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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: 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 list of attorneys here:

A whois reveals the only attorney listed is also the domain registrar also.

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 ( 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

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.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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