Microsoft "Unapologetic" For Sweeping Xbox Live Bans

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Microsoft "Unapologetic" For Sweeping Xbox Live Bans

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Microsoft is "unapologetic" about its recent decision to ban as many as one million Xbox Live accounts, saying that efforts to combat piracy are important to the industry as a whole.

Microsoft lowered the boom on a huge number of Xbox Live accounts earlier this week, with estimates of banhammered consoles running from 600,000 all the up to a million. The crackdown was aimed at owners of modded consoles, which can be used to play pirated games (as well as homebrew apps and imported games) and while this wasn't the first sweeping ban imposed against modded 360s, the fact that it came in concert with the launch of Modern Warfare 2 gave it considerably more sting.

Don't expect Microsoft to feel bad about it, though. "If it's clear someone is downloading pirated copies or have modified their Xbox in some way that will allow them to download games that they haven't purchased legitimately [then] yes we lock that account down and we're unapologetic about that," Chris Lewis, Microsoft's Vice President of Interactive Entertainment in Europe, said in an interview with Sky News.

"We are very committed to stamp out piracy. It's an issue not only for Xbox, it's an issue for the industry as a whole, it's an issue for Microsoft generally," he continued. "Clearly it's important for us to be able to stamp down on that to protect the 10 million people that are already on Xbox 360 in Europe for instance. So we take it very seriously."

There is one bit of good news for owners of banned consoles, however: Microsoft told the BBC that while banned 360s are gone for good, anyone caught in the dragnet can recover their accounts to other, unmodded consoles and resume their service.

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Malygris:
There is one bit of good news for owners of banned consoles, however: Microsoft told the BBC that while banned 360s are gone for good, anyone caught in the dragnet can recover their accounts to other, unmodded consoles and resume their service.

Ah! So it bans the hardware and not the account. That's good to hear. Of course that means Microsoft has some way of tapping directly into individual systems to check for modifications, I assume.

It was a bit of a blitzkrieg, wasn't it?

It annoys me that people who just modded the console to play imports or back up games get their thing banned too though.

300lb. Samoan:

Malygris:
There is one bit of good news for owners of banned consoles, however: Microsoft told the BBC that while banned 360s are gone for good, anyone caught in the dragnet can recover their accounts to other, unmodded consoles and resume their service.

Ah! So it bans the hardware and not the account. That's good to hear. Of course that means Microsoft has some way of tapping directly into individual systems to check for modifications, I assume.

Yep, and Natal will monitor your patriotism to the nation.

It wouldn't be difficult at all to check the hardware, it's basically the same way that Windows "checks" your software for updates.

300lb. Samoan:

Malygris:
There is one bit of good news for owners of banned consoles, however: Microsoft told the BBC that while banned 360s are gone for good, anyone caught in the dragnet can recover their accounts to other, unmodded consoles and resume their service.

Ah! So it bans the hardware and not the account. That's good to hear. Of course that means Microsoft has some way of tapping directly into individual systems to check for modifications, I assume.

Depends some users had their gamertags banned for playing Borderlands and Forza 3 early and then console banned shortly after. But majority of the time its hardware/console banned.

Furburt:
It was a bit of a blitzkrieg, wasn't it?

It annoys me that people who just modded the console to play imports or back up games get their thing banned too though.

Yeah, why would Microsoft care if anyone wanted to play imported games? Unless whatever means they're using to detect modded consoles cannot determine exactly HOW the console is modified, only THAT it is modified. So they're banning indiscriminately.

Not horribly surprised they're not apologetic. People are still sticking to the million figure? I thought that came from a spoof "news" article.

Furburt:
It was a bit of a blitzkrieg, wasn't it?

It annoys me that people who just modded the console to play imports or back up games get their thing banned too though.

Honestly I never bought the whole 'back up my disc' thing. Anyone who has the technical know how or concern to mod a console can keep game discs safe. As for imports, that's a tough one but is there really that much on the import market that's worth it?

They really monstered through it, i know at least 3 people who mentioned that they had their consoles banned.

Malygris:
There is one bit of good news for owners of banned consoles, however: Microsoft told the BBC that while banned 360s are gone for good, anyone caught in the dragnet can recover their accounts to other, unmodded consoles and resume their service.

So they did it to gain more hardware sales...

Although the people were idiots to have a modded Xbox connected to Xbox Live.

rossatdi:

Furburt:
It was a bit of a blitzkrieg, wasn't it?

