Sunday, July 01, 2007

DRM for printers

A San Francisco company is developing DRM for printers, which restricts consumer choice by only allowing approved ink. Absurdly, the story refers to owners exercising choice over their own property as "printer-ink piracy." It's not piracy! Pirates steal. In this case, the owners of a piece of property (a printer) are using something they own in a manner that the manufacturer just doesn't like.

Looking at the comments on the story, I notice that the response is overwhelmingly negative: who did C|Net News think would read it? Consumers don't like being called pirates for exercising choice over their own property.

This restriction is like a car that only runs on gasoline approved by the manufacturer or a glass from which you can only drink soft drinks from one company. Or how about a phone that only calls subscribers to the owner's network? It's Defective by Design.

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