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Microsoft's bricking of modified Xbox 360 consoles may bring the company its latest class action suit. Microsoft tells the over 1 million banned customers to buy a new Xbox 360 or deal with their crippled unit.
Legal firm is looking for banned Xbox owners to participate in suit

Gamers are really into tweaking their gear for fun and to achieve the best performance during gameplay. PC gamers overclock their hardware to get more performance for less money and console gamers have modded their Xbox 360 consoles for many reasons (some for innocent reasons, some for nefarious reasons).

Microsoft appears to feel that the only reason to mod an Xbox 360 is to allow the console to play pirated download software. A law firm based in Texas that specializes in IP has launched a new website to gather Xbox 360 users who have been banned for modding their consoles. The main goal of the firm is to find out whether there are enough console owners that were banned to start a class action suit against Microsoft.

The law firm wrote on its website, "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."

According to the law firm, AbingtonIP, the bans were strategically timed so that they didn’t interfere with the sales and new Xbox Live registrations that were seen around the launch of HALO ODST and the recent launch of Modern Warfare 2. AbingtonIP states that had the bans happened before the launch of these games the profits reaped by Microsoft would have been diminished.

So far the Xbox 360 ban has led to more than 1 million consoles being banned from the network with the official recourse for the banned players being to buy a new console and not mod it this time around. A potential fix for banned consoles that doesn't involve buying a new Xbox 360 surfaced. The workaround is called iXtreme LT and the goal of the workaround is to provide a minimum amount of security checks and make the firmware as close to stock as possible to avoid detection and the resulting ban.

The fix arrived but was rather complex and required that the Xbox 360 not have been updated or the player to have access to the CPU key of the console. DailyTech has also spoke with an attorney -- Jeffrey Johnson -- about the banning of Xbox 360 console form the Xbox Live network.

Microsoft's official statement on the banning of certain consoles reads, "Our commitment to combat piracy and support safer and more secure gameplay for the more than 20 million members of our Xbox Live community remains a top priority,” he wrote. “All consumers should know that piracy is illegal, and that modifying their Xbox 360 console to play pirated discs, violates the Xbox Live terms of use, will void their warranty and result in a ban from Xbox Live."



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Bunch o' babies
By klstay on 11/23/2009 10:31:08 AM , Rating: 5
A) You agreed to the EULA before getting on line. (No on held a gun to your head.)

B) You chose to break the EULA. (No one held a gun to your head.)

C) Microsoft exercises their right as outlined in the EULA you agreed to, and now you want a free diaper change?!? (Someone needs to hold a gun to your broken head, and pull the trigger...)

GTFU




RE: Bunch o' babies
By Brainonska511 on 11/23/2009 10:46:43 AM , Rating: 5
Not all things in a EULA are legally enforceable.


RE: Bunch o' babies
By bighairycamel on 11/23/2009 11:28:43 AM , Rating: 5
What about this one stands out as illegal? You agree to terms and conditions which require you to play with an unmodded console on MICROSOFT's personally owned Live servers. Corrupting data was a kick below the belt, but when talking specifically about the banning action there really is no argument. Seems pretty open/shut if you ask me.


RE: Bunch o' babies
By AyashiKaibutsu on 11/23/2009 11:36:02 AM , Rating: 5
There's lots of things companies would like to be enforcable that they put in all sorts of shrinkwrap/pizza box licenses, but in a court room very few of those things actually are. I'm no law expert, but I'd guess the case could go either way.


RE: Bunch o' babies
By steven975 on 11/23/2009 12:56:35 PM , Rating: 4
Those issues are usually concerning software where there is a separate license agreement (usually for a large customer). Often the "click-wrap" agreements are still there, but the enterprise agreement usually is enforced, even though the "click-wrap" was agreed to later in order to use the software.


RE: Bunch o' babies
By omnicronx on 11/23/2009 2:44:20 PM , Rating: 5
I agree and disagree.

A company can write pretty much anything in their EULA, and you are perfectly correct when saying that half the stuff in there probably is not enforceable. That being said, when talking about usage of company owned servers, this is just not the case.

The reason that most things in the EULA are not enforceable is because the rules try to tell you what you can and cannot do with your own personal property. When talking about online gameplay, you are using THEIR servers, you are paying for the rights to access these servers and in doing so, you are agreeing to adhere to the rules of THEIR personal property.

This case will never go through for the reason of Xbox Live accounts being banned alone. Nobody wants to open that can of worms, (even a crazy texas judge).


RE: Bunch o' babies
By AyashiKaibutsu on 11/23/2009 2:51:15 PM , Rating: 5
I imagine the disabling of other offline functionality is what they'll push in the lawsuit.


RE: Bunch o' babies
By dark matter on 11/24/2009 5:04:49 AM , Rating: 4
Exactly. There is no justification to prevent the XBOX acting as an extender in order to prevent it playing copied games.


