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Kidnapped by your own (XEROX) printer

Marketing geniuses strike back. Buy a printer (expensive, BTW) bundled with a supplies agreement bundled, and, only after paid the device, discover that you need a password to have your own printer working. How do you get the password? Easy: subscribe the supplies agreement at a non-negotiable price, and “own” the printer as soon as you pay for the supplies agreement. The bottom line: you think you do own a printer, while actually don’t. That’s what happens – in short – if you purchase a Xerox printer with the PAGEPACK option.

What is worse is that you wouldn’t find any hint whatsoever about the existence of this password, neither on Xerox website, nor in the official technical and commercial documentation. I asked some Xerox representative for clarification and all I’ve got is marketing jargon claimining that this digital lock is good for the customer, while nobody explained how it is possible to “own” something and – in the same time – not being able to do what the hell you like with it.

I’m  ready to file a complaint to the Antitrust authority for the deceptive advertising of this PAGEPACK option, and, maybe, report this issue to the public prosecutor (in Italy the Xerox behaviour might be considered a criminal offense). But I’m confident that it will be useless, although the Xerox strategy is just the last example of low-level pepole control by way of technology (remember that, since a lot of time, Adobe Photoshop – as well Toshiba color copiers – “refuse” to scan passport and money, or think about the DRM explosion in digital business.)

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