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Microsoft Dishing Out Perma-Bans To Halo: Reach Thieves

Hey guys, don't take your stolen copy online. Actually, just don't steal games to begin with.

Surprise! You'll get in big trouble if you decide to take a pirated copy of Bungie's Halo: Reach online. Microsoft is now reportedly perma-banning those silly enough to sync stolen copies of the long-anticipated shooter with Xbox Live's servers. It's also passing out a cute letter alongside bans, stating the obvious to those feeling the banhammer's righteous burn. "This email is to notify you that your Xbox Live account privileges have been permanently suspended due to illegitimate pre-release play," it reads in part, according to Max Console (via Joystiq)

Microsoft acknowledged the Reach leak earlier this week to the Seattle PI and other outlets, but didn't explain how thieves got their hands on the game this far in advance of release. 
 


That part is easy to explain, thanks to the thieves themselves. Microsoft recently uploaded a final build of the game on Xbox Live Marketplace, presumably for reviewers not attending this week's review event (which Jeff is attending right this minute). A couple of smart but nefarious dudes were able to extract the code and then went on to distribute it. They publicized the former, and said they wouldn't do the latter. Yet, here we are talking about people who have the game and are getting banned for it. Somebody was telling a fib.

If you're wondering if this is special treatment for Halo pirates, it isn't. In a Twitter response about this mess, Xbox Live director of policy Stephen Toulouse said everyone who gets any game illegally could be perma-banned if caught.

And chances are you will be caught playing a pirated version of Reach, because, c'mon, the game doesn't come out until September 14. Microsoft knows your mom and pop store doesn't have a copy in stock yet. So just wait until release and buy a copy instead. It's the right thing to do.
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Posted by BradNicholson

Surprise! You'll get in big trouble if you decide to take a pirated copy of Bungie's Halo: Reach online. Microsoft is now reportedly perma-banning those silly enough to sync stolen copies of the long-anticipated shooter with Xbox Live's servers. It's also passing out a cute letter alongside bans, stating the obvious to those feeling the banhammer's righteous burn. "This email is to notify you that your Xbox Live account privileges have been permanently suspended due to illegitimate pre-release play," it reads in part, according to Max Console (via Joystiq)

Microsoft acknowledged the Reach leak earlier this week to the Seattle PI and other outlets, but didn't explain how thieves got their hands on the game this far in advance of release. 
 


That part is easy to explain, thanks to the thieves themselves. Microsoft recently uploaded a final build of the game on Xbox Live Marketplace, presumably for reviewers not attending this week's review event (which Jeff is attending right this minute). A couple of smart but nefarious dudes were able to extract the code and then went on to distribute it. They publicized the former, and said they wouldn't do the latter. Yet, here we are talking about people who have the game and are getting banned for it. Somebody was telling a fib.

If you're wondering if this is special treatment for Halo pirates, it isn't. In a Twitter response about this mess, Xbox Live director of policy Stephen Toulouse said everyone who gets any game illegally could be perma-banned if caught.

And chances are you will be caught playing a pirated version of Reach, because, c'mon, the game doesn't come out until September 14. Microsoft knows your mom and pop store doesn't have a copy in stock yet. So just wait until release and buy a copy instead. It's the right thing to do.
Edited by Bluethunder35

JACKPOT!!! I feel like I won the Megabucks in Vegas. Quest Completed.
 
Alright... 
 
As I have posted in the Halo:Reach board, banning Xbox Live accounts forever isn't going to stop piracy. These pieces of garbage will just buy another 360, get another IP address and another XBL account. Someone told me that they even have moddee 360s that allow them to unban themselves. 
 
The only way they can stop this BS is to have these pirates arrested and jailed. They need to make an example out of them.

Edited by Crono11

Is it wrong that I'm glad to hear this?
 
 
Of course not.

Posted by BUCK3TM4N

boo ya 

Posted by cap123

how dare they ban thieves! that's the last time i thieve a bungie game!

Posted by AdmiralStupid

Surprising! NOT

Edited by Zimbo

 Good on ya Microsoft.

@AdmiralStupid:

Shall we sign an online petition? 

Posted by Sanitysend

Good riddance. Buy your games people.

Edited by Steve_Ramirez

They must have known they were going to get banned right?

Posted by Vendetta

Sucks for Bungie. They busted ass making huge leaps in their tech to put this game out. They deserve to see Halo 3-esque sales numbers in the 8-9 million range if this game is as good as it seems like it will be. Hopefully this doesn't bite into their sales too much.

