Old 12th November 2009, 01:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Microsoft gets tough on Xbox pirates

I assume no one here is on that list.

Microsoft has cut off up to one million users of the Xbox 360 games console who modified their machines to play pirated games.

The latest entertainment company to instigate a piracy crackdown, Microsoft said only a "small percentage" of its 20 million Xbox Live players worldwide were caught up in the sweep. Xbox Live allows multiple players to compete with each other over the internet by logging on to a dedicated server.

However, video games websites suggested that between 600,000 and one million people might be cut off.

The entertainment industry is growing increasingly desperate in its attempts to prevent online piracy. The music and film industries in Britain have successfully lobbied the Government to block the internet connections of people accused of downloading content illegally.

Under measures in Britain announced by Lord Mandelson last month, a "three strikes" policy will lead to people having their broadband connections cut off by their internet service providers if they ignore warnings to stop unlawful filesharing.

The new rules come into effect next April. The games industry has an advantage because companies control their own online services and do not have to rely on internet service providers to cut off pirates. Microsoft can simply bar gamers from its Xbox Live service, if they have modified their consoles to accept pirated games.

Modifying Xbox 360 consoles - by physically attaching extra chips or other hardware to play pirated or foreign games has become a cottage industry but Microsoft has said it violates its terms of use.

While Microsoft can do little to prevent offenders from playing on their own machines, it has decided to block them from accessing its online services.

In some cases, this could deny gamers access to large parts of the game, as more and more titles, such as the enormously popular Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which went on sale this week, emphasise online play.

The technology giant carried out a similar crackdown last year.
"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," Microsoft said in a statement. "The health of the video game business depends on customers paying for the genuine products and services they receive from manufacturers, retailers, and the third parties that support them."

The Xbox was released in 2002 as Microsoft's rival to the Sony PlayStation and Nintendo's GameCube.

The Daily Telegraph, UK
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