Semiconductor Shortage Forces Canon to Dump Printer DRM
A new on Canon Germany’s website states that the company has chosen to ship out ink cartridges lacking copy protection chips. As the continues to grip countless industries, Canon has struggled to source materials to support its DRM efforts, forcing the brand to reevaluate its priorities in regards to production and sales.
To be clear, these chips don’t impact the cartridge’s ability to supply ink to the printer. But a cartridge missing the chip in question would normally trigger massive panic on your printer’s end. Canon has never liked the idea of its customers using non-Canon cartridges, under the guise that knock-offs haven’t been tested by the company and therefore may damage the brand’s devices. (In truth, it’s far more likely that Canon wants you to spend as much of your money as possible on its products.) As a result, attempting to use a third-party cartridge in a Canon-branded printer has historically produced a barrage of alerts regarding the non-Canon product and its vague risk of potential damage.
One of the various warnings Canon displays upon installation of a chipless (or knock-off) cartridge. (Screenshot: Canon)
Now Canon has come right out and said that users who encounter chipless ink cartridges can move forward with rejecting these warnings without risking diminished print quality. A on the company’s German website outlines how users can skirt these obstacles and proceed with the task at hand. Such a development may be considered a win for those who despise paying exorbitant prices for printer ink, as there now exists a verifiable work-around for Canon’s persistent “warnings.”
Beyond dealing with Canon’s annoying pop-ups, the only downside (for the end user) makes itself apparent during printing preparation. Big-brand copy protection chips are dual-purpose; as the only electrical components in a cartridge, they also tell the user approximately how much ink is left by counting pages as they’re printed. Canon warns that while chipless cartridges will work in the affected multifunction printers, they may go from displaying an “OK” toner level to displaying a false “Empty” signal.
Canon plans on continuing to install copy protection chips on ink cartridges once the chaotic chip supply chain is sorted out. In the meantime, loyal Canon cartridge users will have to be okay with clicking “OK” and “Close” approximately a thousand times before they’re allowed to print.