Whereas E-cash has been said to involve a marriage between Cryptography and Economics, Electronic Licensing involves a love-triangle comprising Cryptography, Marketing, and Economics. This is due to the fact that distribution of goods and services in a modern economy involves concepts of product bundling, multi-channel and multi-tier distribution, leasing, subscriptions, amalgamation, discounting, sampling, promotional offers, etc. Electronic distribution over networks will allow even more creative schemes to be devised, and therefore licensing approaches that overly constrain the freedom of marketing and the economic power of open markets will destroy the balance of this threesome.
Recognizing this, we examine various licensing schemes and show why we favor schemes that require a highly distributed trust model. We show that a licensing scheme with such a trust model can be implemented using the PolicyMaker system of Blaze, Feigenbaum, and Lacy. We also discuss related issues of license enforcement and payment systems.