Google has announced the release of a licensing service for Android apps in the Android Market. Android's Eric Chu says this comes as the result of feedback from developers who want better protection against unauthorized use of their apps.
"This simple and free service provides a secure mechanism to manage access to all Android Market paid applications targeting Android 1.5 or higher," says Chu. "At run time, with the inclusion of a set of libraries provided by us, 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."
Google will replace the current Android Market's copy-protection mechanism with the new service. More info is available at the help center.