Today I awoke to see a response from Tim Bray on the Android Developer's Blog regarding my previous article on circumventing the Android License Verification Library, and I almost completely agree with him. The License Verification Library is a very good start - above and beyond what, if anything, Google owes developers. Copy protection is and should be the responsibility of the developer. Google has given us a great tool, provided thorough documentation, and even open sourced the project.
Have you ever seen one of those annoying comments on the Android Market promising the riches and all the Android apps in the world for a low-low monthly price of $10? Sites like that pirate paid games and apps off the Market and then distribute them illegally, pocketing all the revenue. That's modern day warez at its finest.
Whether it was because of Android's openness or Google's notoriously poor focus on the Market, no DRM or licensing protection was available in the SDK for developers to utilize; so unless you rolled your own licensing scheme from within the app (which had a side effect of circumventing Google's payment system and therefore netted developers a whole lot more than 70% rev share), your app was easily "piratable".
Mobile game developer Gameloft recently came under fire for their DRM policy, which claimed that any user who purchased a game could not for any reason re-download it. This included wipes caused by authorized system updates to Android phones.
Needless to say, this angered many Gameloft customers, who paid upwards of $5 for each game. It didn't take long for the outrage to push Gameloft into announcing that it would be reviewing the DRM policy, but no timetable was provided.
Well it seems the huge outcry over Gameloft's DRM policy has not fallen on deaf ears as they have announced a change to their DRM policy. The change states that users are now allowed to re-download games purchased through their website, thought this may take some time to implement.
Here is a quote of the official announcement: