Xbox Live class action begins

Abingdon Law, with offices in and around Texas, has posted the outlines of its "investigation" while seeking out barred Xbox Live players hoping for recompense.

The firm says Microsoft deliberately timed its recent banning order against owners of modified machines, soon after the sale of some of the year’s biggest games, and has disabled functionality not associated with Xbox Live or piracy.

The firm’s website states, "An investigation is currently being conducted regarding business practices of Microsoft with respect to its recent cancellation of certain modified Xbox consoles for use with Xbox Live. Tens of thousands of Xbox owners have had their modified Xbox consoles banned from Microsoft’s online gaming service Xbox Live. Although modification of Xbox consoles is against the terms of use for Xbox/Xbox Live, Microsoft "conveniently" timed the Xbox console ban to occur just after the release of the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 game and less than two months after the release of the very popular Halo 3: ODST game."

It adds, "This "convenient" timing may have resulted in more Xbox Live subscription revenues for Microsoft than it would have generated had these Xbox console bans taken place at some time before the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Halo 3: ODST. Additionally, sales of both games would likely have been greatly diminished had the Xbox console ban occurred prior to the release of these games."

Abingdon goes on to call the bannng of Xbox Live accounts a "weapon which has resulted in a great deal of collateral damage – many people were affected who had nothing to do with piracy and Xbox console functions that have nothing to do with piracy were also affected or disabled. Details aside, Microsoft’s bans could have been more measured."

The website concludes, "If you are an Xbox Live subscriber, had your modified Xbox console banned from Xbox Live, were not refunded a prorated sum for the time left on your subscription or have experienced other problems as a result of being banned, and would like to participate in a class action against Microsoft, please submit your information."

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