I have a bunch of rooted tablets purchased for use on a locked-down WiFi network (for security reasons internet access is not allowed). Using a different network, I purchased an RDP client app from the market. After a while on the secured network the app won't start with the error "This application is not licensed. Please purchase it from the Android Market".

Can someone explain how this works? Android Market apps connect on a periodic basis to check licensing? This seems ridiculously overbearing. Is there anyway I can verify authenticity only at install time so I can run on our secured network?

  • Some of them do (although I've mostly seen check-once-after-upgrade). Check with the provider(s) of those specific apps you are using. Jul 28, 2011 at 14:51
  • Verification at install time is barely verification at all, since you can get an app running without using the package installer. I know the Amazon app store connects periodically to check licensing, so I wouldn't be surprised if the Market did as well. Jul 28, 2011 at 14:52
  • I can work on my laptop on a plane or at a remote site without apps that I purchased refusing to open because they can't call home. This is frustrating!
    – Michael
    Jul 28, 2011 at 15:30
  • 1
    @Michael I got "Gentle Alarm" from the Amazon app store and while the alarm service always worked, launching the app (to disable the alarm) required Amazon to check the DRM. Needing to pull the battery to kill an alarm when you don't have internet is insane. So I understand your pain ... Jul 28, 2011 at 19:20

1 Answer 1


There are two types of protection offered by the Android Market.

The original copy protection is now deprecated and is apparently fairly easily circumvented.

Google now recommends that developers implement its licensing service, which requires a bit of effort on the part of the developer. It requires Internet connectivity and checks whether the Google Account being used on the device has legitimately purchased the app. How often the app goes online to check the licence is up to the developer.

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