Mar 4th, 2011

While Google provides developers with plenty of tools to authenticate apps and make sure only the users who paid get to play, there is no hard and fast DRM solution for the Android Market as a whole. The Amazon Appstore, on the other hand, will have what on paper reads as a fairly strict DRM policy that will apply to all apps sold through the marketplace. In order to run apps purchased through the third party market, which is rumored to be launching this month, the handset in question must have the Appstore client installed and be signed in to the user’s Amazon account. When the app is opened it will ping Amazon’s servers to verify that it is not pirated wares.

“Any app that has Amazon DRM applied to it will require users to have installed and signed-in to the Amazon Appstore client to access the app. When an app is accessed by the user, it will verify with the Amazon Appstore device service as to whether the user has an entitlement to the app. If the user does not sign in or does not have an entitlement to that app, then the app will not be usable. However, any user can gain an entitlement by purchasing the app through Amazon.”

One immediate drawback to this method of DRM arrises when considering how apps might function when a handset is not connected to a data network. It is unclear how Amazon will handle the matter.

The issue of DRM is a tricky one for this fact. It is only fair that developers can protect their software from illegal distribution, but there is a thin line separating that protection from violating the rights of users who paid for an app fair and square. We will have to wait for further clarification at the launch of the Appstore.

[via Android Police]