It is perfectly legal as well as ethical for a
person, group, institute, company etc to formulate rules and regulations to
safeguard their product. These rules stipulated by the producer must be followed
in letter and spirit by all those who want to benefit from its products.
Consequently, breech of such rules is a moral offence and in most societies and
countries it is a legal offence as well. However, in circumstances such as yours
in which illegal copying and piracy has reached such an extent that it is not
possible to survive in the market by insisting on the purchase of some
commodity: -- perhaps a software for example from the original owner, a new
dimension is added to the whole affair. The Hanafite jurists call such
situations as ‘Umūm-i-Balwah (pervasion of evil). This means that a particular
evil has become so rampant in a society that people are no longer in a position
to avoid it. In such circumstances, an evil may have to be adopted on the
pretext that there is no way out. This of course does not make an evil a good
However, contrary to such cases as yours, in cases where
copyright laws can be followed, they must be followed. For example, if it is
necessary to reproduce a chapter of a book in a journal and the permission of
the publisher or the author has to be sought, then this must be done, and, if
they refuse, one must refrain from such reproduction.
In your case, the perhaps the only
solution for you to follow copyright laws is to close down your business. This
of course is something which only you can decide. If you think that this would
be not be possible for you, then you have the plea to continue under compulsion.