What dark secrets lie behind HP’s thrilling new method of DRM for your printer?

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The HP Deskjet 2755e is Amazon’s No. 1 selling printer due to its wireless color printer and scanner, and six months of free ink all for just $85. However, purchasing this printer comes with HP Plus, which could potentially give HP complete control over your printer and restrict you to only using HP ink. HP Plus was introduced in 2020 where users have seven days to claim their free ink after plugging in their new printer. HP Plus also extends the warranty for a year, offers an “Advanced HP Smart app”, and plants trees on your behalf. A complaint by the International Imaging Technology Council (IITC) alleges that after accepting HP Plus, customers’ printers are unable to accept third-party ink and the firmware cannot be deactivated. HP has not responded to questions regarding the issue. The IITC is seeking to push back against HP’s environmental credentials by petitioning the Global Electronics Council (GEC) which maintains a registry of environmentally sound products. When HP gets printers onto the registry, it can label products as EPEAT certified to suggest that an independent third party has certified that HP cares about the planet. However, EPEAT has a rule that certified printers cannot prevent the use of non-OEM cartridges, and HP Plus ties users to only using HP ink. The IITC argues that any printer including HP+ should not be eligible for EPEAT registration. HP has issued “killer firmware updates” to quietly block third-party cartridges from working in EPEAT-registered HP inkjet printers and at least 26 against HP laser printers, according to the IITC. Free ink may sound tempting; however, HP’s terms and conditions allow the company to remotely monitor printers and change software without notice to users.

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