The semiconductor crisis is causing a cascade of consequences that could hardly have been predicted in their full extent. Thus, in addition to the shortage of consoles and graphics cards, rising prices, the paralysis of automobile factories and the race to increase the strategic autonomy of the major economic blocs, there is also such unexpected news as Canon no longer being able to manufacture copy-protected cartridges.

As Tom’s Hardware points out, several international subsidiaries of the Japanese conglomerate are informing their users through ad hoc websites and e-mail campaigns that it is unable to continue to manufacture consumables with DRM chips for some of the multifunction printers belonging to the ImageRunner range. As a result, official toner cartridges may be improperly detected, triggering a warning message.

The irony of the situation, which will no doubt be appreciated by many consumers, is completed by the company’s statement that “there is no negative impact on print quality when using consumables without those electronic components“. That said, the loss of the protection chips may involve some minor inconvenience, since in addition to authenticating the origin of the cartridge, they also serve to keep track of page counts and alert the user when they are running low on toner.

Fortunately, Canon is not one of the companies with the most aggressive protections. As the company points out in its bulletins, using an unofficial cartridge will result in a warning message indicating that the consumable cannot be recognized. The problem is solved by closing the window and/or pressing OK in the corresponding menu, although in some cases it may also be necessary to remove the cartridge, reinsert it and press OK in the printer’s on-screen menu.

According to Canon, consumables without chips will start to be distributed around February and as soon as possible they will be reinstated. Now all that remains to be seen is whether brands with much tougher consumables policies, such as HP, are in a similar situation and how they intend to deal with it.


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