When Keurig's K-Cup patent expired back in 2012, instead of embracing the hundreds of companies producing instant beverages for the popular pod-based coffee brewing machine (who helped boost its popularity), it introduced a form of coffee DRM on its new Keurig 2.0 machines. Not cool, but fortunately the digital locks can be easily circumvented with a simple plastic clip.
The DRM on the new machines uses a special ink that's only printed on 'authentic' Keurig-approved K-Cups. Or, in other words, on K-Cups produced by companies willing to pay an expensive licensing fee to Green Mountain. If that special ink isn't detected by a sensor inside the Keurig 2.0 brewers, it won't work.
But it turns out that Keurig's new DRM isn't terribly difficult to circumvent. In fact, a company called Rogers Family Company, producers of coffee and non-authentic K-Cups, have created a simple plastic accessory known as the Freedom Clip that snaps over the Keurig 2.0's authentication sensor, perpetually fooling it into thinking everything is A-OK.
It's not terribly hard to fool the DRM sensor yourself, but when clipped into place the Freedom Clip doesn't look like a hackneyed modification. And most importantly, Rogers Family Company is giving away the clip to anyone who wants one. On one hand, an expensive promotion, but on the other, it means its clients can keep using the company's unofficial K-Cups if they upgrade their brewers. So in the long run the promotion will certainly pay off. [Rogers Family Company via TechCrunch]