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Keurig is locking down its coffee makers to keep out cheap refills

dmcowen674

No Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
54,908
44
91
www.alienbabeltech.com
3-3-2014

http://www.theverge.com/2014/3/3/5465578/keurig-locking-down-coffee-makers-to-block-cheap-refills

Keurig is locking down its coffee makers to keep out cheap refills



Buying coffee will soon be just as annoying as buying printer ink


Green Mountain dominates the single-serve coffee market with its popular Keurig brewers and K-Cups, the little plastic pods that now come in over 200 licensed varieties. The rise of Keurig has even prompted brands like Starbucks, Folgers, and Dunkin' Donuts to release their own K-Cups, which users insert into the Keurig each time they want a cup of coffee. But other, unlicensed companies have also been able to hop on the bandwagon thanks to crucial patents that expired in 2012. That gave competitors the opportunity to produce generic K-Cups and price them lower than Green Mountain's official line. And consumers have noticed: generic Keurig pods have seen a steady rise in popularity.

But Green Mountain wants to put a stop to that momentum.

Green Mountain is implementing the physical equivalent of a DRM system with Keurig 2.0 — which will start appearing on store shelves this year.

Keurig's next line of brewers will contain "interactive technology" designed to lock out unlicensed K-Cups.
 

FerrelGeek

Diamond Member
Jan 22, 2009
4,669
271
126
Simple solution. Don't buy one. Buy a 'normal' coffeemaker and grind your own beans or get them ground at the store. Stop crying lit the little b*tch that everyone knows your are and vote with your wallet.
 

senseamp

Lifer
Feb 5, 2006
34,658
4,481
126
What's to force everyone to switch to new K-cups? Other appliance companies will keep making coffee makers with old standard, and coffee makers will make coffee for them.
This seems like Intel's failed attempt to move everyone from x86 to Itanium.
 

Spungo

Diamond Member
Jul 22, 2012
3,217
2
81
Simple solution. Don't buy one. Buy a 'normal' coffeemaker and grind your own beans or get them ground at the store. Stop crying lit the little b*tch that everyone knows your are and vote with your wallet.
I did that with printers. I only print using a laser, but my scanner is also an ink printer because they sell multifunction printers at a loss :cool:
It's only a matter of time before they somehow tie to scanner function to the ink. Your ink is expired! You need to buy new ink before you can scan anything!
 

irishScott

Lifer
Oct 10, 2006
21,570
2
0
They were WAY overpriced to begin with.

http://money.msn.com/frugal-living/post.aspx?post=9993572f-6247-4090-9b96-67ee4dd12a2a

The 10-pack of Arpeggio currently costs $6 on the Nespresso website, making the per-pound cost $54.43 per pound. What's really surprising is that a 10-pack of Arpeggio costs $13.73 on Amazon, which translates to an astonishing $124.55 per pound.

A 12-pack of Folgers Black Silk costs $17.98 on Amazon, or $81.64 per pound. That price drops considerably if you buy a trio of 12-packs for $21.96; at that rate you'd pay $34.58 per pound, which is a lot less than the Times' 2012 price. (The reporter did not state where the coffee was purchased, incidentally.)
That's what you get for keeping up with the Joneses and buying a trendy trendy coffee maker that makes mediocre coffee in seconds! Me, I'll stick to my $8/lb whole-bean coffee that I grind up and make in a french press. Takes all of 7 minutes in the morning (really 30 seconds since I do other stuff while the water is heating/coffee is steeping), and is infinitely better tasting and over 1000% cheaper than any Keurig crap.
 
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Agent11

Diamond Member
Jan 22, 2006
3,535
1
0
Buy an automatic drip coffee maker already.

Nobody is forcing you to buy a Keurig, and frankly they have always struck me a unnecessary and gimmicky.
 

Newell Steamer

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2014
6,895
7
0
You can get cheap coffee - but, you will have to work on it (grind it, measure it, brew, etc.).

I am OK with paying a convenience price. Sure, I can save tens of dollars a year, but I am OK with not doing so,... I earned the pampering.
 

Dulanic

Diamond Member
Oct 27, 2000
9,751
359
136
I only use a Keurig due to the fact I can get the cups for ~.30 a cup. That's acceptable to me. If I was to get a new machine and they cost .60 a cup, I'd say screw it and go back to a normal drip machine.
 

FerrelGeek

Diamond Member
Jan 22, 2009
4,669
271
126
You can get cheap coffee - but, you will have to work on it (grind it, measure it, brew, etc.).

