Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) may have gotten the all clear from regulators on charges of monopolizing the search market, but that doesn’t mean the company is all about economic freedom. Several sources are reporting today that the company’s highly anticipated Google Glass product will be shut down if they are sold.
The information is contained in the company’s terms of sale, and it may never come into practical usage. The exact statement in the terms of sale is, “Unless otherwise authorized by Google, you may only purchase one device, and you may not resell, loan, transfer, or give your device to any other person. If you [do this] 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.”
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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iTunes software contains an article in its terms of service that prohibits the end user from utilizing the music library to design nuclear weapons, but such an article is impossible to enforce and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) may not seek to enforce this either.
The wearable computer is one of the most hotly anticipated innovations in recent memory, and though Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) isn’t the only company manufacturing a wearable computer, Baidu.com, Inc. (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) is bringing its own Baidu Eye, and theirs is likely to be the most popular.
The move to make the glasses non-transferable is a trend that many in the tech industry have been following, though for the most part it’s restricted itself to “soft” products. Companies don’t like their products to be sold second hand because they feel they’re missing out on revenue that’s rightfully theirs. This problem is being “solved” in the gaming, video and music markets with the introduction of constricting DRM technology.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is now intent on doing the same with its first real innovation in hardware. The company has put its logo on smart phones and tablets in the past, but the models, though considered some of the best, were not really seen as technology developed by Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) Google Glass was to have been a different story.
Whether or not Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) will seek to enforce this rule, and whether it is legal at all is still up for debate. U.S. citizens have the right to first sale, allowing them to resell any physical goods they own, giving this rule questionable legality.