Selected HP printers will now reject the use of third party ink cartridges thanks for a new DRM that the company has implemented.

The DRM was part of firmware updates for selected printers back in March, but the component that rejects third party cartridges as "damaged" was only set to activate on September 13.

Those with the firmware update installed and using a third party cartridge will be warned that the cartridge is actually "damaged", and that the user must replace it with a new, HP branded cartridge.

Third party cartridges and refills are a big headache for printer manufacturers, who have long relied on the business model of selling cheap printers (sometimes at no profit or below cost), and relying on steady income from cartridges.

The firmware update also appears to be buggy for some users. Some have reported the same error messaging even when they're using HP branded cartridges, while others have noted that the printer refuses to release the cartridges in order for a change to take place.

HP has explained that the firmware update was made to "protect HPs innovations and intellectual property."

The protection is unlikely to last very long though, as it has been reported that third party manufacturers are already scrambling to produce new cartridges with updated chipsets that get around the new protection.

[via Arstechnica]