I am OK with paying a convenience price. Sure, I can save tens of dollars a year, but I am OK with not doing so,... I earned the pampering.
You must be one of those evil achievers! We'll have to impose a luxury coffee tax on you to subsidize the disenfranchised masses so that they can enjoy the pampering as well. Fairness ftw!
 

TerryMathews

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
11,474
2
0
It's only a matter of time before they somehow tie to scanner function to the ink. Your ink is expired! You need to buy new ink before you can scan anything!
Ive seen some HPs that do that. They won't come out of service mode until the ink is changed and the fax/scanner won't work in service mode.
 

bshole

Diamond Member
Mar 12, 2013
8,302
1,203
126
Costs me all of 7 minutes in the morning, and is infinitely better tasting and over 1000% cheaper than any Keurig crap.
7 minutes * 365 = 2,555 = 42 hrs/yr

You spend 2 entire days of your life every year making coffee. Perhaps other people aren't willing to sacrifice that amount of time.
 

Newell Steamer

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2014
6,895
7
0
You must be one of those evil achievers! We'll have to impose a luxury coffee tax on you to subsidize the disenfranchised masses so that they can enjoy the pampering as well. Fairness ftw!
I expect home invasions (disguised as drunks looking for help after a car crash at 2am) and assaults via loud music - to which I will shoot'em dead.

I'd eat some pizza afterwards, but, coffee doesn't go well with it.
 

1prophet

Diamond Member
Aug 17, 2005
5,210
456
126
3-3-2014

http://www.theverge.com/2014/3/3/5465578/keurig-locking-down-coffee-makers-to-block-cheap-refills

Keurig is locking down its coffee makers to keep out cheap refills



Buying coffee will soon be just as annoying as buying printer ink


Green Mountain dominates the single-serve coffee market with its popular Keurig brewers and K-Cups, the little plastic pods that now come in over 200 licensed varieties. The rise of Keurig has even prompted brands like Starbucks, Folgers, and Dunkin' Donuts to release their own K-Cups, which users insert into the Keurig each time they want a cup of coffee. But other, unlicensed companies have also been able to hop on the bandwagon thanks to crucial patents that expired in 2012. That gave competitors the opportunity to produce generic K-Cups and price them lower than Green Mountain's official line. And consumers have noticed: generic Keurig pods have seen a steady rise in popularity.

But Green Mountain wants to put a stop to that momentum.

Green Mountain is implementing the physical equivalent of a DRM system with Keurig 2.0 — which will start appearing on store shelves this year.

Keurig's next line of brewers will contain "interactive technology" designed to lock out unlicensed K-Cups.
They will lose in court if they take it there since that is abuse of DMCA and there is case precedent.

Lexmark tried to prevent anyone from using refills not approved by them using guess what, DRM

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2009/12/what-is-drm-doing-in-my-garage/

Lexmark was really serious about this, so serious that it began sticking tiny microchips into its cartridges. These performed two functions; they authenticated with the printer, making it difficult for third-party cartridges to be used, and they ran a tiny program that calculated how much ink had been used up, regardless of how much actually existed in the cartridge. When the program calculated that the ink had run dry, the cartridge stopped working—which put an obvious limit of cartridge refills.



It was ingenious. Sell the printers cheap and then make all the money on supplies, all the while locking out competitors in way that razor makers like Gillette (who developed this business model) could only dream of.



But was it legal? The question was put to the test in 2002 when Lexmark sued North Carolina-based Static Control Components, alleging DMCA violations because SCC created a chip that circumvented Lexmark's SHA-1 based cartridge authentication—in other words, DRM had been circumvented. In addition, SCC copied the tiny "toner loading program" verbatim, arguing that it was necessary in order to make aftermarket printer components. (Lexmark printers ran a checksum on the toner loading program code found in each cartridge; if the checksum was not identical to the original Lexmark code, the printer would not allow the cartridge, even if the code performed exactly the same function.)



The case went to a federal court, which issued a preliminary injunction, and then to the Sixth Circuit court of appeals. On appeal, the court reversed the lower court's injunction and said that Lexmark was unlikely to prevail. Said the court, "Nowhere in its deliberations over the DMCA did Congress express an interest in creating liability for the circumvention of technological measures designed to prevent consumers from using consumer goods while leaving the copyrightable content of a work unprotected."



Because Lexmark's DRM only blocked access to the functions of the printer, not access to any copyrightable code, the court was unwilling to give its lockout behavior DMCA protection.



One judge, in a concurring opinion (which also cited Lawrence Lessig's book Free Culture), wanted to go even further.



