By now, most people know about this Keurig hack: It’s easy to break the coffee pod DRM on your Keurig 2.0 machine with some tape and a single K-Cup lid. But what if you want a more permanent solution, that you won’t have to mess with ever again?
That’s where the Rogers Family Company’s new “Freedom Clip” comes in.
The Rogers Family Company makes K-Cups that aren’t licensed by Green Mountain. Since Keurig instituted its DRM lockout system with the Keurig 2.0 machine, both consumers and companies that make unlicensed K-Cups have been up in arms about your right to brew whatever coffee you want in the morning.
The Keurig 2.0 looks for a barcode in special ink on the top of authorized K-Cups. So if a cup is unlicensed, it doesn’t have the special ink necessary to let the machine work. Effectively, if you want to use your Keurig 2.0 to brew some coffee, you have to play by Keurig’s rules—or so they want you to think.
But you don’t actually have to play by Keurig’s rules (haha!). As Gizmodo mentions, Keurig’s patent on K-Cups expired in 2012. That means anyone can legally make them now. What makes the Rogers Family Company’s plan even more ingenious is that they’re giving the Freedom Clip away for free. It might be an expensive promotion at first, but one that pays off for them in the long run. We’re no legal experts, but if future legal battles with Keurig arise, we’d also imagine the fact that they’re giving the clips away rather than charging for them can only work in RFC’s favor.
Here’s how the Freedom Clip works:
Since Keurig 2.0 lockout technology also blocks environmentally conscious users from brewing with reusable K-cups, we could also see the Freedom Clip helping concerned Keurig 2.0 users save the planet. As we’ve mentioned before, waste from K-Cups is piling up quickly in our landfills because we love their convenience. Some filmmakers even made a short satirical horror film about the K-Cups bringing on an alien coffee pod invasion to try to raise awareness of this very serious problem.
Back in the day, Keurig used to offer their own reusable K-Cup, called a My K Cup. Here’s the tone-deaf answer from their own website about whether it works with Keurig 2.0.
Obviously, there are zillions of other ways to make coffee that don’t involve Keurigs at all. But the Freedom Clip could make it that much easier to enjoy the convenience of your Keurig 2.0 without also screwing over the planet, and we can totally get behind that.