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.
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.