One Million Xbox Live Users Banned

xbox360Microsoft is tired of piracy – and they’re doing something about it in a very big way. In a statement released by the company, they state: 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..

Reactions around the globe are varied… and passionate on both sides of the coin. Teens who have had their accounts cut off are definitely not happy, even when they fully admit to being guilty of piracy and console modifications. One such banned player, who hails from the UK, told a radio station this morning that he is “gutted” and “distraught” by Microsoft’s decision. He was even noted to be seen crying loudly in public. However, this same person also admits to paying a local electronics shop more than $100.00 to mod his Xbox for him – so he can play pirated games.

While it’s not yet clear how Microsoft knows whose consoles are modded, nor how they came to the conclusions as to who should be banned… I have to give them props. I fail to understand how people (such as the above example) can feel they have been wronged, when in fact they are committing an illegal act. The person in question clearly knew what he was doing was wrong. He knew the games were illegal. He knew he was voiding his warranty – and breaking Microsoft’s EULA – when he took his machine to that shop. Yet he still feels as though he’s an injured party, and that Microsoft should “pay for what they’ve done”?! This makes no sense to me.

Piracy is rampant, and it’s getting worse. The majority of people I see who steal music, movies and software do so simply because they “can”. They feel they prove they are somehow better than others, because they can figure out a way around the rules and laws. They don’t seem to care the impact they are having on the industries themselves… or on those of us who do obtain our things in a legal manner, by purchasing it. They do it for the fun of it.

I had one teen tell me recently in a live chat room that he was pirating games because his parents refuse to buy them for him. They don’t want him gaming for as many hours per day as he does, and they attempt to set limits on him. The kid boasts loudly about the ways he gets around the limitations, and how he steals what it is he wants to play. This is absolutely sad.

What do you think? Is Microsoft right in what they’ve done? Do you feel that banning people who have clearly broken the Terms of Use and/or who have pirated games is the right course of action? It is going to be interesting to watch over the next few weeks, to see how all of this plays out.