It annoys me that people who just modded the console to play imports or back up games get their thing banned too though.

Honestly I never bought the whole 'back up my disc' thing. Anyone who has the technical know how or concern to mod a console can keep game discs safe. As for imports, that's a tough one but is there really that much on the import market that's worth it?

How is that a tough one? If you don't live in the country of release then you shouldn't have the game (or at least buy a console from that country). It isn't like I don't sympathize with AU gamers. Or really see the need for this country gets the game release first. We do have to play by thier rules though.

It's good that they didn't ban the accounts. I can only imagine the uproar then.

rossatdi:

Furburt:
It was a bit of a blitzkrieg, wasn't it?

It annoys me that people who just modded the console to play imports or back up games get their thing banned too though.

Honestly I never bought the whole 'back up my disc' thing. Anyone who has the technical know how or concern to mod a console can keep game discs safe. As for imports, that's a tough one but is there really that much on the import market that's worth it?

Technical know how/concern does not account for human error or grubby fingered family members =.=

rossatdi:

Honestly I never bought the whole 'back up my disc' thing. Anyone who has the technical know how or concern to mod a console can keep game discs safe.

Not to mention, doing so by bypassing copy protection is actually illegal in the US and at least a handful of other countries. I don't particularly agree with it, but "all I was doing was backing up my games" loses some of its innocence when you tack on "in violation of federal law."

Dudeakoff:

So they did it to gain more hardware sales...

I think it's fairly obvious that's not, at the very least, the sole reason. After all, console banning from Live means you have to buy any games you want to play online legit. Which I would have thought people were doing anyway, but I guess not. Combating piracy is the face value reason and is obviously at least one "legit" reason they are doing this.

Malygris:

There is one bit of good news for owners of banned consoles, however: Microsoft told the BBC that while banned 360s are gone for good, anyone caught in the dragnet can recover their accounts to other, unmodded consoles and resume their service.

I think this is surprisingly generous of Microsoft. I for one expected the accounts of the pirates to be simply banned forever.

I love everything about this move made by Microsoft. Especially because I know a guy with a modded Xbox (and I despise him, and for alot of different reasons) and he got hit by this omega ban-hammer. Joy.

rossatdi:
As for imports, that's a tough one but is there really that much on the import market that's worth it?

Imports are almost always niche games that probably wouldn't have an audience outside of the country they're made in. For example, the 360 has a massive collection of awesome shmups that are Japan only; expecting people to buy another console for those is nothing short of silly.

We are microsoft, we do not forgive,we do not forget.

Oh yes, I went there.

canadamus_prime:

Furburt:
It was a bit of a blitzkrieg, wasn't it?

It annoys me that people who just modded the console to play imports or back up games get their thing banned too though.

Yeah, why would Microsoft care if anyone wanted to play imported games? Unless whatever means they're using to detect modded consoles cannot determine exactly HOW the console is modified, only THAT it is modified. So they're banning indiscriminately.

I believe that if you get it flashed then that lets you play imports, pirate copies and whatever else. So what do you expect?

Furburt:
It was a bit of a blitzkrieg, wasn't it?

It annoys me that people who just modded the console to play imports or back up games get their thing banned too though.

canadamus_prime:

Yeah, why would Microsoft care if anyone wanted to play imported games? Unless whatever means they're using to detect modded consoles cannot determine exactly HOW the console is modified, only THAT it is modified. So they're banning indiscriminately.

Whether modding for imports, piracy, or homebrew apps, it's the same modification. No, there isn't a way for Microsoft to determine why your console is modded, and the user agreement for the system and XBox Live expressly forbids tampering with the console. And it's not just piracy... Modding enables cheating, and what is more irritating to a game full of twitchy Halo fanatics than someone with an assload of hacks?

So obviously piracy is a concern, and homebrew can equal cheating. What about imports? Well that's a concern too, as imports are technically illegal. It's software that hasn't been approved for sale or use in your nation, and while not the kind of "you're under arrest" offense, it does merit the cancellation of services from the service provider. So all three reasons to mod are all three valid reasons to have your system banned. Good on Microsoft for doing this, but it should be at least a quarterly sweep IMHO.

Somebody, somewhere is alread working on a workaround for this. To most pirates, I assume this would be nothing more than a temporary setback, and Microsoft waving around their victory flag is going to do nothing but give the pirates more reason to go after them. I don't see why they can't take this victory in humility.

300lb. Samoan:
Ah! So it bans the hardware and not the account. That's good to hear. Of course that means Microsoft has some way of tapping directly into individual systems to check for modifications, I assume.

