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Can we copy ideas and sell them?


Sarah, a famous painter, goes to an art gallery and sees a painting that she really likes from an unknown artist. When she goes home she decides to recreate the exact same painting and sell it for double the price. The original artist ends up seeing the copied painting selling for more and is furious. Does the original artist have the right to sue Sarah? What should they do?


If this is an issue between two religious Jews they may not go to a secular court, as that is a tremendous chillul Hashem. Choosing a secular court over bais din is making a puiblic statement that you prefer secular laws over the torah’s laws, therefore they may only go to a court after getting permission from the bais din. If the Bais din will decide in the plaintiffs favor is sceptical, because the second painter didn’t actually copy the picture, but only recreated her idea in her own way. Nevertheless the correct hing is to go to a bais din and sort this out.

May hahsme give everyone the parnassa that they need.

Best wishes



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