January 18, 2005 | By Donna Wentworth

Why Should Hollywood Have All the Anti-Consumer Fun?

No reason. As the Washington Post reports, you can use pocket-lining tricks like region-coding for all kinds of "content" -- including printer cartridges:

H-P has quietly begun implementing "region coding" for its highly lucrative print cartridges for some of its newest printers sold in Europe. Try putting a printer cartridge bought in the U.S. into a new H-P printer configured to use cartridges purchased in Europe and it won't work. Software in the printer determines the origin of the ink cartridge and whether it will accept it. ...

H-P is taking the same approach Hollywood has used with DVDs -- and one that prompted a huge consumer backlash overseas. Movies sold in the U.S., which generally are cheaper, are designed not to play in European or Asian DVD players.

The European Commission in Brussels has been scrutinizing such practices including DVD pricing "for quite some time, and we are still investigating," says Jonathan Todd, the European Commission's spokesman for antitrust policy.

Update (5:42 p.m.): Over at BoingBoing, an anonymous HP employee attempts an explanation; a reader responds.


Deeplinks Topics

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

Missed our Capture the Flag contest at HOPE? Still want to play? CTF is now open to the public. https://eff-ctf.org

Aug 30 @ 1:18pm

Max Schrems: data protection activist, lawyer, author, and now a Pioneer Award Winner. #EFFPioneers16 https://www.eff.org/pioneer2016

Aug 30 @ 12:45pm

California's legislature just sent gang database reform to @JerryBrownGov. Now let's make sure he signs A.B. 2298 https://action.eff.org/o/9042...

Aug 30 @ 10:04am
JavaScript license information