Android Market adds licensing service to combat app piracy

Google introduced a new Android Market licensing service in response to developer concerns over unauthorized use of premium Android applications. The free service promises a secure mechanism to manage access to all paid apps targeting Android 1.5 or higher--writing on the Android Developers Blog, Android Developer Ecosystem program manager Eric Chu explains applications can now query licensing server to determine a user's license status, receiving data on whether the consumer is authorized to employ the app based on stored sales records, allowing or disallowing further use as appropriate. Developers can also apply a flexible licensing policy on an app-by-app basis, enforcing licensing in the manner most appropriate for each individual application.

All applications published via Android Market are eligible for the licensing service, with no special accounts or registration--because the service does not use dedicated framework APIs, developers can add licensing to any legacy app using a minimum API level of 3 or higher. "This licensing service operating real time over the network provides more flexibility in choosing license-enforcement strategies, and a more secure approach in protecting your applications from unauthorized use, than copy protection," Chu notes, adding Google plans to replace the current Android Market copy-protection mechanism in the months ahead.

For more on the Android Market licensing service:
- read this Android Developers Blog entry 

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