back to article HP pays $1.3m to settle dispute over printer security chip

HP has settled a dispute brought of behalf of European consumers upset that a covert firmware update introducing the Dynamic Security Feature prevented them from using supplies made by third parties with a range of HP printers. In 2016, HP deployed an update related to a security chip in OfficeJet, OfficeJet Pro and OfficeJet …

  1. alain williams Silver badge

    €95 is easily not enough

    How much time wasted trying to diagnose what turns out to not be a real hardware issue ?

    What losses through not being able to print important documents on time ?

    HP has got off scott free.

    1. Norman Nescio Silver badge

      Re: €95 is easily not enough

      HP have certainly avoided paying as much as many would think is fair, but 1.3 million USD is not nothing (even though it is 'accounting dust' for such a large organisation).

      It's not correctly described as scot free either, but that would be a relatively high level of pedantry.

      My view would be that all valid claimants should have their printer replaced with a model that does not incorporate the 'Dynamic Security Feature' but has otherwise at least fully equivalent functionality, at HP's expense.

      1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

        Re: €95 is easily not enough

        Great link. Have an upvote!

        There's no such thing as too much pedantry. -- The Curmudgeonly Pedant

      2. martinusher Silver badge

        Re: €95 is easily not enough

        Take off 50% or so for lawyers' fees....its a joke. $1.3 billion wouldn't even begin to cover the damage.

    2. anothercynic Silver badge

      Re: €95 is easily not enough

      It's better than the crummy $13.44 that the lawyers settling the 'replacement Apple device' lawsuit with Apple paid me and a few other tens of millions of others...

      I can't even cash the cheque given it's in USD and my bank'll charge me an arm and a leg (oh, and because the bloody idiots misspelled my name, it's not going to be cleared anyway).

      I'll take your €95 any day of the week.

  2. Rich 2

    €20-€50

    What use is “ €20-€50” to most users? It might (just) buy you one ink cartridges but then what? You’re still left with a borked printer?

    HP need to be made to reverse the “update” or provide a lifetime’s supply of ink for free. Anything less is not righting the wrong

    1. Folda

      Re: €20-€50

      They did reverse the change, fairly quickly I think. I remember HP issuing a firmware update to fix the issue. I have a listed printer, with the latest firmware and 3rd party cartridges.

      The payment really covers the cost of having to go buy HP ink when we could have used 3rd party ink. Unfortunately I'm not in the countries this applies to.

  3. Graham Cobb Silver badge

    Lesson learned: Don't buy HP

    HP has a history of serious abuses of the DMCA and other interference with the rights of owners of their devices. I have not done any business with HP since the Snosoft affair in 2002 and will not until they renounce abusing copyright/DRM laws. This latest action shows they still are not ready to acknowledge that if they sell me a product they cannot impose restrictions on how I use it.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Lesson learned: Don't buy HP

      I stopped using HP printers ( and anything else) years ago when a software update killed the one I had. The update uninstalled the drivers, but then couldn't install the new ones, because one .dll was still in place and the new install fell over when it got to it. Nothing would remove that .dll. I spent hours running HP's insanely Byzantine multi-level uninstall routines repeatedly. I've never seen anything like it before or since. No other set of printer drivers have been so bloody big and complicated, with so many files and libraries tied on.. And it wasn't even a Multi function jobby, just a colour inkjet printer. Nothing could get rid of that sodding .dll. And nothing would make the installation routine ignore it. even though it was the same version number anyway!!!

      1. Potty Professor Bronze badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Lesson learned: Don't buy HP

        We bought an HP Photosmart C5180, which served us faithfully for many years, using both HP and aftermarket cartridges. Suddenly, it stopped printing black, although the other cartridges continued to function, and all self tests were passed OK. We obtained a second hand one, same model number, and it too failed to print black after a while. During investigations, it was noticed that both printers, although of different ages and from different sources, were displaying the same page count. I contacted a relative who is a security expert, and he suggested that HP had included a "Suicide Clause" in the firmware, which limited the life to that number of pages, and essentially bricked the printer when it was reached. I have emailed HP, but have received no reply since April.

