Keurig Plans to Add DRM to Future Coffee Makers to Lock-out Third-party Refills

Posted on March 3, 2014 2:28 PM by Rob Williams

Because there’s always more room for asinine ideas, Keurig has decided that the time is right to implement DRM in its coffee makers to prevent third-party cups from being used. This is akin to a printer locking-out third-party ink cartridges, and the reason for Keurig’s move is obvious: The real money is not with the sale of the coffee makers, but the refills – and at about 75 cents per cup, companies like Keurig are making a mint.

This move isn’t a rumor; it’s been confirmed by Keurig’s CEO, and it came about after TreeHouse Foods filed a lawsuit against the company claiming that it was being anti-competitive. It was through this lawsuit that the DRM mention was first brought up, and it’s something that Keurig is sure to regret leaking out at this point in time. Around the Web, the backlash is already evident, with many Keurig owners threatening to move elsewhere.

Keurig Vue V600

There’s not too much that can be said here that’s not obvious. Keurig’s move is not one that will benefit customers, and you’d imagine that if the company does in fact go through with this, then competing products that don’t implement DRM are going to look all the more attractive. It’ll be interesting to see if Keurig backtracks after this public backlash.

  • Jamie Fletcher

    Digital coffee, nice. Just a matter of time till they lock certain coffee to certain machines… you’ll need to look at the compatibility list on the back of the pack; well, fools will, I’ll stick to my cheap, single ingredient, comes in a paper bag, ‘real coffee’ thank you.

    • The Focus Elf

      I’m with you Jamie, DRM always never backfires, right? Jamaican-Me-Crazy here I come… wafts beans…

  • Kougar

    It’s just part of their greater master plan. Soon you will only be allowed to add their own brand of creamer and sugar to the coffee. too.

    I don’t see much to stop others from loosely copying the design and simply releasing their own offbrand cup-compatible coffee makers, and selling a lot of machines doing it to fill the gap in the market once Keurig leaves it for their own restricted cups.

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