Printers are the worst. They are unreliable, they reportedly guzzle $12,000-a-gallon ink, and their manufacturers have been known to use dirty tricks, scare tactics and DRM to strongly encourage you only buy cartridges from them. But Canon is now getting a taste of its own medicine. Some of Canon’s own toner cartridges are now being detected as counterfeits – forcing the company to teach customers how to bypass their own DRM (via tech dirt).
According to Canon’s own support website (Europe, Germany), the company “is currently facing challenges in sourcing certain electronic components used in our consumables for our multifunction printers.” In other words, Canon has also been hit by the major chip shortage – only the components Canon lacks don’t power video game consoles or your Tesla’s USB port; they are the DRM for its own toner cartridges.
A shortage of semiconductors is causing Canon to sell chipless toner cartridges that they usually identify as genuine, so Canon is now instructing customers on how to ignore the warnings about using “counterfeit” cartridges https://t.co/rqcmXckPFp
— Nils Adermann (@naderman) January 7, 2022
But wait, there’s a simple solution, Canon says! See all of our warnings about how your toner cartridge might have “failures”? Ignore them. Just hit the close button and you’re good to go:
If you’re hoping to experience an approved bypass-of-DRM on your inkjet home printer, you may be out of luck – we only see Canon’s large-capacity multifunction printers (MFP) on the “applicable models” list on Canon’s website.
if tech dirt points out that Canon is currently facing a lawsuit over alleged behavior that seems even more blatant than typical DRM tricks: Queens resident David Leacraft claims his Canon Pixma All-in-One doesn’t even scan documents unless it has ink on it . We’ve checked and Canon has not yet responded to that lawsuit in court, but multiple posts on Canon’s official support forums suggest that the ridiculous limitation is real.
“The PIXMA MG6320 must have all of the ink tanks installed in the printer and they must all contain ink to use the printer’s features. Replacing the empty ink tank with a new ink tank solves this problem. There is no solution to this,” a representative wrote in 2020.
“If you get an ‘Ink Out’ error, you won’t be able to use the device until the ink has been replaced,” they wrote in 2016.
The lawsuit is seeking class action status and we’ll let you know if it leads to anything.