Rather Than Abandon Copy Protected Ink, Canon’s Own Cartridges Are Now 3rd Party

Source: The Register Rather Than Abandon Copy Protected Ink, Canon’s Own Cartridges Are Now 3rd Party

Hoisted By Their Own Petard

Companies which sell printers, such as HP and Canon came up with an idea they thought was utterly brilliant, and which  is universally despised by their customers to this day; copy protection for copier ink.  They claimed that ensuring you only used the proper ink in your printer was of utmost importance, and were quite willing to go to court and fight for their right to enforce it.  That has not gone well for them historically, but they continue to claim the necessity of adding copyright chips to ink cartridges.

Their arguments against 3rd party ink cartridges recently had a hole poked in them larger than the ones found in the plots of the recent Star Trek movies.  The tech shortage has spread to the chips Canon added to their cartridges to prevent you from using 3rd party ink, so that even their own ink is reported as counterfeit.  Rather than provide an update to remove the requirement, Canon published steps to get around the warnings, but only on their German website. The steps include a warning that the ink levels will not be properly reported and your toner will go from full to empty without any intervening steps, though it is unclear if the cartridge is actually empty at that point or if it only reports that it is.

If the only thing the removal of the chip does is interfere with ink level measurement, and in HP’s case ensuring your ink expires on a set date, it seems ridiculous for the companies to continue to claim that it does more.  That is, of course, exactly what they are doing, spewing utter nonsense such as suggesting the chip is there to prevent your ink cartridge from infecting your printer and network.  One is left wondering how a 3rd party cartridge that does not have a chip of any sort might possibly accomplish that feat; apparently that is a question you should simply avoid asking.

Sadly this shortage is unlikely to result in the discontinuation of the use of copy protection on ink cartridges but hopefully it will add credence to the legal challenges customers have launched against these companies.

Japanese electronics outfit Canon has had to admit, by way of its German tentacle, that it's having such a hard time getting hold of components that it's been forced to ship toner cartridges without the chip fitted.

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Jeremy Hellstrom

Call it K7M.com, AMDMB.com, or PC Perspective, Jeremy has been hanging out and then working with the gang here for years. Apart from the front page you might find him on the BOINC Forums or possibly the Fraggin' Frogs if he has the time.

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