In my honest opinion I can tell you the following.
1) You cannot use cracked software to publish, in my case I use software cracked just to personal use and for nothing else, for instance if I want to publish something (I work a lot with STATA) I write all the commands and script on my personal computer, of course I test everything in order to be Ok, but in order to get all the tables, graphics, etc I use my university computers which are fully licensed. The second way is, as said before, using freeware or open source, there is one extra way, but I do not fully know all the possible consequences but can you use trial software?? I really do not know about this I am just guessing.
2) I think it is really hard to publish just by yourself in a reputed journal (not impossible, but really hard), because every reputed journal asks for contributions to current knowledge, therefore if you do not have the proper guide, sometimes it is really hard to adequately address this contributions in a really innovative way. It is common to see one-author published articles when he/she is well known in his/her respective field.
I hope it helps