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Class action planned for Xbox bans

Law firm encourages banned users to submit their details online

Law firm AbingtonIP is encouraging users who have had their Xbox 360s banned from Xbox Live to contact them in anticipation of a class lawsuit.

As discovered by website IncGamers the firm, which specialises in consumer class actions, has set up a form on its website for anyone who was banned from Xbox Live for owning a modified console. The recent actions by Microsoft to remove such users is rumoured to have affected up to 1 million people.

"Although modification of Xbox consoles is arguably against the terms of use for Xbox/Xbox Live, Microsoft 'conveniently' timed the Xbox console ban to coincide with 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," reads the text of the AbingtonIP website.

"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 Halo 3: ODST and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2."

"Additionally, sales of both Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (published by Activision) and Halo 3: ODST (published by Microsoft Game Studios) would likely have been greatly diminished had the Xbox console ban occurred prior to the release of these games."

The law firm also argues that the bans affected functionality not associated with Xbox Live or piracy, including downloadable content and services such as Netflix. AbingtonIP additionally claims that Microsoft obtained information from the console without permission of the owner.

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David Jenkins