Programming Note: This site will be on break through the holidays and return in January. Be sure to subscribe or check back for updates!

Snippet: Region-Locked Inkjet Printers Are Apparently a Thing ☇

Shared on April 2, 2023

Nathan Edwards for The Verge:

The genuine HP ink cartridges, for which I paid as much as I paid for the actual printer, would not work with the printer they were designed to work with because I bought it in a different part of the world. It wasn’t even a cheaper part of the world unless we’re talking healthcare or midcentury furniture. […]

Now, I realize this is an edge case. Most people don’t move across the world and bring a printer with them. But region-locking is only one of many ways printer companies use DRM to squeeze money out of their customers, and if you have an inkjet printer you might have already run into one of them. Blocking third-party ink cartridges, preventing people from refilling their cartridges, and remotely bricking working printers if they reach “end of life” or if you cancel your ink subscription? Just a day’s work for Inkjet Supply and Hostage Situations Incorporated.

I’m not sure about you, but I could’ve gone without learning this bit of information. In general, I don’t find myself rooting against specific companies often, but I don’t think anyone loves HP’s printer division anymore, at least not like the LaserJet 4000 days.

Snippets are posts that share a linked item with a bit of commentary.