Google Glass may be the future, but don't think about selling your device on eBay.

Google forbids loaning, reselling of Glass

April 22, 2013 7:30 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Google Glass is poised to become the next hot consumer product that looks like it was ripped straight out of a science fiction novel. It has also become a topic of conversation among business attorneys in Phoenix and elsewhere.

Test versions of the "smartglasses" are currently only available to a select few "Explorers" who applied for the privilege through Google or Twitter. They are capable of taking pictures, video, sending chat messages and receiving GPS directions—all without the use of your hands.

However, while a hands-free computer is exciting, some Explorers have come to realize that the restrictions on what they can do with their shiny new toys are stricter than what they may have previously thought.

According to the Google Glass terms of service, Explorers "may not resell, loan, transfer, or give your Device to any other person." To do so without Google's permission would allow the company to deactivate the device without offering a refund.

Since each Explorer had to pay $1,500 for their device, it's not surprising that some testers had hoped to do more than just wear it around town. Wired Magazine recently cited one instance of an Explorer trying to sell his Google Glass on eBay. The auction reached $90,000 before the Explorer ended it, having learned that he could not sell the device. 

An article in the Los Angeles Times suggests that Google may be limiting what Explorers can do with the device in order to prevent exactly that scenario. The company may also be trying to keep Google Glass from falling into their competitors' hands, the Times writes.

So far, it appears the law is on Google's side. In 2010, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the California-based software corporation Autodesk over the question of whether a customer could resell Autodesk software on the Internet. That decision has since been cited by federal regulators in similar cases.

Local software companies who seek to control resale through licensing language could benefit from consulting a Phoenix small business attorney.

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