8,000 Ask HP to Restore Their Printers

An international digital rights group has sent a letter to HP’s CEO about the recent firmware update of its printers.

According to arstechnica.com, the letter from the California-based non-profit organization includes an Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) petition, signed by almost 8,000 people, calling on HP to restore the full functionality of their printers.

HP’s firmware update—on its OfficeJet, OfficeJet Pro, and OfficeJet Pro X printers—prevents its customers from using non-HP ink cartridges and even refilled HP cartridges, removing their rights to choose and forcing them to buy only HP branded ink.

Cory Doctorow, the Special Advisor of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), has written a letter to Dion Weisler, HP’s CEO. He claims that the printer DRM was disguised as a “security update”, but it will only reduce users’ trust in the update for fixing security flaws. He also noted that if users knew security updates might damage a device’s basic functions, they would choose to reject updates and take the security risk.

In addition, Doctorow warned that HP’s use of a “silent” technical solution to exclude non-HP ink cartridges might violate Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Currently Doctorow has not heard back from HP.

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