RE: Bunch o' babies
By BruceLeet on 11/24/2009 6:53:35 AM , Rating: 4
Being the large company MS is I'm willing to say they have had hundreds of lawyers and thousands of hours to review this EULA before they made it official.

You people are right though some EULA's are not 100% legal and can be brought to court with merit. I just doubt a company as large as Microsoft would create a dodgy EULA.


RE: Bunch o' babies
By rs1 on 11/23/2009 5:31:57 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
What about this one stands out as illegal?


You said it yourself:

quote:
Corrupting data was a kick below the belt


And also the fact that the update disabled hardware features built-in to the Xbox itself.

Microsoft can police its network however it wants. Nothing, however, gives them any right to damage, cripple, or disable consoles that they do not own. It doesn't matter what garbage they put in the EULA, if MS no longer owns the console, then they have no right to touch it. They can block it from their network if they want, but everything else they did was very legitimately questionable.


RE: Bunch o' babies
By lexluthermiester on 11/24/2009 6:10:50 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
They can block it from their network if they want, but everything else they did was very legitimately questionable.


Not to mention very illegal. It seems to me they are once again testing the legal waters to see how far they can go without being put in their place. But Microsoft is not alone in this area. There are many companies out there who would like us all to think that we really don't own our hardware or the software that we use with it. How wrong they are. Ownership statues clearly state that when a person pays money for something, they own it[in the case of rental agreements they own it for a time] and it is legally theirs to do with as they see fit within the realm of their personal use. These rights over-ride and supersede the DMCA and it's ilk.

This is why I personally have no problem with people who buy a copy of Windows[or any other software] and then install it on every pc they own through various methods. Microsoft has, in the past, been proven to be thieves, copyright and patent infringers and have very little room to cry "wolf". Now I want to be clear, if you don't own a legitimate copy of a peace of software that you use than you really are just stealing. But if you rightfully own a copy, then use it as you like. That's my opinion based on nearly a decade of research into copyright and fair-use laws.


RE: Bunch o' babies
By Yames on 11/24/2009 5:09:36 PM , Rating: 2
And even if a suit is brought and won what, those 1 million console owners will still own crippled units and will receive maybe $20 in a year or two. Any way you slice it MS wins.


RE: Bunch o' babies
By Samus on 11/24/2009 3:54:59 AM , Rating: 1
No where in the EULA does it state Microsoft will have authority to destroy your hardware.

And I also find it extremely difficult to believe that there are over 1 MILLION hacked XBOX360's. It isn't exactly an easy to modify console, and feel that not most, but many of the banned consoles are legitimate.


RE: Bunch o' babies
By omnicronx on 11/23/2009 2:16:37 PM , Rating: 5
We are talking about online gameplay here, this is one of the rare instances in which pretty much everything in the EULA is legally enforceable.

That being said, as I've previously stated, some were previous pointing out that MS actually disabled offline features such as Media center, this is where they could get in trouble if it turns out to be true.

On the otherhand anyone using any kind of mods whatever it will be during online gameplay is cheating, there is no such thing as a 'good' mod. A mod is there to give you an advantage where there previously was not one, thats called cheating my friends. If you want to do this offline, all the power to you, but the second you come online, thats where the line has to be drawn.


RE: Bunch o' babies
By dark matter on 11/24/2009 5:06:55 AM , Rating: 2
Remember GTA san andreas. That did not have online play. There was a mod for it that allowed online play. I fail to understand how that can be cheating as without it you couldn't even go online.


RE: Bunch o' babies
By Nik00117 on 11/24/2009 7:41:24 AM , Rating: 2
Great point, he got owned.

A mod doesn't have to entail cheating. Example of a Mod that isn't cheating, let's just supposing you want your game to scream OWNED each time you kill someone is that really giving you an unfair advantage?


RE: Bunch o' babies
By Reclaimer77 on 11/23/09, Rating: 0
RE: Bunch o' babies
By xmichaelx on 11/23/2009 4:08:12 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
I'm pretty sure all EULA's are reviewed by some legal authority or commission.

This may shock you, but the entire world does not abide by U.S. law.
quote:
X-Box Live's EULA has been around for years and nobody has ever made a fuss over it

No one has made a fuss because this is the first time MS has done this. Perhaps you comb through EULAs looking for unenforceable clauses, but the average person has no reason to until something detrimental happens.

Also, several people on various lists who saw their machines get screwed up hadn't modded it, and so were already following the EULA.


RE: Bunch o' babies
By Reclaimer77 on 11/23/09, Rating: 0
RE: Bunch o' babies
By Etern205 on 11/23/09, Rating: -1
RE: Bunch o' babies
By Reclaimer77 on 11/23/2009 11:55:12 PM , Rating: 3
Wait, what !?? I'm NOT in support of people modding. I'm clearly siding with Microsoft on this issue. What are you talking about ??

And lol@bringing up someones ratings on Daily Tech. As if that in any way reflects the quality of the poster.


