You worked hard building your app.
The last thing you want is for someone to take your APK and create a copycat version of your app—name, trademarks, creative and all—and publish it to all of the app stores that you haven’t gotten around to yet.
Thankfully, there are some simple things you could do to safeguard your app and make it harder for others to infringe on your property.
Use the Digital Rights Management (DRM) feature
DRM is software that is designed to make sure customers are buying a legitimate copy of your apps and games. Most app stores offer a DRM feature. Enabling this ensures that no one else can profit from your app or game. It’s as easy as clicking a button during most app store submission processes. For example, when submitting your APK to the Amazon Appstore, an option appears asking if you want to apply Amazon DRM – simply click “Yes” to turn on this feature (as seen in the screenshot below).
Publish to all app stores at once
The best way to keep control of your content is to publish to all app stores simultaneously. I know, this is easier said than done, especially if you aren’t ready to support your app or game across several app stores. If you aren’t ready to be live on all app stores right out of the gate you can upload your build to all stores, including your assets. This will ensure that no one else can take your APK package name and helps establish you as the rightful owner of your app if your need to make IP infringing claims.
Do not have DRM-free versions of your game in the wild
Some stores don’t offer DRM, but they offer you exposure which could lead to a boost in sales by bundling your game with other games. As tempting as this sounds, you don’t know who is getting their hands on the DRM-free version of your game. Your game might be a cult hit someday, and if there is a DRM-free version online somewhere that people are sharing, enthusiasts will find it, and you could be missing out on your hard earned revenue.
To stay on top of protecting your app, be sure to set up alerts and report any fraudulent entries as quickly as possible. Many app stores have a “Contact Us” option and a team equipped to respond quickly to your claim.
To help protect your APK from copycats, register for a developer account with Amazon. It’s free, and you can upload your APK to the Appstore to identify yourself as the true owner of your app.
This post is part of our Tips from Solutions Architects series.