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DRM everything

2014-03-03 17:24:28.689682+00 by Dan Lyke 3 comments

techdirt: Keurig Will Use DRM In New Coffee Maker To Lock Out Refill Market

Keurig's solution to this problem? In a lawsuit (pdf) filed against Keurig by TreeHouse Foods, they claim Keurig has been busy striking exclusionary agreements with suppliers and distributors to lock competing products out of the market. What's more, TreeHouse points out that Keurig is now developing a new version of their coffee maker that will incorporate the java-bean equivalent of DRM -- so that only Keurig's own coffee pods can be used in it:

[ related topics: Invention and Design Software Engineering Economics ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2014-03-03 17:47:19.93306+00 by: meuon [edit history]

We have a K-Cup machine in the office.. it's an expensive way to make bad coffee. When that machine blows, (and it eventually will) I'll put in a good expresso machine like at home. Fresh ground beans and a 15+bar (pressurized) machine make cheap beans taste awesome.

#Comment Re: made: 2014-03-03 18:04:59.389157+00 by: Jack William Bell

It isn't new that companies intentionally create products designed to protect a business model by locking out competitors from the aftermarket. It isn't new that competitors reverse engineer these designs (where they aren't protected by a patent) in order to create a competitive marketplace.

What is new is the DCMA, which makes it illegal to circumvent these artificial market protection schemes.

Right now I'm wondering what our electrical marketplace would have looked like if Edison and Westinghouse had been able to take advantage of DCMA protections. What it would cost to operate a motor vehicle if you could only buy replacement parts from the dealer. Whether there would be an Internet at all if every computer maker insisted their computers could only talk to each other.

Standards and open systems are good for everyone, in the long run. DRM is the last refuge of the incompetent and those who fear innovation.

#Comment Re: made: 2014-03-04 17:33:38.019152+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, I was involved in some discussions a few years ago about ways to pervert the law into trying to protect communications with an embedded device, including things like trying to figure out if we could somehow pervert obscenity law...

In the end, the smaller vendor just gave up on interop with that product line because they didn't have the resources, or potential profits from that interop, to continue the fight. I, of course, had mixed feelings, I was getting paid pretty well, but I'd like better legal protections for "you own the device, you can do what you want with it".

The "you paid for it, but you're really renting it from us and being charged in supplies" model, while super profitable, squicks me.