RE: Bunch o' babies
By dark matter on 11/24/09, Rating: -1
RE: Bunch o' babies
By callmeroy on 11/24/2009 8:28:39 AM , Rating: 3
No he's right -- it doesn't....

As a very long time user of this site (this user name is my 3rd through the years -- and btw, not because of hidding but my own forgetfulness has caused me to need to make new ones), you get a feeling that many times posts are mod in a knee jerk reactions or to align with the popular trend of a thread - rather than well thought out personal view conflicts or reasoning.

Reclaimer 77 has pissed me off in posts in the past where I thought it was a jerk...but you know what other times I've agreed with his views as well....like this one -- he's right.

The mod system is a joke here the only think that makes it annoying is when you actually really aren't trying to be a smart ass but instead to really give a reasoned view point based on either research or experience in something and some putz mods it down because they just feel like it.

(much like this one will be if my experience here has taught me anything...lol)


RE: Bunch o' babies
By eegake on 11/23/2009 5:25:05 PM , Rating: 1
You don't understand the practice of law. EULAs are manufactured out of whole cloth by bozo-nosed greed clowns and may contain nearly anything they fancy. Lawyers use the law to extract money from said bozo-nosed clowns by helping them with their avarice.

There are no authorities, there is no truth, goodness, or decency. I hope I'm not the first one to point this out to you.


RE: Bunch o' babies
By tmouse on 11/24/2009 7:57:52 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry but you are wrong. The EULA is simply a contract, nothing more. You could put anything you want into a contract, BUT local laws could render the contract invalid. MANY things are put into contracts that run counter to laws, as long as no one complains its considered OK. That's why all EULAs have some form of disclaimer at the end stating unless counter to local laws, or words to that effect. Here there could be at least two venues for action first is limiting access to 3rd parties for standard parts, like hard drives and DVD players, thus forcing people to purchase only parts Microsoft has financial interests in. Second there is no reasonable expectation that offline functionality would be effected when online ability is removed. So while it's their sandbox they can block you from playing in it BUT they cannot break your shovel and put a hole in your pail.


RE: Bunch o' babies
By jonmcc33 on 11/23/2009 4:22:11 PM , Rating: 3
When it comes to playing online on Xbox Live it is. It's a service that can be denied by the service provider. Microsoft hasn't prevented anyone from using their Xbox 360 at all. No laws broken.


RE: Bunch o' babies
By dark matter on 11/24/2009 5:11:33 AM , Rating: 2
Erm, they have removed a whole bunch of functionality from the XBOX. There appears to be no method of challenging that decision. And what is the accuracy rate of detecting modded consoles. How does disabling the XBOX as a media extender got to do with stopping people playing copied games online?


RE: Bunch o' babies
By leexgx on 11/23/2009 11:12:08 AM , Rating: 1
sueing MS will not work in this case, 1mill of users have modded there boxs to play MW2 if any thing give MS an way to charge users with fraud for Playing MW2 illegally

disabling the MCE part of the box is annoying but i guess its there so you cant play protected or unprotected files any more


RE: Bunch o' babies
By rippleyaliens on 11/23/2009 11:30:27 AM , Rating: 1
New business opportunity. Psychological Help to the Xbox live users that are going through withdrawal.. I have a cousin that is just SICK!!!!! He had his days off ready to log in an play mw2, whenn boommmmmmmmmm NADA,, that dude is just sick,, he was ranting and raving about blah blah blah, yet i even told him, Dude- IF ya hakd.. then you deal with being HAKD!!!!
His reason was to play the copied games and i mentioned, Again Dude- if you hakd, dont get mad getting HAKD!!!

This something for nothing mentality in this country is just urking ne to high heavens.. I Tell people, PAY/PLAY.. MEANING that if you pay for the game, you WILL play the hell out of it, as you Worked for it.. YOU do indeed get what you pay for.. Free = You get the satisfaction of playing for free until you get busted.. then You get SICK!!!!


RE: Bunch o' babies
By Modeverything on 11/23/2009 12:14:35 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I Tell people, PAY/PLAY.. MEANING that if you pay for the game, you WILL play the hell out of it, as you Worked for it.. YOU do indeed get what you pay for..


I agree with your point here, however this will not always be the case. For example, I do purchase my games and my Xbox is not modded. I do however own a copy of Civilizations, that I've owned for a while. Well, somehow, the disk got a nick in it and I can't play it anymore. I found that companies generally only offer replacement disks for approx the first 90 days that you own the game, after that, nothing. I did pay for the game, however I can no longer play it.

I've experienced even greater headaches with PC games. I've had damaged discs, and even games that would refuse to play because of copy protection; and I used the actual game disc. Also, before you ask about image drives, I did have an image drive installed to mount iso files, however I uninstalled my image drives, and even uninstalled all of the iso creating software and some of the games still wouldn't play..

