Apology Issued by HP For Ink-Blocking Controversy

Over the past week, HP has come under pressure for a recent update issued by the company which caused many HP printer owners to experience issues and error messages when attempting to use unofficial Ink cartridges in their printers, causing many customers to respond in outrage and concern as to why this update had been issued.

HP have now created a new blog post in which they have explained that they feel that they could have perhaps “done a better job of communicating” the contents of the new update and that it would mean any unofficial print cartridges would become unusable with their suite of printer units. They have confirmed that they will be making an optional update available to those who have been affected which will mean that these ink cartridges can be used in HP printers once again due to the feedback and comments they have been receiving from the public and should be available “within two weeks”

 

Security Is Key

Whilst this particular action may have proved unpopular and unfair in the eyes of many consumers, HP have also defended the practice, as a way of ensuring that their customers wouldn’t fall victim to faulty or even dangerous potential risks that unofficial print cartridges can sometimes provide. The print industry has sometimes become embroiled in scandal and corruption related to the cloning and selling of unofficial print cartridges which are often branded and advertised as being produced by manufacturers, some of which have lead to injuries from cartridges suddenly exploding and some also causing many printer units to break.

 

 

The EFF’s Input

In the week of which the firmware update was issued to customers, angry and frustrated comments regarding the updates implementation began to appear on various forum message boards and across social media. Picking up on these was the rights group EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation), who claimed that HP had “betrayed the public’s trust” and that “customers should be able to buy an HP printer without fear that the company will later place artificial limits on the printer’s use”. The EFF have now demanded in no certain terms that they should explain how in the first instance, they will be planning to tell customers who have been affected by the update but were still currently unaware.

 

FMS Blog Electronic Federation

 

 

References

HP Newsroom – Dedicated to the best printing experience: http://www8.hp.com/us/en/hp-news/blog/Small-Business-Printing/best-possible-printing-experience.html

Electronic Frontier Foundation – Don’t Hide DRM in a Security Update: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/09/dont-hide-drm-security-update

Sam Rose