Coffee DRM and the wider world of state spying and corporate control


Well, at least Gillmor doesn’t make the claim that it contains DRM, because none of the articles linked to here or in the other threads suggest it does have DRM as it is commonly understood, or that copyright law will apply to whatever technology they are using. Instead, it sounds like they are going to be using as close to a proprietary format as they can, possibly including the introduction of features that will make it difficult to make compatible products. While this may be bad, it is far different than attempting to use technology that copyright law could potentially make it illegal to defeat.

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I can’t see how the scheme will work in practice.

Kuerig could introduce a coffee maker that only accepts pods with a certain patented shape. And since the Reagan admin stopped prosecuting such activities and appointed corporate spivs like Scalia to the court, that has been permitted.

But the installed base of coffee makers is for interchangeable pod machines.


Someone asserted that these coffee makers are useful in office situations, so I guess that’s where they are primarily used? So corporate control over other corporations?

I still do coffee the old way, and hopefully these won’t become the only option out there. I have no interest in something so expensive anyway. The spying and control just solidifies that decision.

Same here. When I was doing the 9-to-5 thing, I would either take a thermos, or I’d get the Folgers from the office drip coffee maker. I’m afraid I don’t quite “get” the single-cup concept; it seems wasteful.


So after I click back through 4 links of stuff I get to read an article that mentions something vague about the CEO saying their new coffee makers will include technology that forces you to use their pods (or licensed pods I would assume).

To me this whole “Internet of Things” is a pile of bullshit that can go die in a fire. I don’t need a fancy smart mug to keep track of what I order, I don’t want a smart fridge that has more computing power than what I was using in the 90’s. I don’t want all those things because all it does is add worthless expense to things I already use. A pad of paper and pen costs substantially less than the upgrade to a smart fridge, plus the bonus part is if the pen breaks it is cheap to fix.

For the costs of that smart fridge I’d rather have a fridge that has excellent cooling capabilities and a 25 year warranty. I’d rather have products that last, than products that can work with every vendor under the sun. I don’t care if a DeWalt drill won’t take a Ryobi battery pack (even though they use the same battery setup internally), and I don’t care if it cost twice as much - because if it will last me twice as long (or I believe it will) then that alone is worth it to me. To me the market place has become more about the shiny and new than about the quality of function. I mean what does it matter if you can’t buy cheap knock off K-cups when the odds the maker lasting more than 2 years isn’t very high?

inb4 someone else replies with this image:


I’ve seen a lot of people say that. My wife and I received a Kurieg Vue setup for Christmas and frankly it’s the best automated brew coffee I’ve had at my house. We also have one of the Solo fill your own cups so that makes it not much more expensive than a decent coffee maker to begin with. (And yes I assume that is part of the market that Green Mountain is trying to destroy with this move.) We have had 5 or so coffee makers over the last decade and frankly the swill they produced wasn’t drinkable. I’ve tried everything with the 3 different drip makers we had and they all produced bitter caustic coffee. So for the limited amount of coffee we drink the cup setup works great.

I agree. My K-cup machine makes CONSISTENTLY good coffee, and tea as well. We use the “Eco-Cup” refillables, but otherwise, same thing. And as I’m the only coffee drinker in the house, I’m glad I don’t have to waste a full pot worth of water and far more coffee than I need for my morning cup. . . The only downside is, no coffee grounds for the compost pile. . .

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I usually have more than one cup, and I can make good coffee.

I don’t think I fit into the market segment Keurig is trying to capture, and unless they are able to fend off every other type of 1-shot coffee making apparatus, I don’t care. I make perfectly good coffee with a hot water source, an old Melitta single cup filter cone, paper filters, and my own coffee, pref. fresh ground Kauai estate. If Keurig is able to block any of those, they can go jump in the volcano.


Well, in theory, if “the market” were to act as it should, then eventually some entrepreneur would offer an alternative, for people who don’t want to be locked into one brand.

“…private industry is racing to retain as much control as possible over the products and services it sells, and thereby control over us.”

There’s a point at which I reject the notion that controlling the products I consume equates to control over me. At the moment I’m not sure exactly where that point is, but this seems pretty damn close. The assumption beneath the idea here is that we are what we consume.

Which, it seems to me, is a shitty way of capitulating to the massive and pervasive system of materialist consumerism.

I hope so too, and all the recent talk about coffee here finally inspired me to buy some from a shop that roast their own beans in the city where I grew up. I’d get some locally but I don’t know of anywhere in Oxford who roast their own beans.


I was having a discussion with a friend about all this and came up with this very apt analogy.

Would you buy a Kitchen Aid mixer for $50 if you had to buy the slightly more expensive Kitchen Aid flour? Or would you buy a $500 Viking that could use any flour?

That’s the question here. If Green Mountain/Keurig doubled the price of the makers then their profit would shift from selling you coffee to selling you a brewer, but who would pay $200-300 for one?

Honestly I’d pay $300 for our Vue setup if it came with a 10 year warranty…and they were going to support it for a decade.

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I’ll get a vintage percolator before any company makes my personal morning ritual their business.

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