Instead of leaving copy-protected ink, Canon’s own cartridges are now third-party

Raised by their own Firecracker

Printer-selling companies, such as HP and Canon, came up with an idea they thought was extremely brilliant and despised by their customers to this day; photocopying ink copy protection. They argued that it was of the utmost importance to ensure that you use only the appropriate ink in your printer and that they were quite willing to go to court and fight for their right to enforce it. This has not gone well for them historically, but they still claim that it is necessary to add copyright chips to the ink cartridges.

Their arguments against third-party ink cartridges recently had a hole that was bigger than those found in the plots of recent Star Trek movies. The lack of technology has spread to chips that Canon has added to its cartridges to prevent you from using third-party ink, so even their own ink is reported to be counterfeit. Instead of providing an update to remove the request, Canon has posted steps to circumvent the warning, but only on its German website. The steps include a warning that the ink levels will not be reported correctly and that your toner will go from full to empty without any intervention, although it is unclear whether the cartridge is empty at this time or just reports that it is.

If the only thing removing a chip does is interfere with ink level measurements, and in HP’s case, ensuring that your ink runs out on a certain date, it seems ridiculous that companies still claim to do more. That, of course, is exactly what they do, throwing out complete nonsense like a hint that the chip is there to prevent your ink cartridge from infecting your printer and network. It remains to be seen how a third-party cartridge that does not have a chip of any kind could accomplish that feat; obviously this is a question you should simply avoid asking.

Unfortunately, it is unlikely that this shortcoming will result in the cessation of the use of copy protection on ink cartridges, but we hope that it will add credibility to the legal challenges that customers have raised against these companies.

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Naveen Kumar

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