The world over, printers are, more often than not, a source of constant frustration. A key factor in this is often seen in the fact that their cartridges contain DRM protections that effectively prevent you from using less expensive alternatives. And, of course, their outright refusal to print a black document due to the magenta being low. The DRM is, in fact, so deep that even the somewhat messy practice of re-filling them doesn’t even really work anymore! – Following a report via AppleInsider, however, one printer manufacturer is currently the focus of more than a little chagrin as their latest label printer has been found to contain DRM at, basically, the paper level!
Yep, the latest Dymo label printers reportedly completely refuse to work unless it is supplied with officially approved label paper! – Have things just been taken to a disturbing new level?…
Printer Now Requires DRM Paper!
Now, admittedly, this is not paper in the same regard as a pack of 250 sheet 70gsm. This is label paper that has been specifically designed to, well, make labels. By and large though, to date, any kind of DRM within printers has pretty much been restricted to the ink, not what it’s actually being printed upon. – How does this new DRM system work though? Well, these new Dymo models now search for an RFID (Radio-frequency identification) within the paper spool and if the correct signal isn’t found, it will not recognise it as being loaded and, by proxy, will refuse to print.
While the manufacturer claims that this technology is to help the printer keep tabs on the number of labels left in the spool, making it more ‘efficient’ for the office user, the far more cynical (and likely accurate) view is that they’ve simply identified a means of making more money from the sale of officially produced and licensed paper spools.
In something that’s more crazy, however, attempting to bypass this technology (within America) is technically illegal. – Let’s be honest though, if regular printer paper wasn’t produced in a standardised A4 format, companies like HP, Canon, and Epson would’ve been doing this years ago! – Admit it though, just the thought of a desktop printer that doesn’t just have DRM ink, but DRM paper is more than a little terrifying!