I used contents from different websites to sell cookbooks on the ground that recipes can not be copyrighted. I got to know what I'm doing is bad after seeing the Islamic ruling because I don't give credits on the content used.I've repented from it and the books in question will be corrected.Is it a must I give what I earned out knowing it may be difficult to do so? Can I give charity in general with what I can afford and perform Ibadah on behalf of those infringed?
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
If you had violated the rights of some of the book authors, then you must seek their forgiveness or reconcile with them to pardon you, if possible.
Otherwise, you have to pay the value of the benefits that you made them miss and the harm that befell them. This should be estimated by the experts.
If you are not able to convey that right to the owners of the books, then you can give it in charity on their behalf.
For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 179263.
Allah knows best.
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