Xbox Live ban class-action suit being mulled

Law firm puts out call for gamers tossed from Microsoft's online service in pre-Modern Warfare 2 purges.

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In the error message displayed by as many as 1 million Xbox 360s reportedly banned from Xbox Live earlier this month, Microsoft told gamers that there was "no recourse" for violating the system's terms of use agreement. The intellectual property law firm Abington IP apparently disagrees, as it is looking for banned Xbox Live members interested in a possible class-action lawsuit against Microsoft.

There is no recourse for Terms of Service violations…except maybe legal recourse.
There is no recourse for Terms of Service violations…except maybe legal recourse.

The firm claims that Microsoft waited until the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 to ban systems in order to maximize sales. The firm believes that sales of Modern Warfare 2, the recently released Halo 3: ODST, and overall Xbox Live subscriptions would all have suffered had the ban been instituted earlier.

While Abington IP acknowledged that the bans were a method to combat the legitimate concern of piracy, the firm claims Microsoft could have and should have tailored its punishment more narrowly. Besides saying that "many" affected people were not involved with piracy at all, the firm criticized Microsoft for removing functionality not associated with piracy, like Netflix video streaming.

Abington IP is asking banned Live users interested in joining a class-action suit to fill out an information form on its Web site. The firm has not yet filed a complaint in the matter.

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