Law Firm Proposes Class-Action Suit for Blocked Xbox Live Users
Following the decision by Xbox 360 console maker Microsoft to ban users from the Xbox Live service, intellectual property law firm AbingtonIP began conducting an investigation into Microsoft's business practices regarding the ban. "Microsoft has chosen to use one of the most indiscriminate "weapons" in its arsenal in an effort to combat piracy -- as a result, use of this "weapon" has resulted in a great deal of collateral damage -- many people were affected who had nothing to do with piracy," the firm states on its Web site. "Furthermore, Xbox console functions that have nothing to do with piracy were also affected or disabled. Details aside, Microsoft's bans could (and should) have been more measured."AbigntonIP posted a forum to allow Xbox 360 owners who felt their account had been unfairly terminated to voice their objections, first noticed by the gaming blog Inc Gamers.
"As has been reported widely in the
media, tens of thousands of Xbox owners have had their modified Xbox consoles
banned from Microsoft's online gaming service Xbox Live. Although modification
Microsoft "conveniently" timed the Xbox console ban to coincide with
the release of the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 game and less than two
months after the release of the very popular Halo 3: ODST game," the firm
charges. "This -convenient' timing may have resulted in more Xbox Live
subscription revenues for Microsoft than it would have generated had these Xbox
console bans taken place at some time before the release of [these games].
Additionally, sales of both Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Halo 3: ODST would
likely have been greatly diminished had the Xbox console ban occurred prior to
the release of these games."
Last week Microsoft banned up to 1 million consoles from the
community online gaming service Xbox Live after suspecting the devices had been
"modded", or altered to allow downloads of pirated software, leading to a
flurry of modded consoles for sale on eBay and Craigslist. The report came amid
the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, one of the most highly anticipated
game titles of the year. On November 4, Microsoft's director of programming for
the company's gaming network Xbox Live, Larry 'Major Nelson' Hryb, wrote a blog
post acknowledging Microsoft has been actively banning modified Xbox 360
consoles that are able to play pirated games.