Fatwa ID: 04151
Answered by: Mufti Javed ibn Nazir Kachhalia
I want to ask you please what the ruling of Islam for someone who buys cracked courses online. These courses are so expensive sometimes and of course, protected by copyrights by their owners.
But there is a website who crack them and sell them. I know selling cracked or pirated courses including videos, PDFs, eBooks, or whatever is Haram and prohibited by Islam.
But what Islam says for someone who needs them for his personal use not to sell them or share them with others.
First case: what if someone generated an income, after learning the strategies shown in these cracked courses and implement them, like earning money online, or building an e-commerce business, is it haram in Islam?
Second case: what if someone used these cracked courses and after pay for them later when he will collect the price of them?
Third case: what if someone used cracked courses that are not exciting in the market, by checking their selling pages. but they are still downloadable.
Otherwise, what if someone learned from these cracked courses and he passed real exams and got certifications in special degrees, then he worked in the same field of these studies, is his income haram in Islam?
These courses are a sort of videos, PDFs, eBooks whose goal is teaching and learning people how to earn money online like selling online, how to build a legit business online. sometimes teaching digital marketing, for example, to be an expert in digital marketing and be certified.
Usually, the goal of these courses cracked are only showing strategies on how to earn money online, and to guarantee legit good income or teaching who are interested in the marketing online to be an expert and certified.
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
In regards to your query;
It has been stated in ‘Contemporary Fatawaa’:
“Previously, ownership was confined to tangible items. However, recent technologies have proved that ownership may also take place in non-tangible items. The ownership of a non-tangible property is known as “intellectual property”.
The concept of “intellectual property” demands that the person who applied his mental skills and effort to invent a particular item should be the owner of its profit and benefits. Similarly, if a person has invented a formula or software using his own skill should be the sole owner of it. No other person should have the right to reproduce it. Due to this reason, the law of copyright came about to protect the inventor from losing his benefits.
The Scholars have differed in their opinion regarding the permissibility of copyrights.
According to us, copyrights and intellectual property is a valid Share’e right. Therefore, the use of pirated software is not permissible. It is an infringement of a valid right.” (Contemporary Fatawaa, Mufti Taqi Usmani (DB), Pg 188, Idara Islamiyat)
Only Allah knows best.
Written by Mufti Javed ibn Nazir Kachhalia
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah