Forced by shortages to sell chipless ink cartridges, Canon tells customers how to bypass DRM warnings

Originally published at: Forced by shortages to sell chipless ink cartridges, Canon tells customers how to bypass DRM warnings | Boing Boing


HP’s ink DRM is clearly more despised—they not only block non-DRM ink, but the ink is region locked

Well, it’s only genuine if it comes from the Palo Alto region. Otherwise, it’s just sparkling dye.


At work we bought a test set from Israel which came with a HP printer. When it ran out of toner we couldn’t replace it because of region locking. And when we tried to replace the printer with the equivalent US version the embedded computer in the station wouldn’t allow the new printer to run until the vendor told us where to adjust the regional settings. This computer also came with test routines that wouldn’t run on the sabbath.


We value you as a customer and a constant user of Canon products

Sorry, it’s too late. I dumped you over this crap, and won’t leave the brand I’m with now because you finally realized the error of your ways.


Actually, they haven’t realized the error of their ways. They have stated their intention to return to chipped cartridges as soon as possible. And you can bet it won’t be just for monitoring ink levels, either.


I had the same experience with a Canon printer I had in Norway. (Region locking, not Sabbath locking.) It wouldn’t recognize a cartridge from the US. It wasn’t just warnings that could be ignored.


Now all the major manufacturers have “ink tank” inkjet printers, I have an Epson, over a year of use and still at ~80% of levels (no sensor, must be gauged by sight)…

So, if anybody has a very old (aka, cartridge) printer, sent it to the e-recyclers and just get one of those tank ones. Initial investment is higher, but the ink bottles are ridiculously cheap (well, compared to cartridges), cheap enough that buying third party ones make no sense. Will pay itself very quickly in cartridge savings.

Before that I had an HP and after the first 5 original cartridges I just kept buying remanufactured ones, around 90% success rate, but the odd one wouldn’t be recognized, so always had two or three in the drawer just in case.


I’ve got an older canon inkjet that uses ink like it’s water to clear jets in the startup routine.

I’ve found that the non-OEM cartridges off of ebay (with counterfeit chips) work perfectly well, and 5 full sets can often be had for ~$30 whereas a single genuine set costs about $55 retail.

Basically they look exactly like the real thing except the plastic that they’re molded out of is a different color (clear rather than black). I’ve noticed no difference in function of cartridge or durability or color of ink.

I’m guessing that the fine capitalists in China with contracts to produce HP cartridges just switch out plastic tanks after doing a run of the genuine deal, and produce a significant overrun to sell on the secondary market. Either that, or someone has spent quite a lot to replicate chips and molds etc…


Yep, never again a Canon product. I dumped their cameras over poor product support and shitty quality/workmanship. Canon printers are crap too.


Even when we could buy cheap replacement ink for our printer, we realized that we didn’t print enough color to keep the print heads operational. We now have an inexpensive B&W laser printer and almost never miss having a color printer.


That’s what makes it the worst type of company/consumer relationship. If more customers leave, maybe they’ll go out of business. The larger problem is firms adopting the worst policies of their competition. Consumers are caught up in this race to the bottom (in terms of product quality or utility, as well as service). We’re reaching a point at which there will be no good choices, just the lesser of remaining evils. :weary:


If you dig around enough online, you can usually find out how to bypass DRM locking for most any printer. That’s how I finally got past the one on my Brother printer.
And I had to get used to the Out Of Toner messages that have come up every time since. Those can be ignored.


I’ll second this.

The ‘tank’ printers are well worth the slightly higher upfront cost of the printer, because you save so much on the cartridges.

We brought one of the Epson ecotank printers a year and a half ago, we’re still on 70-85% full on the different colours. We used to spend £40 on cartridges roughly every 3 months before… It quickly adds up!


I bought an HP from Amazon in North America that was region locked to South America. It took two long conversations on the phone with their tech support in India, a laptop that was running Windows borrowed from work, and some hard persuading to convince them to switch it to North America for me so I wasn’t just throwing out a perfectly functional printer for lack of ink.


When the invisible hand of the free market isn’t slapping the consumer, it’s jacking-off large corporations.


Love my Epson ET-3760!


Don’t forget that once Canon starts producing chipped cartridges again, they’ll probably send out a firmware update to shut that backdoor. If someone still has a chipless cartridge, they’ll gladly exchange it, as long as it’s genuine.


Inkjet printers before you even get to the DRM are forged in the pits of hell.

Even premium multifunction printers have the jets get clogged with regularity. My plan shortly is to get a 2000’s Era Laserjet which takes huge cheap toner carts. Occasionally replace the rollers and you are good to go.




We’re also 100% on board the “ink tank” bandwagon. We bought an Epson EcoTank printer about a year ago and even all the extra printing due to home schooling during this pandemic has barely put a dent in the ink levels. It’s the best money we’ve ever spent on a printer. Shaq was right!