Posted by thealexray
@Bluethunder35 said:
" The only way they can stop this BS is to have these pirates arrested and jailed. They need to make an example out of them. "
They should cut off their hands.
Edited by WilliamHenry
@Bluethunder35 said:

" JACKPOT!!! I feel like I won the Megabucks in Vegas. Quest Completed. Alright...  As I have posted in the Halo:Reach board, banning Xbox Live accounts forever isn't going to stop piracy. These pieces of garbage will just buy another 360, get another IP address and another XBL account. Someone told me that they even have moddee 360s that allow them to unban themselves.  The only way they can stop this BS is to have these pirates arrested and jailed. They need to make an example out of them. "


Pretty sure you don't get jail time for piracy. Its a civil manner, not a criminal manner. So Microsoft would have to sue the offenders and take them to court to punish them, just like the RIAA does with people who pirate music. Hopefully Microsoft realizes that isn't what should be done because its not going to stop anyone from actually pirating and its just going give the offenders more punishment than they deserve. I'm not saying I agree with pirating anything, but people getting sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars for downloading a few songs/movies/games is outrageous. There is no way to stop piracy altogether. The best they can do is beef up their security on things like this and keep banning people that have been caught.
Posted by EternalDarkWing
@Bluethunder35 said:
The only way they can stop this BS is to have these pirates arrested and jailed. They need to make an example out of them. "
They should arrest and jail people who buy used games too, since they aren't giving money to the original company either.
Posted by Cybexx

I'm actually surprised they got it through XBL Marketplace, because the previous Halo games were always received by stores way before release, sooner than most games. Out of curiosity I wonder if you play offline, earn achievements and then login after release do they still check for bans at that point?

Posted by Bluethunder35

Yeah, I guess you can't jail them on that charge. However, there needs to be some sort of way to deter pirates from stealing games.
 
Sadly, piracy has been around for years. It has been around since the days of the floppy disc. 
 
Bans are the best they can do at this point until they can find a way to create software and hardware that nobody can hack.

Posted by scarace360

HOW DARE  THEY THOSE PEOPLE JUST WANNA PLAY IT FOR FREE AND BEFORE EVERYONE ELSE SHAME ON MICROSOFT SHAME!

Edited by Bluethunder35
@thealexray: They should do that to anybody selling their modded consoles on Kijiji. I hate those guys who think that site is the place to sell their warranty-voided crap. Then again, the average Kijiji user in my city seems to be 15.
Posted by Thordain
@Bluethunder35 said:
" JACKPOT!!! I feel like I won the Megabucks in Vegas. Quest Completed. Alright...  As I have posted in the Halo:Reach board, banning Xbox Live accounts forever isn't going to stop piracy. These pieces of garbage will just buy another 360, get another IP address and another XBL account. Someone told me that they even have moddee 360s that allow them to unban themselves.  The only way they can stop this BS is to have these pirates arrested and jailed. They need to make an example out of them. "
Errr. They still have to pay a lot of money to replace all of that stuff. In fact they pay a lot more than they would simply buying Reach. Jail time is a bit much for these people. These are video games here, not gold bullion.
Posted by natetodamax
@EternalDarkWing said:
" @Bluethunder35 said:
The only way they can stop this BS is to have these pirates arrested and jailed. They need to make an example out of them. "
They should arrest and jail people who buy used games too, since they aren't giving money to the original company either. "
Piracy is stealing. Buying used games isn't stealing.
Posted by ESREVER

I'm so glad I can come on here without seeing pirates of said game, bragging about how they stole it and teasing about spoiling things for those who have good enough morals to wait. Kotaku is FILLED with those guys... ugh 
 
Thanks GiantBomb community, its a refreshing change. That's why I chose to become a part this community.

Posted by Azteck

This news makes me happy. Good on you, Microsoft!

Posted by bitcloud
@natetodamax said:
" @EternalDarkWing said:
" @Bluethunder35 said:
The only way they can stop this BS is to have these pirates arrested and jailed. They need to make an example out of them. "
They should arrest and jail people who buy used games too, since they aren't giving money to the original company either. "
Piracy is stealing. Buying used games isn't stealing. "
Piracy is it's own, not to legitimate thing and not stealing. Buying used games in a Gamestop might as well be. Don't have much of a problem with people selling games though.
Posted by atomic_dumpling
@natetodamax said:
" @EternalDarkWing said:
" @Bluethunder35 said:
The only way they can stop this BS is to have these pirates arrested and jailed. They need to make an example out of them. "
They should arrest and jail people who buy used games too, since they aren't giving money to the original company either. "
Piracy is stealing. Buying used games isn't stealing. "
THQ disagress.
Posted by stalefishies
@natetodamax: As far as Bungie and Microsoft are concerned, both might as well be.
 
If you were to, say, pay a piracy website through which you downloaded Halo: Reach, or bought it used from a game store, in both cases you're paying a third-party company for the game and no money goes to anyone involved in making or producing the game. Yet the latter is generally  'morally wrong' and the former is 'morally right'.
 
The issue of used games vs pirating games isn't as black and white as it may first seem.
Posted by dyslekt

not surprising 

Posted by VicRattlehead

uhhh we're quoting maxconsole now?

Posted by The_Laughing_Man

I would love to see stats posted. Like how many got banned. 