This slightly worries me. Actually, it worries me quite a lot. Don't get me wrong, I'm no modder, I'm just really into mah civul liberteez.

No-one should be complaining really.

Want to mod? Stick with a PC.

MS wasn't being nice keeping the account is just their way of encouraging people to buy a new console

davidboring:

300lb. Samoan:
Ah! So it bans the hardware and not the account. That's good to hear. Of course that means Microsoft has some way of tapping directly into individual systems to check for modifications, I assume.

This slightly worries me. Actually, it worries me quite a lot. Don't get me wrong, I'm no modder, I'm just really into mah civul liberteez.

True that - I'd normally be really skeptical about getting Windows 7, but my desktop needs a new OS so bad I don't care anymore if Big Bill takes a peek at my hard-drive. Really sad, I should not be so comfortable with having my privacy invaded!

I don't mind it so much on the XBox because it's not like I'm keeping private journals or copyrighted originals on there, they already got my credit card info when I signed up for Live Gold, and if they really want to know what movies I'm watching they can just call Netflix and ask them.

chronobreak:
Somebody, somewhere is alread working on a workaround for this. To most pirates, I assume this would be nothing more than a temporary setback, and Microsoft waving around their victory flag is going to do nothing but give the pirates more reason to go after them.

Yep. Hackers always see these things as a new challenge, if they didn't they wouldn't be hackers in the first place. That's the essence of hacking: whatever it is you can find a workaround.

Good on them.

davidboring:

300lb. Samoan:
Ah! So it bans the hardware and not the account. That's good to hear. Of course that means Microsoft has some way of tapping directly into individual systems to check for modifications, I assume.

This slightly worries me. Actually, it worries me quite a lot. Don't get me wrong, I'm no modder, I'm just really into mah civul liberteez.

You give them up when you join things such as Xbox Live (although only in relation to Xbox Live of course. That's what user agreements are for.

esperandote:
MS wasn't being nice keeping the account is just their way of encouraging people to buy a new console

True, but getting rid of the accounts too would mean they need a new console and a new account.

Good for them. I've heard people whining about being banned just as they were about to play Modern Warfare 2. Too bad. They broke the User Agreement. Live with the consequences.

esperandote:
MS wasn't being nice keeping the account is just their way of encouraging people to buy a new console

True, but getting rid of the accounts too would mean they need a new console and a new account.[/quote]

yeah but having to play over again could have disencourage people to buy new console

300lb. Samoan:

davidboring:

300lb. Samoan:
Ah! So it bans the hardware and not the account. That's good to hear. Of course that means Microsoft has some way of tapping directly into individual systems to check for modifications, I assume.

This slightly worries me. Actually, it worries me quite a lot. Don't get me wrong, I'm no modder, I'm just really into mah civul liberteez.

True that - I'd normally be really skeptical about getting Windows 7, but my desktop needs a new OS so bad I don't care anymore if Big Bill takes a peek at my hard-drive. Really sad, I should not be so comfortable with having my privacy invaded!

I don't mind it so much on the XBox because it's not like I'm keeping private journals or copyrighted originals on there, they already got my credit card info when I signed up for Live Gold, and if they really want to know what movies I'm watching they can just call Netflix and ask them.

Hm. This is a good point, to be fair. I suppose I'm just sensitive because I don't want people in some Microsoft office somewhere laughing at my pathetic devotion to Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 or the fact that I only have 5 gamerpoints from Halo 3.

And so they shouldn't be. They did a good thing.

Well, I guess having a modded console AND staying LIVE is stupid on behalf of the person owning a moded console, so serves them right for beeing that stupid...............Oh yeah and piracy is bad.

squid5580:
[quote="rossatdi" post="7.155359.3788914"]

It isn't like I don't sympathize with AU gamers. Or really see the need for this country gets the game release first. We do have to play by their rules though.

We do?

davidboring:

300lb. Samoan:
Ah! So it bans the hardware and not the account. That's good to hear. Of course that means Microsoft has some way of tapping directly into individual systems to check for modifications, I assume.

This slightly worries me. Actually, it worries me quite a lot. Don't get me wrong, I'm no modder, I'm just really into mah civul liberteez.

this has nothing to do with civil liberties

as for how they know, there's a certain hash that reports to live when you connect, it's a fairly well known process

frankly i don't have an issue with this and i think it's rather funny they all got banned, i think they should ban the accounts too

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