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HP is obstructing third-party printer ink once more

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HP is stopping extra clients from utilizing third-party ink with their printers. Quite a few studies scattered throughout Reddit, Twitter, and the HP community discussion board counsel {that a} latest printer firmware replace is obstructing using non-HP ink as a part of the corporate’s stringent “dynamic safety” coverage, as first reported by Ars Technica.

First launched in 2016, dynamic security is a part of HP’s cartridge authentication course of the corporate says ought to “shield the standard of our buyer expertise, preserve the integrity of our printing methods, and shield our mental property.” This implies barring using ink or toner cartridges that don’t include “new or reused HP chips or digital circuitry” in some printers, one thing HP has already faced criticism and a number of other class motion lawsuits over.

Regardless of this, it appears HP’s increasing its dynamic safety coverage to extra units that have been as soon as appropriate with non-HP cartridges. One Reddit person, u/grhhull, says they’re now not in a position to make use of third-party ink cartridges with their HP printer. As a substitute of displaying a bypassable message that signifies HP can’t assure the standard of their print, u/grhhull says their printer received’t use a third-party cartridge in any respect.

“The indicated cartridges have been blocked by the printer firmware as a result of they include a non-HP chip,” the message proven on the display of u/grhhull’s printer reads. “This printer is meant to work solely with new or reused cartridges which have a brand new or reused HP chip.” In accordance with u/grhhull, an HP buyer help specialist instructed them that that is a part of a “latest replace.”

In 2020, HP reached a $1.5 million settlement with customers within the US as a part of a class-action lawsuit that claimed the corporate’s firmware acted as “malware” by “including, deleting or altering code, diminishing the capabilities of HP printers, and rendering the rivals’ provide cartridges incompatible with HP printers.” The corporate additionally paid out thousands and thousands to clients affected by dynamic security in the European Union and Australia after barring customers from putting in extra reasonably priced third-party ink cartridges.

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As a small concession to buyer complaints, HP issued an optional update in 2016 that removes dynamic safety, however the change, confusingly, applies solely to a set of particular fashions — a few of which HP requires to be made earlier than December 1st, 2016. Whereas it nonetheless stays unclear which HP printers have dynamic safety put in, on-line posts point out that the difficulty has unfold to plenty of fashions, together with the OfficeJet Pro 6970, OfficeJet Pro 6968, OfficeJet 6950, and OfficeJet 7740.

This tracks with latest firmware updates launched in December 2022 and January 2023 that observe the inclusion of “dynamic safety measures, that are used to dam cartridges utilizing a non-HP chip or modified or non-HP digital circuitry.” Additionally they state that “periodic firmware updates will preserve the effectiveness of the dynamic safety measures and block cartridges that beforehand labored.” The Verge reached out to HP with a request for extra data, and we’ll replace this text if we hear again.

As HP’s net printing revenue slides, this transfer looks like a determined try to lock customers into its ecosystem. My DeskJet 4100 already provides me sufficient hassle, and now that its most recent firmware update signifies that it might cease accepting third-party ink at any time, I’m critically contemplating switching to a different printer model if I don’t have the choice to make use of third-party ink sooner or later.

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