Copyright infringement and restitution


X obtains illegal copies of copyrighted material (e.g. pirated music/films/video games). X later repents of this and wishes to put things right. Does it suffice for X to destroy the illegal copies, or is additional restitution required?


This is a question for a priest.



This is a question for a priest.<<

Or a lawyer. :smiley:


I concur. “X” should ask for guidance from the priest when confessing.


Good question. It may help to consider various kinds and degrees of restitution:
*]As you said, you could destroy/delete the illegal copies. Some may consider this insufficient because you have had the use of the music/films/games for some time without paying.
*]You could legally purchase the items. This may be difficult or impossible if you pirated quite a lot and do not have enough money to pay for it all.
*]You could perform some sort of service for the benefit of copyright owners, for example, encouraging others to cease pirating and obtain copyrighted material legally (purchase, library loan, legal transfers, etc.).
There may be other options.

I am not saying you should do one or the other, but think about it and follow the other advice you’ve obtained here.


A lot of people sue for copyright reasons, simply as an excuse/loophole to get money from a lawsuit, and not because they are truly upset that somebody broke their copyright.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit