Canon printer owners get official guidance to bypass DRM as company is forced to sell...


Posts: 1,026   +171
Staff member
A hot potato: Printer manufacturers go to great (oftentimes irritating) lengths to ensure hardware DRM policies that can result in heavy expenditure when it comes to replacing a toner cartridge or other components with a ‘genuine’ part. In an ironic twist of events, Canon has revealed that it can’t source enough DRM chips for some of its printer cartridges due to the ongoing semiconductor crisis, and has issued a customer advisory to highlight affected functionality plus guidance to bypass DRM-related warnings.

Silicon shortage has forced Canon to make chip-less toner cartridges for some of its business printers and multifunction devices (MFDs). In an official announcement for customers in Australia, New Zealand and Germany, Canon shared the affected models comprising several imageRunner printers, and assured users that the new chip-less cartridges won’t have a negative impact on printing quality. The company is also reportedly informing customers via email.

The absence of a DRM chip in Canon’s toner cartridges means that even a genuine replacement would fail to be recognized as such by the printer. Consequently, users will see DRM-related warnings and prompts, usually meant to trigger in case of a counterfeit part. It’s why Canon’s official advisory also contains steps to bypass these messages. These alerts are only shown for impacted models on older firmware and will not appear on updated printers/MFDs.

Owners who buy these chip-less toner cartridges should be able to print normally, Canon notes. However, toner levels might be reported incorrectly as either “100%” or “OK” regardless of the remaining quantity, or correctly as “0%” or “Empty” in case the toner has run out. Canon says the chip-less cartridges will start arriving in February, calling them an interim measure in the ongoing silicon crisis. The company expects to resume supply of chipped parts once normal supply is restored.

Given that these cartridges will ship without a DRM chip, they might also have a lower asking price than regular parts. On the other hand, this very attribute and the fact that Canon will likely make them in limited quantities could result in jacked-up, scalper prices. Whatever turns out to be the case, at least Canon is unlikely to face a lawsuit this time around.

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Posts: 2,060   +1,280
I wonder what the 'chip shortage is fake' people will have to say about this: a printer company willingly disabling DRM, because they can't get the chips to enforce that DRM?


Posts: 1,288   +1,916
I wonder what the 'chip shortage is fake' people will have to say about this: a printer company willingly disabling DRM, because they can't get the chips to enforce that DRM?
That this was a planned part of the conspiracy all along, dummy.



Posts: 427   +751
Isn't advising people on how to circumvent any DRM illegal? I don't know the law(s) but wonder if it was smart enough to foresee cases like this. That concept has popped up in some unusual situations before, where you'd also think it wouldn't apply. Obviously, I'm just sayin'.


Posts: 1,220   +1,485
YES! It came back to burn them! Just give me a chipless toner cart EVERY time, it's only done to lock in sales. HP was well known to use these chips to force you get a new cart based on pages printed. Well, if half of my toner is still left, I should NOT be forced to replace it!


Posts: 3,371   +3,034
I've been in the copier/printer business as a tech for 40 years. These "crum" chips tick me off
to no end. I have ABSOLUTELY no problem with non OEM toner AS LONG as it works as well
as the OEM brand. If you stick with companies like Katun, you probably won't have too much problem. But, if you go with "Bob's Five & Dime" toner, you could run into damaged drums, fuser rollers, etc. One of my vendors recently updated the firmware in their machines and it won't work with Katun toner. After a few back & forth calls with the Katun tech, they reprogrammed the crum chips to work with the updated firmware.

The OTHER thing that ticks me off is how these manufactures get away with charging a different price for yellow, magenta, cyan toner, versus black toner. IT'S THE SAME D*MN TONER! Just a different pigment! If it wasn't the same, then the drums, which work for YMCK no matter where they are replaced, wouldn't work. Not to mention the carrier (in the case of a two part system of carrier & toner). With some vendors, the difference in price between black & Y,M,C is 3 to 4 times!
Just like inkjet printers. Black is cheap, the color is expensive.