Anyway, my point is I believe there should be some legitimate way to backup your purchased disks to a hard disk and play from there. I'm not claiming I know how to make this work, but I do understand the desire to mod an Xbox to play games, though I do agree that the person should purchase the game they want to play.

Sometimes, you can pay for a game and you don't get to "play the hell out of it".

One more thought...I highly support the idea of Steam on PC. I know you can purchase and download games on Xbox as well, but it's my understanding that they're encrypted and the only way to decrypt them is to get a key that loads each time you sign into Xbox Live. I don't know if that is true, but it's what I heard. I don't like the encryption idea, because if I ever cancel my Xbox Live account, or lose my internet, or change gamertags or whatever, I may lose the games I purchased.


RE: Bunch o' babies
By MamiyaOtaru on 11/23/2009 7:27:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
urking


RE: Bunch o' babies
By sld3 on 11/23/2009 12:11:23 PM , Rating: 1
I don't understand why you are defending Microsoft...have you forgotten the RROD and the most unreliable console EVER...as a lawyer, I can tell you personally that companies put lots of things in agreements that are not legally enforceable so that people who have a lack of knowledge about the law will think they cannot do anything about it....I will even give you an example....many companies put a "Bankruptcy Clause" in contracts stating that you cannot declare bankruptcy if you cannot pay the loan...those are not legally enforceable...always remember that just because some company has it in their contract does not make it legal or right.


RE: Bunch o' babies
By Hiawa23 on 11/23/2009 12:38:24 PM , Rating: 4
I don't understand why you are defending Microsoft...have you forgotten the RROD and the most unreliable console EVER...

No one is defending MS, & the RROD issue has nothing to do with this. Does anyone think these comapanies really care about you other than getting you to spend your money, cause they don't.

I own 2 360s my 11/2/05 model went in for repair June 08, & was returned & has been fine, my newer model has not had any issue. I, like many are not giving em a pass but the rules are what they are. For those who don't agree please let us know how the lawsuit turns out, in the meantime support the PC, & Sony, or Nintendo.


RE: Bunch o' babies
By Hiawa23 on 11/23/2009 12:32:23 PM , Rating: 3
Seems simple to me. If you want to play your Xbox online, don't mod it. Arguing who is wrong or right is moot, & suing a company as huge as MS with their, resources, sigh.....Well, good luck with that. Just get a Playstation3, & that will show em. The rules are simple, no one is telling you you can't do whatever you want to your console, but MS says if you do, & we can detect it, we will ban you. End of Story...


RE: Bunch o' babies
By FITCamaro on 11/23/2009 12:46:47 PM , Rating: 1
Couldn't have said it better myself.

And for the idiot above who mentioned the RROD, what does that have to do with this article? Nothing.


RE: Bunch o' babies
By rcc on 11/23/2009 4:22:29 PM , Rating: 2
It's part of the new age responsibility thing. Someone did something wrong at some point, therefore I am justified in anything I do to them, ever.

Some day reality will penetrate the haze.


RE: Bunch o' babies
By jdietz on 11/23/2009 1:54:27 PM , Rating: 5
Someone please quote the fulltext of the piece of the EULA that says they can break your console if you violate the EULA.


RE: Bunch o' babies
By Mitch101 on 11/23/2009 3:05:35 PM , Rating: 2
They didn't break the console the console will still play games but not online.

Abingdon IP or abingtonlaw.com list of attorneys here:
http://www.abingtonlaw.com/attorneys.html

A whois reveals the only attorney listed is also the domain registrar also.
http://whois.domaintools.com/abingtonlaw.com

Po-Dunk operation thats getting more press than it should. Probably hoping to get a settlement, collect a bunch of peoples info, and make a name for itself.


RE: Bunch o' babies
By webdawg77 on 11/23/2009 3:07:02 PM , Rating: 2
"In addition, your use of the Service is subject to your compliance with the Code of Conduct (www.xbox.com/en-us/live/codeofconduct.htm and its successors). You agree that we may also discontinue your access to the Service if you do any of the following while connected to the Service:"

From Section 5 via http://www.xbox.com/en-US/legal/LiveTOU.htm


RE: Bunch o' babies
By Soodey on 11/23/2009 6:44:04 PM , Rating: 5
Few people here have problems with them blocking access to xbox live; it makes sense and they have every right to do that. But to remove/break features from the console that don't require access to their online service (Media Center) and intentionally corrupting users saves and preventing future saves ultimately rendering the console useless as a gaming machine is the problem I, and I assume many others, have with this whole ordeal.


RE: Bunch o' babies
By Kahnivorous on 11/26/2009 5:19:02 PM , Rating: 2
I seem to remember quite a few console fan boys making hateful comments about PC fan boys and how they hacked and jacked themselves in to the gaming minority. And, I remember them saying it was the PC gamer that made game creators favor Console over PC.

The difference between PCs and Consoles is the control. Because Consoles are extremely simple by design, they can be easily controlled compared to PCs. Any Console maker that says otherwise is flat out misleading you.

