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Resolutions of Iftaa' Board

Date Added : 02-11-2015

Resolution No.(48) by the Board of Iftaa`, Research and Islamic Studies:
“ Ruling on Publishing or Copying Books without Obtaining the Permission of their Authors “
Date: 24/4/1422 AH corresponding to 15/7/2001 AD.

 

The Board has received the following question:
What is the ruling when some owners of bookshops, speed-duplication shops, and presses produce copies of books and sell them without any consideration to copyrights reserved to their authors and publishers?
Answer: All success is due to Allah.
The Board views that a book, which is the fruit of hard work and tremendous efforts of an author, is considered from the valuable benefits and a private property of his, and that none is allowed to reprint it or publish it, save with his permission. However, copying some pages for academic benefit is permissible, provided that the information is attributed to the original author.
Moreover, the author`s copyright is transferred to his eligible heirs after his passing away, but if he had no heirs, then it is permissible for the public to benefit from it because, in principle, knowledge is permissible. Therefore, printing his books and publishing them become permissible without obtaining his permission since spreading knowledge is amongst the public interests which people should be aware of.
Amongst the innovated books are the reproduced books of heritage and manuscripts. As the reproducers of these spared no effort in editing, comparing, classifying, explaining, adding inflections to words, providing headings and indices, and giving them an innovative shape, then they are considered their sole property, and none is allowed to copy or publish them, save with their permission.
Consequently, the act of copying and selling books, undertaken by the parties mentioned in the above question, without obtaining the permission of the author and abiding by the provisions of Sharia in this regard is unlawful and a violation to the rights of the author and the publisher. And Allah knows best.

 

Iftaa` Board
Chairman of the Iftaa` Board, Chief Justice, Izz Al-Deen Al-Tamimi
Dr. Mohammad Abu Yahia
Dr. Abdulsalam Al-Abbadi
Dr. Yousef Gheezaan
Dr. Wasif Al-Bakhri
Sheikh Saeid Hijjawi
Sheikh Na`eim Mojahid
Sheikh Mahmoud Shwayyaat

 

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