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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, Insightful) by Opportunist on Saturday September 17 2022, @02:09PM (1 child)

    by Opportunist (5545) on Saturday September 17 2022, @02:09PM (#1272111)

    Ain't it amazing that they can figure that out with parking fines but not with corporate fines? One has to wonder why.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 18 2022, @06:58AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 18 2022, @06:58AM (#1272246)
    Corporate fines are just the governments getting their share of the profits while performing a show to satisfy the masses.

    You don't need high corporate fines to change corporate behavior. You just have to imprison the people involved[1].

    Going to prison for 5 years is a bigger deal to a CEO than fining his company millions or even billions. If the company goes bust often the CEO has a golden parachute to save him. Most of the employees won't.

    The CEO might have a lifespan that's 5-10 years longer than his average employee, so 5 years in prison is still going to cost him a fair bit.

    Furthermore 5 years in prison hurts a rich CEO more than it hurts a homeless hobo living in a cardboard box. The CEO can't enjoy his yacht, go see his daughter's recital in person, show off his personal chef's molecular gastronomy creations to his friends, etc. The hobo gets shelter, clothing and food.

    [1] A lot of times people will say but just the small fish will go to prison. However once you start trying to put the small fish in prison, don't be surprised if in the future or even the present the smaller fish start providing enough evidence to imprison the bigger fish and so on. If I'm a grunt working for HP, and HP pays the fine, there's no need for me to show my stash of emails to the authorities - why bother? However if they start trying to pin the decision on me, I'm definitely going to dig those emails and documents out, then my boss better dig his stash so his boss does the jail time instead of him and so on.