Turkish Pirate Bay fatwa declares illegal downloading a SIN under Islamic law

Turkey's top religious authority has issued a fatwa banning Muslims from using sites like Pirate Bay to illegally download copyrighted content.

The Presidency of Religious Affairs, or Diyanet, warned Muslims that "unjust enrichment from the work of others" was strictly prohibited under Islamic law.

The ruling comes after the Pirate Bay set sail again just two months after Swedish police cannonballed the site and pulled it off the internet.

According to a rough translation of the Diyanet's ruling, the Prophet Mohammed "stressed the importance of paying for one's labour".

"Property rights violations are common as technology develops," it wrote.

It said the "unfair act" of downloading copyrighted content "discourages people who work in those sectors from creating new products", which turns the issue into a "public rights violation in a broader sense".

An agony aunt on a Catholic website called Crux has also advised godly surfers to avoid filesharing.

Writing in response to a woman called "Starving Artist" whose boyfriend is obsessed with downloading pirated movies, books and songs, Lisa Miller advised: "He’s depriving real people, those who make movies and music and books, of a living.

"In no other realm is it okay to assume that if you’re smart enough to figure out how to take something, then it’s legitimately yours."

Pirate Bay is the world's most famous filesharing site and allows users to access huge amounts of copyrighted content.