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HP printers ought to have EPEAT ecolabels revoked, commerce group calls for

HP printers ought to have EPEAT ecolabels revoked, commerce group calls for

2023-05-28 07:58:14

The Hewlett-Packard logo is seen on printer printer ink boxes on display
Enlarge / HP typically bricks third-party ink and toner that is over 90 % full, Imaging Expertise Council claims.

HP printers have obtained plenty of flak traditionally and recently for invasive firmware updates that find yourself stopping clients from utilizing ink with their printers. HP additionally encourages printer clients to join HP+, a program that features a free ink-subscription trial and irremovable firmware that enables HP to brick the ink when it sees match.

Regardless of this, HP markets dozens of its printers with Dynamic Security and the non-compulsory HP+ characteristic as being within the Digital Product Environmental Evaluation Device (EPEAT) registry, suggesting that these printers are constructed with the surroundings in thoughts and, extra particularly, don’t block third-party ink cartridges. Contemplating Dynamic Safety and HP+ printers do precisely that, the Worldwide Imaging Expertise Council (IITC) needs the Normal Electronics Council (GEC), which is in command of the EPEAT registry, to revoke a minimum of 101 HP printer fashions from the EPEAT registry, which HP has “made a mockery of.”

Earlier than we get into the IITC grievance despatched Might 22 to  GEC Senior Supervisor Katherine Larocque, we should always be aware the IITC’s apparent stakes on this. The nonprofit commerce affiliation was based in 2000 and says it represents “toner and inkjet cartridge remanufacturers, element suppliers, and cartridge collectors in North America.” So its members stand to lose some huge cash from ways like Dynamic Safety. The IITC already filed a complaint to the GEC about HP in 2019 for firmware blocking non-HP ink, however there did not appear to be any noticeable outcomes.

The group is biased concerning this subject, however its grievance nonetheless mirrors many issues and considerations that customers and class-action lawsuits have detailed concerning HP printers’ unique stance on ink. You will discover the complete grievance here.

“Killer firmware updates”

For a printer to make the EPEAT registry, it is imagined to adjust to the EPEAT Imaging Tools Class Standards, which relies on the 1680.2-2012 IEEE Commonplace for Environmental Evaluation of Imaging Tools (PDF). The IITC is hung up on part 4.9.2.1, which requires that registered merchandise don’t “forestall using nonmanufacturer cartridges and non-manufacturer containers” and that distributors present documentation displaying that the machine is not “designed to forestall using a non-manufacturer cartridge or non-manufacturer container.”

Effectively, because the IITC and customers who discovered their inked bricked mid-print will inform you, that sounds an terrible lot like what HP does with its Dynamic Safety printers.

Diving deeper, the IITC’s grievance claims that “within the final 8 weeks alone, HP has launched 4 killer firmware updates concentrating on dozens of EPEAT-registered inkjet printers.”

“A minimum of one in all these current updates particularly focused a single producer of remanufactured cartridges without having any impression on non-remanufactured third-party cartridges utilizing functionally an identical non-HP chips,” the grievance reads.

The commerce group additionally claimed a minimum of 26 “killer firmware updates” occurred on EPEAT-registered HP laser printers since October 2020.

The grievance argues that the error message that customers see—”The indicated cartridges have been blocked by the printer firmware as a result of they comprise non-HP chips. This printer is meant to work solely with new or reused cartridges which have a brand new or reused HP chip. Exchange the indicated cartridges to proceed printing”—go in opposition to EPEAT necessities, but HP markets dozens of Dynamic Safety printers with EPEAT ecolabels.

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Wordplay

The IITC’s grievance highlights quite a few locations the place HP claims EPEAT registration whereas seemingly contradicting the registry’s phrases.

For instance, it shared a EPEAT documentation (PDF) stating, “HP printers are usually not designed to forestall using non-manufacturer cartridges and non-manufacturer containers.” In the meantime, HP’s Dynamic Safety web site says, “Dynamic Safety outfitted printers are meant to work solely with cartridges which have new or reused HP chips or digital circuitry. The printers use the dynamic safety measures to dam cartridges utilizing non-HP chips or modified or non-HP digital circuitry.”

“Maybe it’s HP’s place that 4.9.2.1 permits it to dam any non-manufacturer cartridge that doesn’t use an HP chip. No matter whether or not HP cites ‘safety considerations’ or another excuse, 4.9.2.1 affords no such leeway. The language of 4.9.2.1 is unequivocal and unqualified,” the IITC’s grievance says.

Dynamic Safety printers get periodic firmware updates that HP claims “can enhance, improve, or prolong the printer’s performance and options, shield in opposition to safety threats, and serve different functions” but additionally “block cartridges utilizing a non-HP chip or modified or non-HP circuitry from working within the printer, together with cartridges that work in the present day.” Generally these cartridges are over 90 % full, in keeping with the IITC, which fails to see the place the “safety” in “Dynamic Safety” is available in:

The reality is, Dynamic Safety has nothing in any respect to do with safety, and every little thing to do with irritating customers who select non-HP cartridges in an effort to enhance gross sales of real HP cartridges.

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