Framing an Islamic Vision of Intellectual Property: Maqasid - Based Approach
Keywords:, Intellectual Property, Shari’a, Maqasid, maslaha mursalah, ownership
The Islamic scholarship on Intellectual Property (IP) has extensively investigated its affinity to Shari’a upon a rule-based approach whereby a profound analogy and reasoning eventually generated a Fiqh rule that embraced the concept. However, a lingering discrepancy vis-à-vis the philosophical underpinning is hardly addressed. This paper undertakes an approach based on Maqasid al-Shari’a (objectives of Shari’a) to explore that underpinning as it pertains to the three key elements in the making of IP, namely, creativity, property, and policy. The major premise of the paper is that the current IP framework failed to fulfil the needs and aspirations of the Islamic countries. While its underlying objective emphasizes a strong utilitarian approach that contradicts in many ways the Islamic Shari’a. Consequently, better outcomes can be reached by adopting a holistic approach that takes into consideration the practical implication of IP system according to the benefits and interest of Muslim’s societies. Whereby, IP should be comprehensively addressed according to the sources, objectives, and principles of Islamic Shari’a. These can be employed to evaluate the current application of IP and to identify the elements required in an IP system that is congruent with Islamic Shari’a. The comparative analysis of the fundamentals of the present international intellectual property system and the Islamic perspective indicated that the core aspects of IP concerning the concept of creativity and the scope of protection are delineated differently under the Islamic framework. Moreover, the policy and regulations as can be derived from the principles and Maqasid al-Shari’a have a great potential in promoting a robust Islamic IP system that is in line with Shari’a, the needs, and orientation of the society.
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