The Android Market now offers a licensing service that lets developers enforce licensing policies for paid applications that they publish through Android Market.
With Android Market Licensing, applications can query Android Market at run time to obtain their licensing status for the current user, then allow or disallow further use as appropriate (to avoid app piracy and unauthorised use).
Using the service, developers can apply a flexible licensing policy on an application-by-application basis — each application can enforce licensing in the way most appropriate for it.
If necessary, an application can apply custom constraints based on the licensing status obtained from Android Market. For example, an application can check the licensing status and then apply custom constraints that allow the user to run it unlicensed for a specific number of times, or for a specific validity period. An application can also restrict use of the application to a specific device, in addition to any other constraints.
The licensing service is a secure means of controlling access to applications. When an application checks the licensing status, the Market server signs the licensing status response using a key pair that is uniquely associated with the publisher account.
The Terminal Mode context:
Terminal Mode (developed by Nokia and CE4A) is an open source technology for duplicating smartphone screens on in-car displays.
Whilst the technology works fine, currently there is no process in place to certify apps to be safe for in-car use. One possible solution is to implement a licensing server that can certify apps in real time for Terminal Mode use.
For example, when a smartphone with Terminal Mode software is connected to the car, only those apps that can connect to the off-board license server will be permitted to be duplicated in the car.