HP disables printers if you use third-party ink cartridges

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HP and consumer advocates continue to clash over the use of printer cartridges, with HP promoting their own costly original cartridges and consumers seeking the freedom to select from various manufacturers. This ongoing conflict encompasses both technical and legal aspects.

As reported by The Telegraph via winfuture.de, HP has recently amplified its efforts to establish technical barriers against third-party ink usage. In the past, HP printers would merely display warnings when non-HP ink cartridges were installed. However, numerous user complaints now suggest that these printers stop functioning.

In a bid to enhance user safety, HP has introduced new countermeasures. Following a recent firmware update, several printers stop working if they detect non-HP ink cartridges. The company maintains that some instances of this can be circumvented via printer settings. This firmware update comes after a new user agreement was introduced, emphasizing the potential risks to HP printing systems due to third-party ink cartridges. Primary concerns include the vulnerability of cartridge control electronics and chips to malware attacks, as well as the need for intellectual property protection.

Customers generally prefer using more cost-effective ink for their printing needs, and their discontent is apparent on social media as they express their frustrations. Past legal disputes between the parties about the use of non-original ink cartridges have resulted in mixed outcomes. HP does not deny its recent blocking efforts, instead defending its position by asserting that only approved cartridges can ensure optimal performance and quality. Additionally, HP highlights the security aspect, stating that third-party cartridges with independent electronic components and chips may possess inherent security vulnerabilities, thus increasing users' risk of malware infections. However, this argument is contentious. Although security vulnerabilities exist in chip architectures, exploiting them typically demands substantial effort. Those seeking to compromise printers are more likely to target firmware, which often has its own weaknesses.

In reaction to these measures, an HP representative has mentioned that users can still disable the blocking function via printer settings. Nonetheless, the availability of this option is dependent on the printer model, and it is uncertain which models support it. As a result, the probability of users being restricted to the pricier original HP ink cartridges has risen.

Here's a tip for HP, make your ink cartridges cheaper.

HP disables printers if you use third-party ink cartridges

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