HP is backing down over its use of DRM to prevent third-party cartridges from working on its printers. And lo, it came to pass that a company saw sense for a change. However begrudgingly.
In March of this year, HP issued a firmware update for some of its printers. So far, so ordinary. Unfortunately, this firmware update added DRM designed to disable third-party ink cartridges. The DRM kicked in on September 13th.
The idea was to prevent people from using ink cartridges which didn’t have HP security chips built into them. If the printer detected the presence of an unauthorized third-party ink cartridge, it would display a “damaged cartridge” error message.
1oz of HP printer ink is more expensive than 1oz of human blood… the more you know
— HoSay (@OfficialHoSay) September 19, 2016
HP Backtracks Back Into Our Good Books
Fast-forward a couple of weeks to today, and you’ll find HP backtracking on the firmware update. So much so it’s issuing “an optional firmware update that will remove the dynamic security feature”. This will be offered as “a remedy for the small number of affected customers” and “ready within two weeks”.
HP realized it had gone just a little too far in its efforts to protect its IP. And is doing the right thing by issuing an optional firmware update to those adversely affected by the original update.
However, the company is still insisting that authenticating ink cartridges is a good thing for consumers. This despite the fact that printer ink is priced at absurdly high levels, which is why so many of us hunt for cheaper options in the first place.
Is HP right to protect its IP with DRM of this nature? Were you affected by the crackdown on the use of third-party ink cartridges on HP printers? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Image Credit: Frankieleon via Flickr