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Downloading Music onto iPod

Question:

Can one download music from his friend’s computer or CDs that he did not pay for onto his iPod, or is it considered stealing and he has to buy the music himself?

Answer:

One should avoid downloading others’ music onto an iPod, and strive to buy all music legally.

At the same time, one does not have to tell off others who download, because there are authorities who are lenient in this matter.

Best wishes.

Sources:

This question is an extension of the regular copyright questions that are often addressed by halachic authorities: Is the concept of copyrighting legally binding in halachah, or not?

The opinion of our mentor HaravWeissshlita is that one must be wary of infringing copyright legislation, and halachah respects the principles of copyright law. We will please G-dedicate a full article to explaining this topic, and will not expound on it here.

Based on this principle, one should not download others’ music onto an iPod, because this is a violation of copyright legislation.

At the same time, because there are authorities who rule that copyright legislation is not binding in halachah, there is no need to rebuke those who do download others’ music onto their iPods or similar devices.

Comments (2)

  • Yisroel Tenenbaum

    Thank you for this important teshuva. Does R’Weiss hold it is prohibited even in a case where the original product being copied is no longer able to be purchased from producer (i.e. to copy Microsoft Word 2007, although a Microsoft Service Agent told me that they don’t sell it anymore and only sell the 2013 version)?

    Thank you

    Reply

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