May. 31st, 2017

thewayne: (Default)
Finally it has been decided. A long time ago in this galaxy, Lexmark filed a suit against a company called Impression who not only refilled Lexmark-brand toner cartridges, but Impression also jiggered with a chip that Lexmark built in to the cartridge. Lexmark claimed that this was a DMCA violation. Impression said that Lexmark lost its patent rights once the cartridge was sold as part of first sale doctrine, and finally the highest court in the land agreed.

The basic issue has been that all printer manufacturers have been selling printers at cut-rate prices, expecting to make huge profits on ink cartridges. To ensure this, they followed Lexmark's and HP's leads by putting microchips in the ink cartridges that told the printer that these were "Genuine" cartridges - accept no substitutes. Or if a substitute were to be found, bitch endlessly that a substitute was present and that a complete meltdown was imminent and that it was all the printer owner's fault for not using Genuine Ink or Toner Cartridges! And it was illegal, or at least a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, to break the code in the chip and spoof that the third-party refilled cartridges were original. Sometimes the printer would lie and say the third-party cartridge would exhaust quicker.

So it's all over, barring printer manufacturers buying more congressmen to change the laws to make it illegal again. We can not only legally get ink cartridges refilled, we can legally get the chips reset.

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