EULA or not, Consoles give them more control over what you play, how you play, and make them filthy rich while doing it.


Bricking Consoles
By Leper Messiah on 11/23/2009 11:39:00 AM , Rating: 5
Man, some of you guys have reading comprehension issues. I don't think anyone is complaining about Microsoft's right to prevent modded/hacked consoles from playing online. It's the other features that they've disabled that are the problem. Does the EULA give microsoft the right to disable features that aren't related to xbox live?




RE: Bricking Consoles
By drzoo2 on 11/23/2009 12:13:21 PM , Rating: 4
ding ding.....we have a winner


RE: Bricking Consoles
By Janooo on 11/23/2009 1:33:17 PM , Rating: 2
It is unfortunate but it does. The majority of mods are related to the DVD firmware.
EULA is written in accordance with DCMA. When DVD firmware is modded then the Xbox does not comply with DCMA.
You brake DCMA you break EULA.

It's disappointing but I don't think they have a chance against MS (backed by DCMA) on this one.


RE: Bricking Consoles
By nevermore781 on 11/23/2009 4:21:54 PM , Rating: 2
Well my 360 is banned (yes my firmware is modified and i knew the risks). I never really played any online multiplayer through xbl as i only had a silver account. I knew that some day my console could be banned from connecting to XBL, but i never thought they would resort to disabling the installation of media/games to the HDD (yep i got forza and dead rising installed there and they are legal disks that i purchased), or the WMP streaming from my legal Windows 7 PC. My only beef is the bricking done to my offline (non-XBL) features. Granted ive owned this 360 since 2005 and never had a RROD (knock on wood) so i really dont care overall, just think its kind of pointless to disable those features that have nothing to do with their XBL service especially if their main goal here was to prevent modified/pirated games from being played on their service. To me it sounds like their main goal was to disable the hardware as much as possible and force people to buy a new console as their only option.


RE: Bricking Consoles
By InternetGeek on 11/23/2009 5:30:04 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, it does. I read the entire thing in xbox.com, but here's the section (#16) that I think deals with your question:

quote:
Microsoft reserves complete and sole discretion with respect to the operation of the Service. Microsoft may, among other things: (a) restrict or limit access to the Service; (b) retrieve information from the original Xbox, Xbox 360 console, personal computer, and any connected peripheral device used to log onto the Service as necessary to operate and protect the security of the Service, and to enforce this contract; and (c) upgrade, modify, withdraw, suspend, or discontinue any functionality or feature of the Service, any game or other content available or accessible through the Service, or any hardware or software associated with the Service or with an original Xbox or Xbox 360 console, or personal computer, from time to time without notice, which may involve the automatic download of related software directly to your original Xbox, Xbox 360 console, or personal computer, including software that prevents you from accessing the Service, playing pirated games, or using unauthorized hardware peripheral devices.


The are other sections that limit what you can do to, with, in or on the console. However, if you used the console to create a mod, if you modded it, or later moded it again to try to get into the service again they can ban you from the service or limit the functionality of the console (Media center, HDD access, etc). In fact, based on the EULA, MS is giving you the benefit of the doubt by still letting you buy a new console and game on. If you're playing copied games you can still play them, just not online.


RE: Bricking Consoles
By phattyboombatty on 11/23/2009 6:02:18 PM , Rating: 2
Based on the portion of the EULA that you quoted above, Microsoft can brick all consoles for any or no reason whatsoever:

Microsoft reserves complete and sole discretion with respect to the operation of the Service. Microsoft may, among other things ... discontinue any functionality or feature ... of any hardware or software associated with ... an original Xbox or Xbox 360 console, or personal computer, from time to time without notice.

So even people that never modded their Xbox 360 could have their consoles bricked by Microsoft under the EULA.


RE: Bricking Consoles
By InternetGeek on 11/23/2009 7:17:41 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I think thats how they ban people when they are reported and such.


RE: Bricking Consoles
By dark matter on 11/24/2009 5:16:11 AM , Rating: 4
Actually MS claim they can brick consoles for any reason but that is not cast in stone. Just because it is in the EULA does not make it legally enforceable. The EULA has to abide by the laws of the land. The EULA is not above the law.

A contract can be deemed unfair by a court of law even if it was signed willingly by both parties.

Just so you know MS do not make laws.


RE: Bricking Consoles
By Janooo on 11/24/2009 10:16:24 AM , Rating: 2
MS will claim that any modded Xbox breaks DRM protection.
DCMA empowers MS in their actions.
It's very disappointing but that how it is.


By dark matter on 11/23/2009 10:30:55 AM , Rating: 2
It's one thing to protect your IP but something else to deliberately damage hardware on the basis you "believe" someone is going to infringe on your copyright.

Ban then from Live, fine. Actually damage their hardware... Not so sure.

