You can’t stop piracy of Muslim media, but you can fight it!

This is a reflection based on two things I have recently read: 1) on, bro. IbnAbeeOmar talks about Copyrights and Software Piracy in Islam and 2) bro. Alex showed me this, in which he quoted from the Alhambra Productions site saying they were out of stock due to illegal selling and downloading of an audio set.

To all the Muslim audio/video production companies, piracy will not stop. People are people. Audio tapes and cassette tapes are out dated. CDs are weak. DVDs are the default now. The latest technology in video would be HD-DVDs and Blu-Ray, which are high quality picture and sound better than DVD quality.

So how can Muslim audio and video production companies fight the piracy of lectures and music of Muslim speakers and artists? We have to first look at what the mainstream music industry did to combat piracy.

Napster, File-sharing, P2P, Limewire, Torrents

Being 22 years old right now, I grew up when MP3 first came out and saw it’s widespread usage. The nerds of any high school use to bank off of this early on before the software became easy to use for any computer illiterate person. They use to download albums and sell them for as cheap as $3 at school. They use to make custom albums for anyone. You could make your own mix instead of buying what was in the stores. It started a whole new craze. Then Napster became too popular and the government caught on and they died out, but the federal agents had no clue that there was a new area of internet software being born. That was the dawn of peer to peer and file-sharing software. Software like Limewire and Bearshare became popular all across campuses. Some campuses had closed intranet networks, so people made software like DC++ to allow students within one university network to share there files. Then after that, torrents grew out of that, and now torrents are popular. Limewire upgraded to accommodate torrents and other BitTorrent clients like Azeurus became popular.

Apple’s money-making solution to media piracy: iTunes

Apple’s iTunes has sold over 3 billion songs and has made tons of money off the music industry. The government loves them and media giants like SONY BMG support them by allowing iTunes to sell there artists songs. With Apple being the dominant market share holder in the portable MP3 industry with the iPod they bank on selling MP3s directly to iPod owners. Most people now just buy the songs they want instead of downloading them. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has also hired a lot of technical professionals to track down on people who host and share massive amounts of pirated music. I’m sure some avid downloaders will know of people who received letters saying “We know you download stuff, so stop before we fine you or even jail you, etc.” On college campuses, the RIAA have been strict on intranet college networks and have complained to universities to stop the sharing of illegal songs.

In other words, piracy might be still happening but now consumers can simply bay $0.99 for a song they want instead of searching to download the MP3. Ten years ago, they would probably get it illegally.

The Solution to Muslim piracy: Muslim iTunes

Basically, to help Muslim audio and video producers not lose money off of piracy, they need to unite, create and develop a Muslim version of iTunes. Or they need to start selling there products on iTunes so that all the Muslims who own iPods (which is a lot) or any MP3 portable player can pay and download them legally. The future generation will see an age without CDs and just MP3s. You have to look at the future and re-adjust product marketing and selling.

Well now I just gave away an idea for a Muslim entrepreneur, like myself. I would take this up, but I’m too lazy and busy with other projects. Hopefully someone would start it.

13 Replies to “You can’t stop piracy of Muslim media, but you can fight it!”

  1. I like the idea and would probably buy the audio files in such manner. It’d be an issue of convenience for me.

    Interestingly enough, I was just watching bro Ali’s Ummah Films update video where he said that even though all the videos are available to be watched for free on the web, there’s still good demand for them in DVD format. Which raises the question if it’s possibly a marketing/packaging issue too. It wouldn’t matter then if you have your mp3 on iTunes for 50 cents… unless your name is 50 Cent. :-/

  2. Nasheed Fan on August 21, 2007 at 3:13 pm said:

    I really like the idea you put forth Mujahideen Ryder. There is currently a muslim form of iTunes kinda at

    However, I think a more integral approach such as Apple’s iTunes would be better.

    Wow! That’s cool. JazakAllah khair! seems to be focused on Muslim music.

    You are right with the integral approach of Apple’s iTunes. You can buy videos on iTunes also along with songs. If Muslims can really hit this market, it would really help the piracy of its products.

  3. I really like the idea of getting on Apple’s iTunes better than making our own Muslim version.

    Everyone knows and trusts the name so it would be easy to just piggyback their success. Also, think of the da’wah!

    Plus, it’s an awesome way to kind of work ourselves more into the mainstream =)

  4. Alsalamualaikum,

    I agree that distributors and individuals engaged in da3wa need to earn a living and protect their rights, however opening a Muslim iTunes, while seemingly a practical solution to this problem, merely masks the issue and can even open the door to new problems for the end-user. Check out what Sheikh Ul-Internet says about DRM (Digital Rights Management):

    On a side note, I know you closed the post, but one I saw the headline for the lead NYT article today, I couldn’t help but chuckle and think to myself “Man, everyone is changing madhabs these days” 🙂

  5. Great blog. I really liked it. I have also created a lens in same niche. This is my first time , hope u guys like it. Here’s a brief intro: There are a clear indication that DVD decrypter programs are used in a bad manner such as making illegal copies of movies for sale. But are you aware that there are actually legal situations that allow you to create copies of the movies you own on DVD? With most movies costing close to$20 each it is quite easy to see why people look for anything they canto help reduce replacement costs. For more details:

  6. as a musician, i can say this:

    Muslims in general are among the middle to lower class in economics, meaning the concept of buying software and music is very rare to find.

    And also, the record industry as suffered horribly due to piracy. iTunes has done well, but not even remotely enough to curb lowered CD sales.

    If a person really wants to make money out of a DVD (especially when it comes to Islam), they should put advertising into the DVD and distribute it free, similar to a magazine.

    Theres no way to stop Muslims from pirating. Asia is the highest pirated place in the world, and the majority of Muslims who buy this stuff are of Asian decent.

    I have a Muslim rock band in Austin and we would never sell our music (profit off the prophet? no way). But, we do make money from merchandise and gigs, which we use not for ourselves but to buy equipment to make our sound better.

  7. 1) you can’t copyright any islamic knowledge, wether on a dvd/cd or w/e
    2) do u really expect to make money by singing songs, get a real job
    3) people should WANT to support their community by purchasing, they shouldn’t be obliged to buy

    therefore my verdict is that there is no ‘islamic piracy’, do u think the people who sang nasheeds in the prophets time asked for money, no. Quite frankly i think they would be appalled that we are doing it now.

  8. Dear Brother in Islam,

    This may be of interest to you and others…

    First of all, Apple did not create iTunes to reduce piracy, but merely to increase the sales of their iPods. They wanted to make music and videos readily available to people who own iPods. iPods sales are driven by the availability of music/videos. You could say that Apple are actually in favour of music/video piracy because they will be played on iPods.

  9. Another thing…

    The future of music/videos is unpredictable – meaning that music/video piracy will continue until they either become free or impossible to pirate.

    Free: When content owners start selling to other companies (e.g. Yahoo!) instead of consumers

    Impossible: When software piracy becomes impossible. The only tools used to pirate music or videos are software.
    If you’re somebody who intends to profit from music/videos, you’ll find it very hard.

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