"If we were to adopt Lexmark’s reading of the statute, manufacturers could potentially create monopolies for replacement parts simply by using similar, but more creative, lock-out codes," he wrote. "Automobile manufacturers, for example, could control the entire market of replacement parts for their vehicles by including lock-out chips. Congress did not intend to allow the DMCA to be used offensively in this manner, but rather only sought to reach those who circumvented protective measures 'for the purpose' of pirating works protected by the copyright statute. Unless a plaintiff can show that a defendant circumvented protective measures for such a purpose, its claim should not be allowed to go forward."
SCC also had support from the North Carolina legislature, which in 2003 passed a law specifically allowing printer cartridges to be refilled legally—regardless of any contract terms.



But none of this changed Lexmark's behavior. Sure, it couldn't sue SCC under the DMCA, but its prebate program allowed the company to claim it had contract law on its side; prebate customers could still not legally refill their cartridges nor provide the empty cartridges to companies like SCC for remanufacturing.



Seven years after the first lawsuit was filed in the case, the saga continues. Early in 2009, a federal judge did strike a blow against the prebate program after SCC sued Lexmark. SCC's claim was that the "first sale" doctrine prevented Lexmark from requiring these sorts of post-sale limits. A district court agreed, noting the longer history of first sale law (in 1873, for instance, a maker of coffin lids required that all buyers used the lids within a ten-mile radius of the city; this was struck down as unenforceable). :biggrin:



The judge concluded that "patent holders may not invoke patent law to enforce restrictions on the post-sale use of their patented product. After the first authorized sale to a purchaser who buys for use in the ordinary pursuits of life, a patent holder's patent rights have been exhausted... Because Lexmark's patent rights in its toner cartridges were exhausted by the authorized, unconditional sales of the cartridges to end users, Lexmark's attempt to impose single-use restrictions on the cartridges fails. The Prebate Program is invalid under patent law."



Companies are allowed to impose "conditions on sale" but not "conditions on use."
 

irishScott

Lifer
Oct 10, 2006
21,570
2
0
7 minutes * 365 = 2,555 = 42 hrs/yr

You spend 2 entire days of your life every year making coffee. Perhaps other people aren't willing to sacrifice that amount of time.
Not really, it's integrated into my routine. Heating the water takes 3 minutes and steeping the coffee takes 4. I do other things (including grinding the coffee, which takes about 30 seconds) while I'm waiting for the water to heat and the coffee to steep.

So it's actually more like 3 hours of my life every year.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,500
3,260
126
I buy beans in small batches, grind it at the store and freeze for the coming week or so. I won't drink coffee from a plastic container. Plastic is religiously impure and I have a conservative brain that rejects disgusting. I have my little Italian espresso machine heating on the stove as I type.
 

irishScott

Lifer
Oct 10, 2006
21,570
2
0
You can get cheap coffee - but, you will have to work on it (grind it, measure it, brew, etc.).

I am OK with paying a convenience price. Sure, I can save tens of dollars a year, but I am OK with not doing so,... I earned the pampering.
Suppose it depends on how much coffee you drink. I have at least 2 cups every day, often more, I'm saving at least several hundred dollars a year over a Keurig and getting coffee that's about twice the quality.

I could spend $20/lb on premium whole-bean coffee that tastes awesome and still save money over a Keurig.
 
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halik

Lifer
Oct 10, 2000
25,708
1
0
I don't understand why anyone would keep that at their house; we have them at work and the coffee is shitty as best.
 
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Oct 30, 2004
11,449
20
81
Is something preventing other companies from producing their own Keurig-like machines that can use generic cups?
 

John Connor

Lifer
Nov 30, 2012
22,848
613
121
My dad just got one of these coffee makers for Christmas and we use a refillable pod. If the coffee maker goes bust I guess we'll go to eBay for an older unit if at all. My dad rarely uses the damn thing anyway. I have an espresso machine personally and I think making a latte is a lot better.
 
Oct 30, 2004
11,449
20
81

FerrelGeek

Diamond Member
Jan 22, 2009
4,669
271
126
7 minutes * 365 = 2,555 = 42 hrs/yr

You spend 2 entire days of your life every year making coffee. Perhaps other people aren't willing to sacrifice that amount of time.
Dude! You seriously need a time management class! Multitasking is your friend. :)
 

slag

Lifer
Dec 14, 2000
10,468
78
91
All coffee is shitty. I buy creamer to put in it so it doesn't taste like bitter shit.
 

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