Amazon Clarifies Appstore DRM Issues; Seems Totally Reasonable
Last week we caught wind of some potentially annoying developments regarding how Amazon would employ Digital Rights Management to protect apps in its upcoming Android Appstore against casual piracy. While there was plenty of ambiguity in the explanation Amazon had provided, a worst-case scenario could have seen mandatory DRM on all apps sold through the store, and a requirement to validate the apps whenever launched, necessitating the presence of a data connection. We can breathe a sigh of relief now, as Amazon has clarified how its system will work, and it no longer sounds like a nightmare.
Firstly, there’s no DRM requirement. We heard last year that the company was reserving the option to force DRM upon developers, but it now seems to have changed its tune.
Better still, there won’t be any need to have a data connection up-and-running in order to access your Amazon-purchased apps. Frankly, the idea sounded so bad we didn’t want to believe it, and wouldn’t have except that such implementations do exist for other platforms. When you buy an app with Amazon, its servers will send your phone a token that authorizes the app to function on that one device. After that, there’s no further need to verify the app in order to run it, so long as both the app and token stay put on the phone.
With that hurdle out of the way, now we’re just curious to see how Amazon intends to draw developers and end-users away from Google’s Android Market.