Posted by WiFiPirate

I mean seriously, what did they THINK was going to happen? Was Microsoft just going to look the other way while they played a game that isn't out for another 2 weeks?

Posted by bybeach

I wouldn't be all yay MS (really!) and such, but pirates have done enormous harm to Pc gaming. A lot of times they are poor and feel they are missing out because the choice is a game or food. Okay. But what it eventually does to ones moral perceptions, besides dealing with corporations with their own ethical challenges, gets messed up. You get caught, you get screwed, should be for more than just their prized franchise, which in many respects it still is, Bungie seperate not withstanding. too bad this is just an X-box game, but I guess thats where the weight of retrobution comes in.
Posted by Ace829
@dyslekt said:
" not surprising  "
Posted by R3Qui4M

Banning XBL is a very good decision, Halo without Live is kinda limiting.

Posted by EternalDarkWing
@natetodamax said:
" @EternalDarkWing said:
" @Bluethunder35 said:
The only way they can stop this BS is to have these pirates arrested and jailed. They need to make an example out of them. "
They should arrest and jail people who buy used games too, since they aren't giving money to the original company either. "
Piracy is stealing. Buying used games isn't stealing. "
And yet, it essentially is. In the eyes of the publisher and developer, the two are synonymous.
Posted by Cday

Tom Morello's at it again!

Posted by Jeust

Someone stupid enough to be playing now on Xbox Live deserves to be banned. Asshole. 

Posted by DevWil

tom morello?

Posted by Xanth93

Haha! I can't believe I'm saying this, but go Microsoft!
 
As for the used games vs. pirated games nonsense, what if the game is no longer for sale? Do you buy it used? Do you download it if you can't find it used or available on Virtual Console/XBLM/PSN store? I find buying used games when they are available new to be stupid since the original developers and publishers don't get the money (unless you're Activision... Sorry, but I hate Activision), but if the game is no longer available new, what else is there to do?

Edited by Arker101

I'm happy they are banning the pirates, but what's up with the used game discusion? 
 
Pirates know what they are doing and they now it is wrong, They are stealing a code which was worked on by a studio, for years, and didn't even pay for that hard worked on product. 
 
Used games don't contribute to the developers, true, but that game was already purchased once.  It's also a legitimate means to buy games, even when your low on cash. It's not as bad as pirating, by any means.
 
My local retailers(not sure about the rest of the world) won't buy a used game that's benn owned twice. EA has the whole "cough up 10 bucks" to get some money back, so they arn't suffering to bad. If used games are that big of a hassle(they are not,think of all the overpriced stuff gamers cough up for anyway)everybody will copy that $10 plan.
Posted by kives34
@Bluethunder35:  
Dude I totally agree there is no difference between pirating a game, music or movies online to going into a store and stealing them that way people just use the internet as an excuse to do this. I haven't EVER stolen anything of the internet and it pisses me of when I see people do it.
Posted by kives34
@DevWil:  
He linked screens of the game way before we even saw it most people thought they were fake and on everyone he wrote his name.
Posted by jaks

What? There's another Halo game coming out?

Posted by coaxmetal
@kives34: Although I agree with your stance against game piracy, I feel compelled to point out that there is a difference between pirating a game and stealing a copy from a store. When you pirate it, the original owner keeps his copy, unlike theft. In fact, the crime is copyright infringement (maybe under a different name for games) not theft. That being said, it is still not a good practice.
Posted by ReyGitano

good.

Posted by lacke
@bybeach: Yet almost all of the pirates I know will gladly waste €50+ on alcohol on a single night than buying a game that they've played. Yes they are students.
Posted by Nomin

In the end, it is all about: 
 
  
  
Posted by I_love_Eva_Braun

Congrats on making all those people perma-pirates

Posted by yoshimitz707

Surprised anyone was stupid enough to bring a JTAG 360 online.

Posted by kives34
@Riboflavin:  
I see what you are saying that it is technically copyright infringement. But I think they are the same in a moral perspective the person is still not getting the copy rightfully and they are taking money away from the creators.  
 
I have also seen game pirates say that they couldn't afford the copy or they wouldn't have bought it anyway but I say if you can't pay for it don't get it. I want  Ferrari F430 but I can't afford it so I can't get it. If I don't have enough money to go to a movie i want to see then I can't see it.
Posted by BraveToaster
@EternalDarkWing said: 
They should arrest and jail people who buy used games too, since they aren't giving money to the original company either. "
  
That makes absolutely no sense.
Posted by DragonBloodthirsty

I have mixed feelings on this.  On one hand, it's hard to be sympathetic with a person with an illegitimate copy who is so stupid.

On the other hand, it's a luxury service that's completely unnecessary and gets shared by families.  Permanently banning someone, especially a first time offender who is clearly so stupid (or ill informed) sounds like bad business practice to me.

I dislike harsh services like that, and won't spend significant amounts of money on them.

Posted by TaliciaDragonsong

Like they should.

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