An apparatus at a fixed portion (102) of a communication system controls utilization of software (398) in a portable communication device (122) that includes a transceiver (302) for communicating with the fixed portion. The portable communication device receives (604) a request for utilization of the software. In response, the portable communication device seeks (612) a usage authorization for utilizing the software by generating (614) an external authorization request (428) that includes at least one of a size (396) of the software, a software name (394), a secure checksum, and an address (313) identifying the portable communication device, and by communicating (616) the external authorization request to the fixed portion. The secure checksum is a secure cyclic redundancy check of the software for which the portable communication device is requesting usage authorization, and is generated (624) by the portable communication device from a secure polynomial (311) stored in the portable communication device and separately by the apparatus from a same secure polynomial (230) stored in the apparatus. The portable communication device disallows (640) the utilization of the software, in response to the usage authorization being unobtainable.
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