Google Strictly Controls Who Buys, Sells, Loans Glass Eyewear

Google is barring anyone deemed worthy of a pair of its $1,500 Google Glass computer eyewear from selling or even loaning out the highly coveted gadget.

The company’s terms of service on the limited-edition wearable computer specifically states, “you may not resell, loan, transfer, or give your device to any other person. If you resell, loan, transfer, or give your device to any other person without Google’s authorization, Google reserves the right to deactivate the device, and neither you nor the unauthorized person using the device will be entitled to any refund, product support, or product warranty.”

Welcome to the New World, one in which companies are retaining control of their products even after consumers purchase them.

It was bound to happen. Strange as it may sound, you don’t actually own much of the software you buy today. You essentially rent it under strict end-user agreements that have withstood judicial scrutiny. Google appears to be among the first to apply such draconian rules to consumer electronics.

“If it takes off like iPhones did, this is going to be part of people’s everyday activity, and now we are starting down this path that is going to be completely controlled,” said Corynne McSherry, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s intellectual property coordinator. “It’s not clear to me what they are doing is unlawful. It’s a contract issue.”

The company knows if the eyewear was transferred because each device is registered under the buyer’s Google account.

For the moment, not just anybody can buy the eyewear.

Google has created the Silicon Valley equivalent of a velvet rope under its so-called Google Glass Explorers program. If Google liked what you posted on social media under the hashtag #ifihadglassand, Google grants you the opportunity to fork out $1,500 for the Explorer edition of the headset.

Google declined comment. Google also isn’t saying when it would lift its velvet rope and whether the same Draconian terms of service would apply when it does lift the velvet rope…

Read More:

Back to top