect the initial investor from loss and damages. Islam recognizes and strongly advocates not harming any person.

In the enquired situation, however, since the company is not selling the software anymore, you may download it for your personal use. It will not be permissible to distribute or sell, unless you get explicit permission from the company.

 

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best

Wassalaam,

Ismail Moosa (Mufti)

This answer was collected from Fatwaa.com which is an excellent Q&A site managed by Mufti Ismail Moosa from South Africa. .

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