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posted by hubie on Saturday September 17 2022, @04:08AM   Printer-friendly

Settlement sees HP compensating some customers in Europe with $1.35 million fund:

HP continues to pay for abruptly blocking third-party ink from its printers. The company has agreed to pay compensation to additional customers impacted by HPs use of DRM to prevent third-party ink and toner from working in its printers. The settlement pertaining to customers in Belgium, Italy, Spain, and Portugal comes after the company already agreed to a settlement in the US and was fined in Italy.

HP printer owners were annoyed, to say the least, in 2016 when HP introduced Dynamic Security, a firmware update that prevented ink and toner cartridges lacking an HP chip from working in HP printers. Customers who already owned these printers suddenly faced error messages preventing them from printing with cartridges that were fully functioning before. At the time, HP claimed that the move was about helping customers avoid counterfeit and subpar ink and protecting HP's IP. However, it largely felt like a business tactic aimed at protecting one of HP's biggest profit drivers at the time, which was tied to a declining industry.

[...] Euroconsumers noted that while it alleged that "consumers were not properly informed that Dynamic Security would cause printers to reject certain non-HP replacement ink cartridges," the settlement isn't "an acknowledgment of any fault or wrongdoing by HP nor as an acknowledgment by Euroconsumers of the groundlessness of its claims."

[...] Sadly, though, this may be all HP has to pay, as using DRM to thwart third-party ink and toner sales has become common practice in the print industry. When HP faced initial backlash for introducing Dynamic Security, it backtracked via firmware updates that removed Dynamic Security from some printers, as noted by Bleeping Computer. But new printers still have the feature. HP just makes sure to bold the Dynamic Security fine print and place it near the top of the printers' product pages. The vendor also has a dedicated page explaining Dynamic Security.

Related: Canon Can't Get Enough Toner Chips, So It's Telling Customers How to Defeat its DRM

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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by RS3 on Saturday September 17 2022, @01:30PM (1 child)

    by RS3 (6367) on Saturday September 17 2022, @01:30PM (#1272107)

    I mostly use laser printers. My best one I sort of trash-picked more than ten years ago- an HP (ugh) 2200 (iirc). It was with a huge pile of stuff that didn't belong in front of clothing donation bins, so I was doing someone a favor I figure. Point is, I'm still using it and the same toner / drum cartridge. Used color laser printers are fairly inexpensive if you really need color.

    The thing I dislike the most about inkjet printers: a good friend who has bought several high-end ($2-3K price range) inkjet printers, some with large refillable ink reservoirs, has had to throw them away due to the ink drying up and clogging the printheads. He disassembled them as much as possible, soaked them in various cleaners and solvents including in ultrasonic cleaners, and could never get them to work again. Point is: you have to use them often or they're done. If the printhead is part of the ink cartridge, as many are, you're back in business with a new ink cartridge. But that's part of the problem- you're paying for a new printhead when you might not need one. Kind of like a car- if you had to buy a tire and expensive rim together.

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Reziac on Sunday September 18 2022, @02:24AM

    by Reziac (2489) on Sunday September 18 2022, @02:24AM (#1272218) Homepage

    Or why I gave up on inkjets many years ago, and bought a laser printer. First one was an Epson, and since then an assortment of random HPLJ discards, salvage, and used-cheap. I think the newest one dates to 2012, and the oldest to around 1995. The little 1020 on my desk is still on its original toner cart some 6000 pages later.

    Only reason I have the Epson is it was $300 refurbed when the cheapest HPLJ was still in the low four figures, and used didn't exist. But turns out for the Epson there's no toner cart available, it's the whole imaging unit -- which cost more than a whole new monkey. Some year maybe I'll try refilling the old cart, but no reason to pay $150 to replace it when better HPLJs fall on my head, and take a $15 to $40 toner cart.

    When I had an inkjet (a back-when Canon Bubblejet), I found the way to clean the print head was to run a little straight alcohol through the cart. Did that whenever the cart got cranky, and typically got 8 refills before it got too worn out. But the damned printer failed twice under warranty, and the second time I chucked it out. I have a couple freebie HP inkjets on the shelf but the wide-carriage I can't find a driver for and the other whines about an outdated cart. I may try someone's idea up above, and jerk the battery, if I can get to it.

    And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.