Using Unsecured Software, Permissible?
Answering your question, Dr. Monzer Kahf, scholar in Islamic economics & financial expert, stated:
Without saying that it is permissible to pirate software from owners, we know for sure that students who used unsecured software did not pirate it. They used a program that was circulated among students. These programs in the best are older versions or unsecured version that people with normal technical knowledge can unlock and obtain.
I don’t see them doing haram or earning haram. I believe that intellectual rights should always be respected and I also do believe that other people, namely the users of intellectual properties, should not be deprived because owners can practice monopolies and exert monopolistically high priced from users.
I see that the questioner has used a program that is available to students and applied his own efforts to it to produce services that he sold. I find it not prohibited by all means as long as he does not commercialize the program.
May Allah guide all of us to what pleases Him!