If you’re excited about the upcoming Google Glass, here is a little bit of a bad news to put a damper on your spirits. Even if you pay for Google Glass, you don’t actually ‘own’ it. Hopefully this won’t be the case after retail availability.
So, Google has just dropped the hammer on all the privileged early adopters of Google Glass by explicitly forbidding them to resell or even loan out their Google Glass device to friends. If you were hoping that you could fork out the $1500 and resell them for obscene amounts of profit, you’ve got another thing coming.
The issue lies in the Terms of Service document for the Glass Explorer Edition set by Google, which 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.”
In short, that’s Google basically telling you that just because you spent $1,500 on their spiffy new device doesn’t mean you get to do whatever you want with it. This is an incredibly disturbing move on Google’s part, something that could potentially set a trend for other companies too. The premise for the move rests on the fact that we don’t own any software, not even the ones we buy.
All software that one “pays” for is actually rented under a very strict end user licence agreement (EULA) and that is the technicality that Apple and Google are relying on. Earlier this year, the same logic was used to make unlocking of iPhones illegal simply because it was a modification of the software that allowed access to the network’s infrastructure. Similarly, Google’s logic behind not allowing Glass to be resold or loaned out is simply because it contains a lot of software that the user doesn’t own.
Each Google Glass sold will be associated with the user’s Google account, and that is how Google will know whether you’ve loaned or resold the Glass to anyone. If caught, Google will simply flip the switch and brick your $1,500 toy.
Welcome to the future ladies and gentlemen, where you will be required to form out an arm and a leg for something you don’t really need, but are made to believe you do, only to be told you can’t do as you please with it.