    2. Al fazed Bronze badge
      Happy

      Re: Lesson learned: Don't buy HP

      Yes HP has a history, so I no longer buy or recommend HP products. SIMPLE.

      ALF

  4. James O'Shea Silver badge

    I've stopped buying HP anything

    Completely because of this attitude. HP has lost tens of thousands of dollars for new printers (the company just bought 25 new departmental printers) and new laptops (the company just bought 75 new laptops, Win10 Enterprise installed on the Windows boxes, all others MacBooks, we will not be buying anything with Win11, ever) and new desktops (55 new desktops. Mostly Mac minis and iMacs, Win10 Ent on the Windows boxes.)

    Enjoy your increased profits on sales of ink and toner cartridges to those who have HP printers, boys. Then watch your bottom line fall off a cliff as new hardware sales collapse.

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: I've stopped buying HP anything

      Quote:

      "Enjoy your increased profits on sales of ink and toner cartridges to those who have HP printers, boys. Then watch your bottom line fall off a cliff as new hardware sales collapse."

      I doubt the ones responsible even care, they made a decision that brought extra profits to HP and prevented 3rd party's from getting a slice of those profits, thus showing a boldness in approach to increasing HP's profits.

      Thus they were richly rewarded with extra bonuses, and share options (cashed out by now) and they could go onto bigger and better things with HP's glowing endorsment on their CVs.

      The fact the company is heading for a cliff edge does'nt bother them as

      A. they got their $$$$$

      and B. they no longer work for HP.

      Wheres the rich man's icon? (and Paris)

    2. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: I've stopped buying HP anything

      Elsewhere on this site :

      "HP is putting together a recovery plan to counter a sharp slowdown in its PC and printer businesses, including yet another transformation program."

      As you sow, so shall you reap.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I've stopped buying HP anything

        Got to get their money back after the Automony(?) fiasco!

        Makes me want to break out the goose feathers and penknife!

  5. Ball boy

    1.3M USD is a damn good deal!

    So, HP will pay up (delaying that payment for as long as possible, I have no doubt) but can then carry on selling borked printers that will only work with HP-branded ink for eternity? That sounds like a fantastic deal for HP to sign-up to, of course they agreed to it.

    Meh. Thankfully, we're a Brother house - and not inkjet either. I feel sorry for all those that will now have to pay a small fortune for their inks - and I bet the price that little squirt of ink now rises to further cover their costs because of Brexit.

  6. Alumoi Silver badge

    It's not even 1.3m

    The article says ... a fund of up to... so it can be anywhere between zero to 1.3m. Which one is that?

  7. Mr. Flibble

    "The agreement cannot be considered as an acknowledgement of any fault or wrongdoing by HP nor as an acknowledgement by Euroconsumers of the groundlessness of its claims," it added.

    So it will happen again.... great...

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Yes, funny how so often these things are settled out of court so the "accused" ends up "let off" for a small fee while denying any wrongdoing. Justice. The b est money can buy. Tough if you can't afford it. None for you.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Depends what you mean by "will happen again".

      My take from the article is that the DRM hasn't stopped happening. The issue was only them not informing people first.

  8. PeterM42
    FAIL

    I am pleased I am not the only one who disses HP

    The last person I know who bought an HP printer, took it back as “not fit for purpose” and got an alternative make.

    That was after I had taken AGES trying to make it work.

    HP need to re-think how they go about producing stuff.

  9. Marty McFly Silver badge
    Pint

    I love my HP printers!

    They are absolute rock stars! They work well every time. Built like a tank and just keep working & working. Not one line of DRM code or spyware either.

    Oh, BTW.... They are HP LaserJet 6MP printers circa the late 1990's. USB to parallel adapters needed to keep them connected. Not screaming fast by any means. But like I said, they just keep working. The only trick is finding the toner cartridges.

    1. allanonymous

      Re: I love my HP printers!

      Probably because they are actually HEWLETT-PACKARD?

      pre-...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why only these four countries being compensated? What about the rest of Europe?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pradeep Jotwani, Head of Inkjet supplies, has long since retired on his huge final salary pension

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