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Keurig's coffee brewer 'DRM' has already been defeated

Keurig's coffee brewer 'DRM' has already been defeated

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Maybe getting past Keurig's DRM-protected brewing system won't be so challenging after all. Keurig Green Mountain incensed many third-party coffee pod makers with its decision to lock down the Keurig 2.0 system with the coffee equivalent of DRM earlier this year. The move was widely viewed as a desperate attempt by Green Mountain, which purchased Keurig in 2006, to protect its profits and stop other companies from putting out imitation K-Cups at much cheaper prices. That was the troubling trend that began when several of Keurig's key patents expired in 2012, opening up the coffee pod market to all comers. To avoid that whole "competition" thing, Keurig designed a sophisticated anti-counterfeiting system for its latest brewer that scans for the company's proprietary markings and immediately locks out any off-brand capsules.

Well, the new brewer's only been out for a couple months and it sounds like at least one pod manufacturer has already figured out how to fool it. Mother Parkers Tea and Coffee says its latest RealCup capsules are fully compatible with Keurig 2.0. It's not entirely clear whether Mother Parkers hacked around Keurig's counterfeit system or instead reached some sort of deal with Green Mountain, but a line in a press release that takes credit for "ensuring continued freedom of choice for consumers" certainly makes it sound like the former. Keurig Green Mountain is facing more than a dozen lawsuits over the controversial move — brought both by disgruntled individuals and companies determined not to get locked out of the lucrative coffee pod business.