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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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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.

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