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Microsoft Bans 1 Million Xbox Live Accounts

Microsoft has banned up to one million Xbox Live users from using their service. Reportedly, the ban comes as gamers with modded consoles have downloaded illegal copies of Activision’s latest Call of Duty shooter, Modern Warfare 2, which just launched on Tuesday. Caught up in the ban are users that might have modified their console for other reasons, but did not download any pirated software.

In a statement Microsoft said: its “commitment to combat piracy and support safer and more secure gameplay for the more than 20 million members of the Xbox Live community remains a top priority. All consumers should know that piracy is illegal and modifying their Xbox 360 console violates the Xbox Live terms of use, will void their warranty and result in a ban from Xbox Live. We can assure you that if an Xbox Live member follows the Xbox Live terms of use, purchased a retail copy of Modern Warfare 2 and played the game on an unmodified Xbox 360, no action will be taken.”

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Xbox Live Director of Programming Larry Hryb, aka Major Nelson, had comments of his own on the bans. “Players who find their Gamertags banned from Xbox Live have wound up in that situation due to violations of the Xbox Live Terms of Use,” Major Nelson wrote on a Xbox support page. “The Xbox Live team monitors players for not just cheating, but also for things like threats, racism, profanity, and just being an all around poor sport and ruining the game for others.”

“When a Gamertag comes up as violating our policies for online behavior, the person who owns that Gamertag is punished by being banned from the service. Keep in mind, this isn’t just a ban on a particular game. This is a ban on the Xbox Live service as a whole, so you won’t be able to go online at all during your ban. Initially, you may be banned for a day, a week, or depending on severity, permanently! Kiss that $50 goodbye.” Along with dozens of hours of online playtime in Call of Duty.