Microsoft bans Xbox Live users who illegally downloaded content

Microsoft's Xbox Live online service for its Xbox 360 console lets its users download content like full games, movies, TV shows and more. But it looks like some of its users have tried to get some of that content illegally. As first reported by Eurogamer, Microsoft recently posted up a message on the official Xbox.com message boards informing Xbox Live users that some of its customers have been banned from using the service for such activity.

The message board post from Microsoft states that during " ... a recent investigation, we have discovered users who illegitimately accessed Xbox LIVE Marketplace downloadable content.  Our investigation reveals that this access was intentional and not accidental, constituting a blatant violation of the Terms of Use for the service." Microsoft did not go into details about how many people were involved nor the types of content they had taken from the Xbox Live Marketplace. It added, "Please know that we are being very careful regarding these suspensions, and have clear evidence regarding each account issued a permanent suspension from the service.  We apologize for any frustration or confusion resulting from our inability to share individual details, and thank you all for your cooperation in this matter."

Eurogamer.net reports that some Xbox Live uses have posted up messages on the Xbox.com forums that claim they are innocent of the allegations made against them by Microsoft. They also confirm that they have been banned from using Xbox Live until December 31, 9999 (no, that's not a typo). Microsoft did not go into any details on how these Xbox Live users illegally downloaded the content.

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37 Comments

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MS is doing this all wrong. What they should do is; give the subscriber a warning(no online access for 3 days) plus 2 temp bans. The first would be 7 days(No online access at all), then the next would be 30 days(No online access either) but on the third, you get a permanent ban of 1 year(same no online access but then the box itself would need to be replaced as it would no longer be authorized) but if you are being a good subscriber, then when the third ban is about to expire then charge a small $10-20 activation fee if you want to continue with your subscription then you are in the clear again. Repeat offenders do not get ANY discounts or special privileges as clearly they are screwing things up for themselves and must be punished accordingly. When trying to prove your innocence if you are accused of any wrong doing, you must (open to interpretation)

What i did was using another zip code and voila, xbox live was available to me. I did pay for it though. As long as am paying for it, i don't see where's the problem.

Yesterday German accounts could download a Game on Demand version of WRC 2010 for free, but as this was Microsoft's fault they don't usally punish people for it.

I wonder how many people made a German account that then was logged into another country's Xbox.

as a banned user of xbox 360 i can say that their whole stance its ridiculous, abusive and more considering that i PAY for the service... They always do this legit or not just to make people go out and buy new consoles, but in my case i fed up of this BS and got a ps3 and im happy, i dont have to pay for them to start treating me like a criminal or a third world citizen.

Their TOS specifically said it, they have the right to ban whatever they want when they want having or not a reason, and you cant complain oh did i forget they dont refund you of your money that you spent on live subscription neither, its like a legal way for them to rob your money.

eilegz said,
as a banned user of xbox 360 i can say that their whole stance its ridiculous, abusive and more considering that i PAY for the service... They always do this legit or not just to make people go out and buy new consoles, but in my case i fed up of this BS and got a ps3 and im happy, i dont have to pay for them to start treating me like a criminal or a third world citizen.

Their TOS specifically said it, they have the right to ban whatever they want when they want having or not a reason, and you cant complain oh did i forget they dont refund you of your money that you spent on live subscription neither, its like a legal way for them to rob your money.


But robbing them is OK? Grow up. You did something wrong.

eilegz said,
"They always do this legit or not just to make people go out and buy new consoles..."

Oh come on. They much rather continue collecting the cash directly from you for your Xbox Live subscription and other purchased content than have you go out a buy a new console. Do they even make money off the sale of them?

HD7Guy said,
So you got caught Game/DLC sharing, man up and quit you little girl whining!

no idea, maybe because i used VPN to download gears of war 2 dlc because its "not available" in my region but then somehow they accept the purchase but wont allow me to download, again another ridiculous scheme by M$

wixostrix said,

Oh come on. They much rather continue collecting the cash directly from you for your Xbox Live subscription and other purchased content than have you go out a buy a new console. Do they even make money off the sale of them?

well since they dont refund the year of live they have my money already, they allow you to purchase a dlc, but when you try to download it it wont allow it because its region locked or whatever excuse it is.... it happen in some special games for example gears of wars 2, i remember a friend that got the limited edition with gold weapon and when he tried to download using the code from the game it wont allow him to.

