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This Coffee Maker Has DRM to Lock Out Competitor's Refills - Update

| 6 Mar 2014 22:00
keurig coffee maker

The "Keurig 2.0" coffee maker will feature "lock out" technology to stop people from refilling it with competitor's coffee.

Update: Keurig has responded to the widespread negative feedback regarding this change, assuring fans that "It's critical for performance and safety reasons that our new system includes this technology." Safety reasons. That's a good one.

Source: Tech Dirt

Original Story: Just like with printers, coffee maker manufacturers know that getting the device into your home is just phase one, the real money is in refills. Unlike printers, though, coffee makers have been pretty universal so far, meaning you can easily insert a competitor's "pod" into any machine. Keurig aims to put an end to that, however, with the first-ever DRM-laden coffee maker.

"Green Mountain has announced a new anticompetitive plan to maintain its monopoly by redesigning its brewers to lock out competitors' products. Such lock-out technology cannot be justified based on any purported consumer benefit, and Green Mountain itself has admitted that the lock-out technology is not essential for the new brewers' function. Like its exclusionary agreements, this lock-out technology is intended to serve anticompetitive and unlawful ends."

The preceding quote comes from a lawsuit filed against Keurig by TreeHouse Foods, a rival coffee maker-maker. It also claims that Keurig has been busy striking exclusionary agreements with suppliers and distributors to lock competing products out of the market, on top of its physical "coffee maker DRM".

I drink coffee out of cans from the vending machine, so I have close to no idea how this would even work, but apparently it does, as Keurig's CEO stated on a recent earnings call that the new maker indeed won't work with "unlicensed" pods as part of an effort to deliver "game-changing performance."

"Keurig 2.0" is expected to launch this fall.

Source: Tech Dirt

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