When they unveiled the stupid idea of locking out competitors' coffee-pods, I predicted this would happen, and I still wonder if Keurig will be dumb enough to bring a test-case that makes some good law; after all, they are a good candidate for Battle Station Most Likely to Have a Convenient Thermal Exhaust Port.
The DRM has been broken by two of Keurig's competitors: Treehouse and Realcup. The law that makes it illegal to break DRM limits itself to "circumventing effective means of access control" to copyrighted works, and coffee pods are not copyrighted works. Ten years ago, there was a small run of companies claiming that the DRM itself was the copyrighted work -- Lexmark claimed that about the software that checked to see whether you'd refilled your print-cartridges -- but the courts told them to pound sand.
But Keurig -- whose business model is to sell you coffee-makers below cost, then make a profit by using the law to force you to drink overpriced, shitty coffee out of it -- may not be able to resist the temptation to sue, and as far as test-cases go, this is about as perfect as it's likely to get, and could potentially generate some great judicial opinion that will scare others off the same tactic.
It appears that Keurig competitors have already figured out ways to crack the DRM. TreeHouse Foods very quickly announced that it would be able to break the DRM. Meanwhile, Mother Parkers' RealCup has just announced that its pods are compatible with Keurig's DRM. It's a little unclear from the press release if Mothers Parkers cracked the DRM or came to a deal with Green Mountain, though it sure sounds like it was internal work.
Keurig's Coffee DRM Already Cracked By Competitors; Will There Be A Lawsuit? [Mike Masnick/Techdirt]
A flashlight review that begins with the promise “I’m about to hike through a remote canyon to an abandoned mine, and I gotta tell you there’s a storm raging outside” should end on an interesting note, and this one does. [via] Disturbing, strange sounds. That’s exactly what I caught on video while filming and documenting […]
Reflectacles, the hyper-reflective Ray Ban-style $75 glasses frames that Scott Urban is Kickstarting have a new feature: now you can get ones doped with materials that reflect the infrared light that CCTVs kick out to let them capture images in low light, which blind cameras’ sensors. Cool!
Typewriter historian Martin Howard (previously) writes, “I was able to pick up a rare and exquisite Waverley typewriter (1896) this summer in Scotland and have just the other day posted it to my website all cleaned and ready to show.”
Loot Crate is a totally different kind of subscription service that mails subscribers monthly boxes filled with curated geek, pop culture, and gamer paraphernalia. Its cult following awaits a box every month filled with everything from bobble heads to T-shirts to special edition collectibles. But nothing gets Loot Crate fans as excited as the limited […]
The ARMOR-X Mini Flexible Phone Tripod is a smartphone tripod that is designed with flexible legs to rest on virtually any type of surface. Other tripods have proved useless unless I conveniently have a flat surface in front of me, which is why this particular tripod was appealing enough to try out. The ARMOR-X is compact and easy […]
You don’t need to get an advanced degree and take out massive loans to become a coder. This bundle of 10 courses was designed to teach anyone to code at home for less than it costs to go out for dinner. I was particularly impressed with this new 2017 bundle because it includes courses on […]