I don't own an XBOX, but does it specifically state they can do this in the EULA? If not, not sure if they can protect themselves from a class action suit. If it states "reasonable steps" then it is down to the courts to decide if this action is reasonable or not.

Personally I am not a fan of pirated wares, but then neither am I fan of MS being able to press a kill button. Sets a nasty precedent.




By sviola on 11/23/2009 10:49:47 AM , Rating: 1
Isn't it just a Live ban? You can still play your games offline.


By Avatar28 on 11/23/2009 11:08:15 AM , Rating: 5
No, they also "damage" the console by corrupting it's encryption keys (or revoking them or something, I'm not entirely clear). The end result of that is that your hard drive is unusable on another xbox. Or, more specifically, the data on it is. Presumably it could be wiped and reused but any save games or anything are not transferable to another console. At least, that's my understanding.

I have no problem with the banning of the consoles, though their needs to be some sort of appeals process since I have heard of a few cases that people claiming that they were banned with unmodified consoles. I do think that screwing them up so that save games or anything like that can't be transferred is going too far though.


By damianrobertjones on 11/23/2009 11:51:46 AM , Rating: 3
If people can figure out how to mod their consoles, then surely they can figure out how to transfer their hard drive.

One minute clever, one minute dumb.


By xmichaelx on 11/23/2009 4:13:44 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
If people can figure out how to mod their consoles, then surely they can figure out how to transfer their hard drive.


False. Modding a console is easy. You might as well say that anyone who can download and install CS4 from PirateBay is capable of figuring out how to get around Adobe's encryption. One could be done by an idiot 8-year-old, the other is not so easy.


By steven975 on 11/23/2009 1:05:55 PM , Rating: 2
I think the drives *will* work on another console, just one the banned one.


By lightfoot on 11/23/2009 4:43:33 PM , Rating: 1
You're making the flawed assumption that the console owner owns the decryption keys. In reality the content owner owns the decryption keys, and that owner is Microsoft. They are just deleting these keys, not "damaging the hardware."


By dark matter on 11/24/2009 4:48:24 AM , Rating: 1
Inconsequential. The end result is a damaged xbox.


By Targon on 11/23/2009 10:29:59 AM , Rating: 3
The agreement for online use is that you use the hardware "as is", and this sets a level playing field. If you want to mod your device, you have to accept that you are not following the rules, and online play SHOULD be disabled.

On the flip side, if a company "bricks" a modified device, this is an area where people have a legitimate complaint. Companies set many rules to try to protect their customers from cheating, and allowing modified units to go online through the Microsoft service opens the door to all sorts of potential problems that some people just don't understand.

Again, you have an Xbox 360, you compete with others with a Xbox 360. It is a level playing field, and there is no need to level the playing field between those with a faster or slower machine to make things fair. That is why some people prefer consoles over PCs. The moment you allow for overclocked machines with a hacked BIOS or other modifications, that harms the experience for those who have an unmodified unit.

Nothing here says that I disapprove of modding, but in the console world, if you want to go online, you need to understand the rules of the online service in the first place.




By phattyboombatty on 11/23/2009 10:41:55 AM , Rating: 2
Your comment seems to imply that the reason for blacklisting the modded 360's is to prevent cheating. I was under the impression that the mod that was targeted by Xbox was a DVD mod that allowed users to play copied disks, so the real reason for the blacklisting was to punish pirates.


By prenox on 11/23/2009 11:19:08 AM , Rating: 2
When Left 4 Dead came out people found a way to edit certain files and burn those edited files onto the disc and then they could cheat by spawning weapons or enemies. They could do this on xbox live also not just single player.


By powerincarnate on 11/23/2009 10:51:35 AM , Rating: 1
I don't see how this is any different than the Cable company sending a "bullet" to your modified cable box, or to your cable card and disabling it. Or how Direct TV use to do that for those who would use software to hack their cards and allow all the channels to come through.

I seriously can't think of ONE reason why there is a legit complaint here. Lets all be real here, just about all of use have done something to the fashion of either downloading music or modifying game consoles. Remember HD Loader??? Remember the multitudes of mod chips that were available for the PS1. Remember chipping away at your SNES to allow the japanese games to fit and play in your system (i believe that hack worked for the genesis as well, i'm a bit hazy on that one). Or simply the multitudes of PC cracked games or fake CD keys, or No CD keygens, or even emulators to play all the games up until the PS1 era on your PC.

When the companies fight back, either via a rootkit, or limited activation like in Bioshock, or lawsuits in music companies or now Bricked consoles, people complain.

We all know these things will continue to happen, so instead of complaining, when you know you are in the wrong, you either STOP, OR evolve in more complex way or doing it. Like HD loader vs. the mod chips of the PS2 era. Like Bit torrent, instead of sites like Napster. It's the never ending battle of content companies vs. pirates.


