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Computer Software and Restricted Music Files
If you know for sure that they are going to use this to steal, then you are forbidden to assist them in stealing. Since you are not sure though and one should not suspect others of sinning, and since this software can be used for a permissible purpose, you may install this software if it does not need a license or if they pay for the license.
As for taking an object which you know is stolen and by taking the object it not only gives the thief approval for his actions but also encouragement to steal again, it is forbidden.

As for why people do this with computer software, I have no answer, this is their choice and we can only remind them that it is not the proper thing to do.

The fact that many do this and justify themselves does not make it right. And even more so since Microsoft (through its updates) inserts spyware into computers to authenticate the software.

The bottom line is what does it involve in order for a person to fix their problem? If you have to "share" software that does not have a license for more than one computer, then it is improper. It is very possible that a computer technician DID purchase such a license and is allowed to install the software in many computers.

In any case, a person should deal or work with a technician who installs licensed software.

Following the law that someone entrusted with a manuscript may not copy even one letter from it without authorization, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (d. 19'86) prohibits translating book segments without the author’s permission. According to this, it would be forbidden to duplicate software without consent.

Furthermore, the Talmud asserts that whenever a purchaser breaks the conditions of a contract, compensation is payable; indeed, someone who ignores the wishes of the “owner” is termed a “thief.” In a responsum about copying music, the contemporary Torah-law expert Rabbi Zalman Nehemiah Goldberg (the advising authority for volumes 1 and 2 of "Sefer Sheva Mitzvot HaShem" by Rabbi Moshe Weiner) notes that even after the sale, the original owner is entitled to retain some aspects of ownership.

Torah law would thus recognise a software developer’s right to withhold permission to copy the product, and unauthorized duplication and distribution would qualify as a type of theft. Additionally, Rabbi Yosef Shaul Nathanson (d. 18'75) argues that “logic” asserts authors’ Torah-law rights to their works. Many responsa suggest that Torah Law forbids software piracy. In any case, Jewish law asserts "dina demalchuta dina", i.e. in financial matters at least, one must defer to the "law of the land." As software copyright is certainly regulated by U.S. law, Torah Law obliges one to adhere to the terms of the purchase agreement.
Rabbi Yitz

Messages In This Thread
Reading Software License Agreements - by Joachim ben Noach - 04-29-2011, 02:34 AM
RE: Would this be theft? - by rabbiyitz - 08-14-2007, 05:17 AM
Music - by Johnzo - 04-08-2010, 03:58 AM

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