Printers are the worse. They are unreliable, they drink ink at $ 12,000 a gallon, and their makers are known to use dirty tricks, scare tactics, and DRM to strongly encourage you buy cartridges exclusively from them. But Canon now has a taste of its own medicine. Some of Canon’s toner cartridges are now being detected as counterfeit – and they’re forcing the company to teach customers how to bypass its own DRM (via Techdirt).
According to the Canon support website (Europe, Germany), the company is “currently facing challenges in sourcing certain electronic components that are used in our consumables for our multifunction printers.” In other words, Canon has also been hit by the great shortage of chips – only Canon’s missing components do not power video game consoles or your Tesla’s USB port; they are the DRM for its own toner cartridges.
The semiconductor shortage leads Canon to sell toner cartridges without chips which generally identify them as genuine. https://t.co/rqcmXckPFp
-Nils Adermann (@naderman) January 7, 2022
But wait, there is a simple solution, says Canon! See all of our warnings on how your toner cartridge could be “defective”? Ignore them. Just press the close button and you’ll be good to go:
If you’re hoping to experience approved DRM bypass on your home inkjet printer, you might be out of luck – we only see Canon’s large multifunction printers (MFPs) on the list of “affected models”. On the Canon website.
Like Techdirt points out, Canon is currently facing a lawsuit involving alleged behavior that looks even more egregious than typical DRM tricks: David Leacraft, a resident of Queens, claims his Canon Pixma All-in-One doesn’t even scan documents unless he has to ‘ink. We have checked and Canon has yet to respond to this lawsuit, but several posts on Canon’s official support forums suggest the ridiculous restriction is real.
“The PIXMA MG6320 must have all ink tanks installed in the printer and they must all contain ink in order to use the printer’s functions. Replacing the empty ink tank with a new ink tank will resolve this issue. There is no workaround for this ”, wrote a representative in 2020.
“If you get an ‘Ink Out’ error, you will not be able to use the machine until the ink is replaced. ” they wrote in 2016.
The lawsuit seeks class action status, and we’ll let you know if it’s going anywhere.