August 21, 2014

Google Announces Licensing Service to Combat Piracy

Google and the Android team are doing their part to make sure you are using legit versions of paid apps and not knock-offs and outdated APKs downloaded from a torrent site.  The Android Developers blog has a short post up today that talks about their new licensing service aimed to help developers fight piracy.

This simple and free service provides a secure mechanism to manage access to all Android Market paid applications targeting Android 1.5 or higher. At run time…your application can query the Android Market licensing server to determine the license status of your users. It returns information on whether your users are authorized to use the app based on stored sales records.  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.

We previously mentioned the efforts of Keyes Labs who was already feeling the effects of piracy.  The lead developer came up with his own method of ensuring his apps were being used in legitimate situations.  They created a customizable validation tool that gave developers the ability to handle enforcement as they see fit.

Google’s plan it to slowly roll this new system out over the next few months and ultimately replace the copy-protection mechanism currently in place.  If you are a developer and want to learn more, head over to Licensing Your Applications and Android Market Help Center for more details!