Intellectual & Digital Property

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In very general terms, some say that if the author is selling his lectures, music, or computer program or the like, then there's a Halachic copyright. As such, it is a form of stealing to use the product without paying for it. If he is not selling it, however, or he doesn’t have any copies to sell, or you are not a potential costumer, the issue of a Halachic copyright does not apply. [1]

  • The poskim discusses whether there is a real ownership of an intellectual property. Shoel Umeishiv 1:44, Rav Shimon Schkop Bava Kama siman 1, Netsiv in Meishiv Dvar 24 hold that there is a halachic ownership of intellectual property, while the Mishpatei Shmuel 35 and Bet Yitzchak YD 75 argue that there's no ownership of intellectual property. See Shurat Hadin v. 16 p. 290 n. 13 and Yabia Omer CM 7:9. Shurat Hadin n. 14 points out that even the Bet Yitzchak's approach wouldn't allow stealing intellectual property because the originator of the invention can restrict others from using it.

Links

References

  1. Rabbi Hershel Schachter in a shiur on yutorah.org, titled Copyright Law