Lexmark seems to have missed the fact that the DMCA controls access to copyrighted works. How the ink in a inkjet cartridge is a copyrighted work seems to have escaped Lexmark and the federal district court in Lexington, Kentucky but presumably this was a preliminary injunction to give the judge time to read the case (I only hope when he does he blasts the Lexmark lawyers)
Jeremy Erwin <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent by: email@example.com
01/10/2003 01:25 PM
Please respond to dvd-discuss
Subject: [dvd-discuss] more dmca nonsense--Lexmark printers
Lexmark, like many printer manufacturers has obviously adopted the
"sell the razor at a loss, but make money on selling blades... Now, a
printer manufacturer can do a great many things to jumpstart this
revenue generation, starting with only equipping printers with
partially full cartridges.
Of course, this is problematic, because a inkjet cartridge can be
refilled, inexpensively, with ink. So in order to protect this dubious
marketing decision, the cartridges are equiped with special chips, so
that only certified (i.e. expensive, proprietary) ink replenishment
techniques are used.
Similarly, under the guise of stopping piracy, game machines check that
only certified programs are run.
And the chips are (or so Lexmark claims) protected by the DMCA.
Lexmark claims that licensed cartridge manufacturers have signed
various contracts that forbid ink replenishment. Thus the printer
checks the contract (chip), and assumes that if the chip responds
properly, the cartridge inks and components are properly licenced--
i.e. making Lexmark a lot of money, No contract-- no ink.
In the past, we were free to ignore unenforceable, laughable contracts.
The DMCA puts a lawyer in our electronic devices, pushing such
contracts in our faces.