If you thought printer cartridge DRM was bad, Dymo is forcing users to buy RFID paper

Posted:
in General Discussion
Printer manufacturer Dymo is facing backlash after it debuted new label printers that feature digital rights management embedded in their paper.

Credit: Dymo
Credit: Dymo


The latest Dymo label printers sport RFID readers that can authenticate the labels that customers place within the printers. According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, this allows Dymo to distinguish between first-party labels and cheaper alternatives.

Dymo touts the benefits of the chipped label paper in its sales literature, including auto-detection and remaining label counts. However, the chipping also forces Dymo customers to purchase first-party labels that are more expensive than many of their competitors.

Some label makers are already adding warnings about the lock-in, advising users that the new label printers won't work if they don't detect the chipped paper.

The move has courted controversy, and many users are already coming up with ways to bypass the paper-baseD DRM. However, third-party labels manufacturers and others may have solid legal reasons to not offer a workaround.

According to the EFF, under U.S. copyright law, rivals that distribute tools for bypassing an "access control" for a copyrighted work can be subject to up to $500,000 in fines and five years in prison. The firmware on a Dymo printer can fall under copyrighted work.

"Dymo is trying something unprecedented here," the EFF wrote. "DRM in paper is such an abysmal, abusive idea that we should all recoil from it."

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    This reminds me of the Kodak case in 1978. Kodak lost.
    bloggerblogspock1234radarthekatmagman1979FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 2 of 18
    According to the EFF, under U.S. copyright law, rivals that distribute tools for bypassing an "access control" for a copyrighted work can be subject to up to $500,000 in fines and five years in prison. The firmware on a Dymo printer can fall under copyrighted work.

    Firstly, I am not sure that law holds any water in this scenario, Apple was not able to stop Hacintosh or Cydia.
    Secondly, that's why we have China and Alibaba.
    Thirdly, what's a printer?
    spock1234rundhvidradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 18

    This reminds me of the Kodak case in 1978. Kodak lost.
    True, printer manufacturers have been fighting this battle for ages with inks and paper. Nothing new here except for the RFID.
    Also, I am suspect that there is an RFID is in every sheet of paper, it's most probably in the reel. Just reuse the reel. Hmm but they can also disable the RFID if a certain number of prints occurred under a certain RFID code.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 18
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,696member
    Not sure that using a firmware falls under copyright.

    I hope they (Dymo) get their wee wee slapped really hard  and they end up paying a ton of legal fees on a losing battle. 
    spock1234
  • Reply 5 of 18
    chadbag said:
    Not sure that using a firmware falls under copyright.

    I hope they (Dymo) get their wee wee slapped really hard  and they end up paying a ton of legal fees on a losing battle. 
    More than likely, a competitor like Zebra can use this to market their competitive products. 
    CloudTalkinspock1234radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 18
    I thought there was already some lawsuit that disallowed laser printer manufacturers from purposefully locking their printers to their cartridges with a chip?

    This sounds like the same thing.  Surely this is not legal under the same finding?


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 18
    chadbag said:
    Not sure that using a firmware falls under copyright.

    I hope they (Dymo) get their wee wee slapped really hard  and they end up paying a ton of legal fees on a losing battle. 
    More than likely, a competitor like Zebra can use this to market their competitive products. 
    More likely they will follow and do the same.  

    Honestly, they should start to sell at higher prices for the device. Many printer companies start to sell like that.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 18
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,118member
    Welp, time to add Dymo to the list of companies I don’t buy from or recommend. 
    spock1234newisneverenoughredgeminiparadarthekatwatto_cobraFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 9 of 18

    This reminds me of the Kodak case in 1978. Kodak lost.
    True, printer manufacturers have been fighting this battle for ages with inks and paper. Nothing new here except for the RFID.
    Also, I am suspect that there is an RFID is in every sheet of paper, it's most probably in the reel. Just reuse the reel. Hmm but they can also disable the RFID if a certain number of prints occurred under a certain RFID code.
    I agree.

    But that works against them, because someone may figure out how to change the recorded value.
    bloggerblogwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 18
    LAME!! Buy a Rollo printer instead
    spock1234watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 18
    chadbag said:
    Not sure that using a firmware falls under copyright.

    I hope they (Dymo) get their wee wee slapped really hard  and they end up paying a ton of legal fees on a losing battle. 
    More than likely, a competitor like Zebra can use this to market their competitive products. 
    Except, Zebra doesn't compete in the consumer market. The cheapest Zebra printers are already 3+ times more expensive than any Dymo, because they offer industrial-grade products that can be several thousands of dollars per unit. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 18
    I like my dymo label printer (its couple years old).

    If they were to limit paper supplies to only OEM I would not buy one again.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 18
    On the flip side:  I have an old dymo label printer.   Third party, alternative labels jam it up -- so it looks like the label maker stopped working.

    So, the question is:  What is the motivation for this?  Is it to increase profits?  Or, insure its products work properly?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 18
    chadbag said:
    Not sure that using a firmware falls under copyright.

    I hope they (Dymo) get their wee wee slapped really hard  and they end up paying a ton of legal fees on a losing battle. 
    More than likely, a competitor like Zebra can use this to market their competitive products. 
    Except, Zebra doesn't compete in the consumer market. The cheapest Zebra printers are already 3+ times more expensive than any Dymo, because they offer industrial-grade products that can be several thousands of dollars per unit. 
    All the reason to make a consumer based version, or as I noticed, the secondary market for zebra printers will start getting more popular. 

    As others have mentioned, it seems that Dymo hasn’t done its homework to see how badly steps like this turn out for other companies.  Hp, Kodak, Keurig, etc. they realize after the fact that whatever money they saved by making DRM to force customers to use their products was offset by mass exodus of customers, or burned up in lawsuits. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 18
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,509moderator
    chadbag said:
    Not sure that using a firmware falls under copyright.

    I hope they (Dymo) get their wee wee slapped really hard  and they end up paying a ton of legal fees on a losing battle. 
    More than likely, a competitor like Zebra can use this to market their competitive products. 
    Yes, that’s the preferred outcome, that the free market totally rejects this money-grab keurig-like initiative. Failure is a great lesson that I hope this company learns.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 18
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,223member
    Thirdly, what's a printer?
    It's a machine you use to make labels for things you don't want to muck up with crappy handwriting. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 18
    The saddest thing about this is that in our culture there is a chance enough consumers will just accept it.

    The ability for someone to think for themselves and have principles has diminished tremendously. Nowadays, a person’s principles are largely just, ‘If it make me happy or feel worthwhile then it’s good. Even if I see something bad about it, if I have to sacrifice anything at all then I’ll just accept it.’ This inability to think, research, and have principles has multiplied over the last two years in our response to the coronavirus, and people in power absolutely love it and exploit it. 
    watto_cobraFileMakerFeller
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