Hewlett Packard...this just sucks.

HP Printer software update will stop printing unless new (not refilled) HP cartridge used.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 by DrJBHL | Discussion: Personal Computing


WOM just sent me this...and if you have an HP printer, please take note: "Hewlett-Packard is installing software in its printers that will prevent the machine from printing if it detects anything but an HP brand cartridge, rejecting even refilled HP cartridges." (Link above).

Cory Doctorow (EFF) is leading the fight against this move by HP Doctorow fired off a letter Monday to HP to express his opposition:

“Like many others, we are alarmed by reports that HP has activated a dormant feature in Officejet Pro printers (and possibly other models), so that the printers now automatically verify whether its ink cartridges are official HP ink and not competitors’ products or even refilled HP cartridges. If these printers detect third-party ink, printing stops. This activation was disguised as a security update.

So now, with a special chip they added to their cartridges and an update to their printers, they've effectively intalled DRM on "your" printer (actually, they're telling you it's THEIR printer).

So, Office Jet (and possibly other model HP printers) owners take note of this. Also, join the fight against this crass move. After all, is it your printer, bought and paid for, or is it theirs?







Reply #1 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 10:20 AM

The inevitable blowback may solve the problem.  Did eventually with Keurig.  I avoid all things HP except their business-class laser printers, anyway.

Reply #2 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 11:07 AM

Yeah, self solving problem since it's public.  Termination of business if they keep doing it.

Reply #3 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 11:49 AM

Never owned an HP Printer, now I know I never will too.

Reply #4 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 11:50 AM

Seems like creating DRM on equipment that was previously sold without DRM would be legally problematic.  "Other brands may not work" is not the same as "Only our brand will work, we've taken steps to ensure that."  That's the type of thing a purchaser should know up front.

Wonder how may people/companies have a stock of printer cartridges that they already bought which are now useless.

I saw in the 2nd link that one of the other ink/toner suppliers is already preparing to make cartridges that bypass the DRM.  Cat-and-mouse.

Overall it seems like a poorly thought-out scheme, kind of gives me a hint of "desperation".

Reply #5 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 11:53 AM

Actually, the title says it all.

Reply #6 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 5:30 PM

Fortunately my HP printer is so old it needs crutches to function. When it comes time to replace it...no HP printer for this person.

Reply #7 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 7:41 PM

gave up on owning printers years ago as i print stuff so infrequently that the ink will get used maybe once or twice before it's all dried up. far cheaper to do it in the library or whererever. ridiculous that the ink cost more than the printer itself.

Reply #8 Thursday, September 29, 2016 1:43 AM

No, it's totally logical - the blade and the razor argument. The razor's cheap as chips, the blades (which you should change weekly for a closer, more comfortable shave, natch) not so much...


Reply #9 Thursday, September 29, 2016 5:42 AM

but it doesn't have to be. it's a deliberate strategy to make cost of ink the primary earner rather than machine, by making cartridges more and more complicated to stop others from selling good old simple ink.


anyway. they backtracked a bit



security issue arises only because they start putting chips into the ink parts. if ink is only ink, there's no security issue aside from on the printer itself. (eg tom clancy, trojans via printers from yonks ago)

Reply #10 Thursday, September 29, 2016 9:49 AM

The piece of crap plastic is actually cheap as chips.  It's the hardened, finely sharpened blades that actually cost money to manufacture, and are comprised of highly refined quality material.


Ink is dirt cheap to manufacture, by comparison.  Printing companies buy 55 gallon drums of the stuff.  Even really expensive inks are hundredth or even thousandths of the cost of those bloody cartridges.  They're thieves, screwing you as hard as they can because patent laws allow them to make it impossible to compete on their products.

Fuzzy Logic
Reply #11 Thursday, September 29, 2016 1:25 PM

My HP printer is always telling me I don't have genuine HP cartidges in. I just click 'OK' and continue

Reply #12 Thursday, September 29, 2016 3:48 PM



Well, that was somewhat quick. I do predict they will be more careful in the future. Not that they will not allow this to happen, I just think they'll start selling the printers with warnings that off-brand ink won't work up-front.

Reply #13 Sunday, October 2, 2016 12:05 AM

Had 2 HP printers and found both drank too much ink, so ditched 'em.  Nowadays I have an Epson, which is economical and a better machine to use than either of the HP ones. 

Thing is, HP wouldn't be the first company to try such tactics to force users to buy their products, and they won't be the last.

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