By Chris Peredun on 11/23/2009 10:34:26 AM , Rating: 4
Wouldn't this be tantamount to admitting to a DMCA violation? Protection as "reverse engineering" under 1201(f) only applies if the copy protection is being broken for interoperability reasons - a means to an end - not if breaking the protection is the reason itself.

I don't AGREE with the DMCA, but until we can get it disregarded, unfortunately we have to step lightly.




By phattyboombatty on 11/23/2009 10:44:24 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, even though the owners of machines that got banned would probably have a valid legal claim against Microsoft, any plaintiff that brings a case against Microsoft would really be sticking their neck out because they would very likely get slammed with a counterclaim by Microsoft for DMCA violations.


By ThePooBurner on 11/24/2009 12:36:00 PM , Rating: 2
Except there isn't reverse engineering going on. They are simply replacing the firmware/OS with their own new one. That would be like telling me i committed a violation of the DMCA by installing windows 7 on a mac as a total replacement for OSX (not using boot camp, just a total wipe and replace). It's asinine. My hardware, i can put any software onto it i please. I have no problem with that voiding the warranty and preventing online play. I do have a problem with it doing anything other than keeping them off the servers for xbox games. MEANING: they should still be allowed to do NetFlix and such online since that is a separate service from playing games on the network.


+1 to Microsoft
By donjuancarlos on 11/23/2009 10:47:42 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think Microsoft is going to lose this one. They can simply use the argument that they prevent modding to promote fair online play. Nobody can argue with that. People can still use their Xbox 360s offline.

I can see Microsoft having to allow bricked Xbox 360s to update to the latest firmware, if that firmware is required to play certain games. Other than that…




RE: +1 to Microsoft
By tmouse on 11/24/2009 12:04:16 PM , Rating: 3
Actually I have heard that it prevents you from installing things to your hard drive (what that has to do with XBL is beyond me). I have also heard (but I'm not sure) that it also prevents media streaming (I'm talking about streaming movies from sources other than XBL. It also damages saves on the drive by removing the decryption keys, here again I am not sure if its only XBL saves or all but I believe it's all. These consequences are NOT part of the XBL service. The mixing of the service and console off line functions could be an error on their part. I'm no fan of cheating online (I totally oppose efforts to stop offline cheating you should be allowed to ruin your own fun if you want).I do not support pirating of software however I think people should be able to watch any movie they want without the regionalization crap. I also feel limiting hardware to only those vendors that provide kickbacks to line their pockets is wrong and counterproductive to a free market.


Software and Hardware
By drycrust on 11/23/2009 10:47:04 AM , Rating: 2
I know I know little about Xboxes and the inner workings of a computer, but I thought "overclocking" was a hardware modification and not a firmware or software modification.
And my understanding is Microsoft targeted Xboxes with a non-standard Firmware.
My guess is Microsoft made it a part of their End User Licence (yes, that bit nobody but lawyers read) that there were clauses to the effect you aren't allowed to modify the Xbox or play copied games on the machine.
If what I've said is true, then, sadly for those involved, I think this lawyer needs a Judge who's Xbox suddenly got bricked.




RE: Software and Hardware
By AyashiKaibutsu on 11/23/2009 1:15:16 PM , Rating: 2
I imagine the xbox bios by default does not support overclocking so if one was to go about trying it they would need to hack the firmware atleast to even begin to. I have no idea though; I don't own one and never heard of it before.


Aren't there enough of these meritless lawsuits?
By masamasa on 11/23/2009 11:43:46 AM , Rating: 2
Frankly, I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm tired of reading about lawsuit after lawsuit. Maybe a meteor will fall out of the sky and land on that law firm, ridding the world of more useless trash. I know, it's simply too much to ask.




By room200 on 11/23/2009 12:38:15 PM , Rating: 2
Until you actually need a lawyer.


??This doesn't make any sense
By Trisped on 11/24/2009 9:01:51 AM , Rating: 2
So the lawyers are saying, "…many people were affected who had nothing to do with piracy."
Which doesn’t make any sense. Microsoft doesn’t ban people unless it can detect a mod to the system. The only way it does that is by a change in the power flow or in detecting modded firmware. So unless you made the mistake of switching out the LEDs on the front of your case or added in a new fan without removing the old one you have nothing to fear. Nothing to fear if you aren’t pirating games and hacking.
quote:
"Our commitment to combat piracy and support safer and more secure gameplay for the more than 20 million members of our Xbox Live community remains a top priority,” he wrote. “All consumers should know that piracy is illegal, and that modifying their Xbox 360 console to play pirated discs, violates the Xbox Live terms of use, will void their warranty and result in a ban from Xbox Live."




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By kattanna on 11/23/2009 10:49:19 AM , Rating: 3
if this goes forward, the only real "winner" here will be the law firm as any settlement will be devoured by their fees, with maybe the gamers getting a free year of xbox live service.

if at all.




