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If you buy an item, do you have the right to resale, gift, give or even loan it to someone? What do you think about this story?

Posted by on Apr. 19, 2013 at 8:47 PM
  • 33 Replies

Google forbids users from reselling, loaning Glass eyewear


STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Google is barring users of its $1,500 Glass connected eyewear from reselling or loaning them out
  • A limited number of developers received beta versions of the Glass headsets this week
  • One developer put his Glass headset for sale on eBay, where bidding reached $90,000
  • Google says it reserves the right to deactivate the connected device

(Wired) -- 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."2012: Google develops 'smart glasses'

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.

Google's tight rein over the gadget came to light today when one of the first would-be owners of the device abruptly halted an eBay auction because he feared reprisals from Google.

"After getting a message on Twitter from Google saying I had been selected as part of the program a couple weeks ago, it just came to mind if they are giving out to a limited number of people, I could put it out there on eBay and sell it for a lot more than $1,500," said Ed, a Philadelphia man who halted his auction Wednesday. (Wired agreed not to publish his last name as a condition of him telling his story.)

Because the only correspondence Ed has had with Google is the initial tweet about his acceptance into the program, he had no idea he wasn't allowed to sell his Google Glass, which he had been authorized to purchase for $1,500 in the coming weeks. Instead, he found out via the Glass Explorers Google+ group.

He also discovered that some were upset that he had the audacity to sell his Google Glass headset.

"People were acting like I had did something sacrilegious," he said.

Once Ed learned of the terms of service, he ended the auction — which began at $5,000 and ballooned to more than $90,000. No one from Google or eBay had contacted him about the auction, he said. He still wants his Google Glass Explorer headset and hopes that Google doesn't hold it against him for trying to sell the device.

"I'm willing to fork up the $1,500 for it," he said.

The tech world, including Google, won an approval-of-sorts to control its stream of commerce in 2010, when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said licensing language controls resales.

The case concerned a dispute about whether a California man could resell Autodesk software on eBay. Autodesk prevailed in a lawsuit, and the San Francisco-based appeals court pointed out that the shrink-wrap agreement between its customers forbade the resale of it.

The Software & Information Industry Association, whose members include Google, Adobe, McAfee, Oracle and dozens of others, urged the court to rule as it did. The Motion Picture Association of America also sided with Autodesk.

Federal regulators cited that decision last year (.pdf) when it blocked mobile-phone owners from lawfully unlocking their phones to run on a compatible carrier of choice, saying the ruling was "controlling precedent." That's because people don't own the software on their phones that controls access to carrier networks, regulators said.

For Ed, it's all a lost opportunity to cash in on being one of the first selected to buy Google Glass.

It would have been "exciting," he said, "to get $100,000 for something that only costs $1,500."

Neon Washable Paint

by on Apr. 19, 2013 at 8:47 PM
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Replies (1-10):
bellawomen
by Bronze Member on Apr. 19, 2013 at 8:48 PM
1 mom liked this
If it was meant for beta testing, then yes. If it was privately bought then NO.
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NWP
by guerrilla girl on Apr. 19, 2013 at 8:51 PM

People would be buying them for $1500 a pair. Not beta testing.

Quoting bellawomen:

If it was meant for beta testing, then yes. If it was privately bought then NO.


Neon Washable Paint

bellawomen
by Bronze Member on Apr. 19, 2013 at 8:54 PM
This man did not have to buy the glasses from the sound of it. They were given to him as part of a select group of people to use the glasses and give feedback before it is mass produced for the public to purchase.

Quoting NWP:

People would be buying them for $1500 a pair. Not beta testing.

Quoting bellawomen:

If it was meant for beta testing, then yes. If it was privately bought then NO.


Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
NWP
by guerrilla girl on Apr. 19, 2013 at 8:58 PM

Nearly everything has software these days....Is it going to be illegal to sell my old coffee maker with a timer at our yard sale?

JazzyMommyx3
by Bronze Member on Apr. 19, 2013 at 8:58 PM
No they are picking a select group to buy them. They aren't giving them out they still have to pay they just arent publicly released yet.

Quoting bellawomen:

This man did not have to buy the glasses from the sound of it. They were given to him as part of a select group of people to use the glasses and give feedback before it is mass produced for the public to purchase.



Quoting NWP:

People would be buying them for $1500 a pair. Not beta testing.

Quoting bellawomen:

If it was meant for beta testing, then yes. If it was privately bought then NO.


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bellawomen
by Bronze Member on Apr. 19, 2013 at 9:02 PM
I didn't get that drift because he already has the glasses, yet says he "is willing to pay for" them. So I took that as he hasn't in fact paid for them since he used future tense.

Not to mention, he signed a contract for the beta testing that states he cannot sell the item. A contract is a contract. It is his fault for not reading the contract.


Quoting JazzyMommyx3:

No they are picking a select group to buy them. They aren't giving them out they still have to pay they just arent publicly released yet.



Quoting bellawomen:

This man did not have to buy the glasses from the sound of it. They were given to him as part of a select group of people to use the glasses and give feedback before it is mass produced for the public to purchase.





Quoting NWP:

People would be buying them for $1500 a pair. Not beta testing.

Quoting bellawomen:

If it was meant for beta testing, then yes. If it was privately bought then NO.


Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
stormcris
by Christy on Apr. 19, 2013 at 9:15 PM

When a company does it for beta testing and they have not been released to the market then they have a right to require a fee for being a beta testor and to require a contract that these may not be resold. When they open release to the public this will not longer hold true. This is specifically for the beta release which you had to enter to win and sign a contract not to resell them. 

FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Apr. 19, 2013 at 9:19 PM

From what I understand, if a product is for beta testing and the contract states as such, you cannot resell, gift or otherwise the item.

Once the item hits the market, for all consumers to purchase, no.....I would not agree with any such thing.

NWP
by guerrilla girl on Apr. 19, 2013 at 9:19 PM

From this article, I do not believe that this is beta testing, but a marketing strategy....a "velvet rope" roll out. A certain number of people "won" the right to purchase it first, before a larger public roll out.

No where here do I see anything about this being a beta test. Unless I am missing something.

Quoting stormcris:

When a company does it for beta testing and they have not been released to the market then they have a right to require a fee for being a beta testor and to require a contract that these may not be resold. When they open release to the public this will not longer hold true. This is specifically for the beta release which you had to enter to win and sign a contract not to resell them. 


Neon Washable Paint

stacymomof2
by Ruby Member on Apr. 19, 2013 at 9:19 PM

If they have signed a contract I have to say that they need to abide by the contract and not resell.  If they put them on the open market I doubt they can get people to sign a contract like that.

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