The global chip shortage has had a lot of consequences. While we expected many products to be tough to find, some of the outcomes of the shortage are more surprising. For example, Canon puts chips in some of its ink and toner cartridges so that its printers can identify them as genuine cartridges. However, these chips are difficult to find so Canon has been manufacturing cartridges without the chips, leading to some printers identifying genuine cartridges as counterfeit.
Canon Europe has issued a statement explaining the situation and providing users with instructions on how to bypass the company’s DRM. You can read the statement below:
As a valuable customer we appreciate your continued use of Canon products.
Due to the ongoing global shortage of semiconductor components, Canon is currently experiencing challenges in procuring specific electronic components that are used in our consumable products for our multifunction printers (MFP). These components perform such functions as detecting remaining toner levels.
To ensure you enjoy a continuous and reliable supply of consumables, we have chosen to supply consumable products without the semiconductor component until normal supply resumes.
While there is no negative impact on print quality when using consumables without electronic components, certain ancillary functions, such as the ability to detect toner levels, may be affected.
The statement also outlines different steps for bypassing the issue across different models (although none at this time appear to be Canon photo printers). The solution is to ignore warning messages and understand that not all functions will work correctly. In total, 19 models are affected. You can see the full list of affected models here.
The messaging that is meant to ensure customers purchase only official ink from Canon can effectively be ignored without any major issues. YouTuber and right to repair advocate Louis Rossmann has made a video about this issue. Rossmann points out Canon’s official support documentation is now normalizing the idea of hitting ‘I agree’ or ‘OK’ on a senseless error message. And if you can use ink without the chip that assures the printer that it’s genuine, what’s even the point of the DRM on ink cartridges?