By appledelhi on 11/23/2009 2:08:15 PM , Rating: 3
This situation really reminds me of the person who sued McDonalds for becoming too fat after eating too many hamburgers; you knew you shouldn't have done it but did anyway, and when it came to bite you in the ass you start crying like a baby. If you're intelligent enough to mod your console, you're intelligent enough to know the potential consequences. I have absolutely no sympathy for these people. They are a big threat to the game industry, and the reason many development companies no longer exist (don't give me that BS that they may not have had malicious intent, they wouldn't have gone through the trouble of modding otherwise[for those that simply want backup copies of games, I suggest you be more careful with your things]). Frankly, I believe they got what they deserved and should simply take this as a lesson in life: don't try too take things that aren't yours.




Couple flaws in the article.
By jbirds on 11/23/2009 3:40:06 PM , Rating: 2
There is a little bit of "miss information" in this article about potential fixes.

The IXtremeLT is not a fix for an already banned Xbox as the article implies. The IXtremeLT is the new DVD firmware being created for non banned Xboxs. It is a replacement firmware for the old IXtreme firmware versions that M$ has clearly figured out how to detect. When it comes out it will enable users to again play backed up games or pirated games without worrying about being banned ... at least until M$ figures out how to detect this new firmware. When they do, a new ban hammer will come out and the process will start over again much like it does every year.

If the Xbox has already been banned, the only recourse someone has outside of buying a new Xbox is what amounts to cloning the CPU key of a non banned Xbox. The risk being M$ finds you again and bans both boxes.




live
By Sh33han on 11/23/2009 4:06:29 PM , Rating: 2
my xbox got banned from live like 2 days after mw2 came out, but the thing was i actually bought the game at a midnight release, then two days later i got banned, yes my xbox is modded and have played burnt games, but i played a legit copy of mw2




f@@k those greedy lawyers!
By Roy2001 on 11/24/2009 12:52:00 PM , Rating: 2
they include all those been baned automatically. They won and they got millions and you get a $10 GC.




Remember the Apple bricks?
By Cache on 11/29/2009 11:19:22 PM , Rating: 2
Given that the courts have no problems with Apple bricking what is considered 'intellectual property', I doubt this lawsuit will have any real teeth. It's just an act to pay some lawyers.




PS3 anyone?
By vcolon on 11/23/09, Rating: -1
RE: PS3 anyone?
By redbone75 on 11/23/2009 11:18:39 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
People should be able to mod their consoles the same way they mod their PC's or cars.

You're not playing against other people when you mod your car. The appropriate analogy to help you understand would be Nascar. The vehicles have very strict specifications that they all must adhere to. Break them, and the penalties are very steep. You either abide by the rules if you want to play, or you don't play.


RE: PS3 anyone?
By HotFoot on 11/23/2009 1:42:12 PM , Rating: 3
The level playing field argument, I think, has nothing to do with it anyway. I'll offer a counter-example, but even that is meaningless because this really is an anti-piracy move on the part of MS.

Online games play on PCs every bit as much as on consoles. PCs are inherently rather open systems. I can go in and upgrade my hardware, get better frame rates, longer drawing distances, pay for a faster internet connection etc. etc. all in an effort to give me the edge in some online game. Meanwhile, my opponent could be playing over dial-up on an old machine that was a piece of junk even when it was new.

Yet, it works. People still play. Don't fear the chaos! It's just life, and there is no such thing as an even playing field.


RE: PS3 anyone?
By callmeroy on 11/23/2009 12:15:02 PM , Rating: 2
Horrid analogy there..

Modding your xbox is how you run pirated software / cracked software.....

You want to mod your car -- go ahead, but the equivalent of pirating software with a modded xbox would be that of "modding" your car with stolen parts.....

Either way -- its against the law.


RE: PS3 anyone?
By Tom mc3s on 11/24/09, Rating: 0
RE: PS3 anyone?
By callmeroy on 11/24/2009 8:20:22 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Also, piracy is a little hard to categorize as theft which is why it is in no way considered so in a court of law. It's infringement on a copyright.


I like to think of myself as open to people's views and opinions but the quote I posted above from your post is where your particular view lost complete and total credibility with me, rending your entire post null and void - like it never happened.

I don't often like to name came in posts, I don't think its very productive -- but in your case....sorry but you are f*cking moron.


RE: PS3 anyone?
By callmeroy on 11/24/2009 8:21:27 AM , Rating: 2
LOL --- *name call that should have been.....


RE: PS3 anyone?
By Tom mc3s on 11/25/2009 7:20:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
the quote I posted above from your post is where your particular view lost complete and total credibility with me


Wait, so someone else's post is where my viewpoints lost credibility with you? You didn't quote anybody.

Furthermore, do you disagree with what I said about piracy being theft? If you know of a way to prove it in court then feel free to explain that to me. I'm sure the RIAA would love to hear about it too considering they haven't been able to do so thus far.

You can dispense with the name calling as well, it's not appreciated and you're absolutely right when you say it isn't productive.


“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith














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