M_Lyons10 said,

But robbing them is OK? Grow up. You did something wrong.

wat? are you accusing me of rob them? how? they never specify what its the reason that you get banned and they specifically said that wont tell you neither... Obviously you are defending some shaddy corporation with crappy TOS.

eilegz said,

well since they dont refund the year of live they have my money already, they allow you to purchase a dlc, but when you try to download it it wont allow it because its region locked or whatever excuse it is.... it happen in some special games for example gears of wars 2, i remember a friend that got the limited edition with gold weapon and when he tried to download using the code from the game it wont allow him to.

Not exactly Microsoft's fault there. The game publishers decide what content goes to what part of the world. Do you get the same issue when you goto a retail store and get told that you can't buy the Jap imports because they won't work on your TV set? or not the correct region code for your DVD/Bluray player? Its not the stores fault or the company who makes the DVD/Bluray player thats at fault.

I'm just curious. I had created a japan account (to get a specific game early) and used that to buy a japan arcade game. Is that what they are referring to? Or is it something like they used a hack to get games not available to them or for free?

EDIT: Nevermind. Looks like it is the latter. My japan account is still good as well as my main. I never login to my japan one anymore though)

It would be interesting to find how they acquired the content.
Every now and then Microsoft messes up and put DLC (or sometimes entire games) for a cost of 0 Microsoft points. If buying that has seen them banned that's mighty sad.
If it's old fashioned abuse then let 'em hang.

Derges said,
It would be interesting to find how they acquired the content.
Every now and then Microsoft messes up and put DLC (or sometimes entire games) for a cost of 0 Microsoft points. If buying that has seen them banned that's mighty sad.
If it's old fashioned abuse then let 'em hang.

Hacking accounts and buying thousands of points using their credit card and moving them to another account.

Derges said,
It would be interesting to find how they acquired the content.
Every now and then Microsoft messes up and put DLC (or sometimes entire games) for a cost of 0 Microsoft points. If buying that has seen them banned that's mighty sad.
If it's old fashioned abuse then let 'em hang.

Its possible to do google it and try it

dotf said,
You mean I can't go through a proxy and pretend I'm in another country to get access to content that's not available in my country?

No you xbox is banned changing ips or creating a new gamer account does not work its the whole xbox thats banned.

Xoligy said,

No you xbox is banned changing ips or creating a new gamer account does not work its the whole xbox thats banned.

No he's asking if he can lie about his country, some products/games/movies/etc. are only available to certain countries.

dotf said,
You mean I can't go through a proxy and pretend I'm in another country to get access to content that's not available in my country?

relax, i am pretty certain that this is directed towards a method people used to pirate live content that involved glitching profiles and switching to their own.

James812 said,
Trololololol. I am laughing reading all the "Why am i banned" topic on the xbox forums. HA!

The replies are always good

people can claim whatever they want to. they can't access the content "accidentally"

after reading some of the posts, some deserved to be banned just for being stupid

sava700 said,
Looks like a flood of xbox360's to hit ebay soon...

Pretty sure its just the live account thats got the illegally obtained marketplace goodies and not the xbox itself that has been banned.

sagum said,

Pretty sure its just the live account thats got the illegally obtained marketplace goodies and not the xbox itself that has been banned.


Most likely. That's how it should be...

sagum said,

Pretty sure its just the live account thats got the illegally obtained marketplace goodies and not the xbox itself that has been banned.

So they can just make a new account?

sagum said,

Pretty sure its just the live account thats got the illegally obtained marketplace goodies and not the xbox itself that has been banned.

Actually they usually ban the consoles (at least when you mess with the drives firmware). They're quite happy if you go buy another console

DomZ said,

Actually they usually ban the consoles (at least when you mess with the drives firmware). They're quite happy if you go buy another console


They don't ban the console per se, just the ability for that console's ID to connect to the live service. The console remains perfectly able to play games offline.

Buyers of second hand consoles should be very wary at all times though. Microsoft really should put out an easy way to check if a console has been banned, and the likes of eBay should require a photograph of the serial number or something.

DomZ said,

Actually they usually ban the consoles (at least when you mess with the drives firmware). They're quite happy if you go buy another console

The problem with banning the console from live is that the account that the illegal content is registered with will still be active. They ban the email address and xbox gamer tag for the account. That stops them buying another Xbox and still having access to the content. It also means they've forfit any of their gold membership left on the account and any legitimate games/content from XBLA/Zune they paid for.... and the most crushing blow for some people, their achivement points lol