Wednesday September 28, 2016

EFF: HP Must Make Amends For Self-Destructing Printers

It looks like the Electronic Frontier Foundation has sent a letter to HP asking the company to reverse its recent firmware update that blocks customers from using 3rd party ink cartridges. Selling printers that use proprietary ink isn't new but updating a printer to block aftermarket cartridges after people have already bought the printer has raised the ire of many consumers.

HP customers should be able to use the ink of their choosing in their printers for the same reason that Cuisinart customers should be able to choose whose bread goes in their toasters. The practice of "tying" is rightly decried by economists and competition regulators as an invitation to monopoly pricing and reduced competition and innovation. HP customers should choose HP ink because it is the best, not because their printer won't work with a competitor's brand.