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Xbox Live bans up to 1 million players

In this photo made Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009,

In this photo made Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009, attendees play "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2," at the multiplayer preview event hosted by Xbox 360 and Activision in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Xbox, Dan Steiberg) Photo Credit: AP Photo/Dan Steinberg

Microsoft has banned as many as 1 million users with modded Xbox 360s from Xbox Live, the online gaming service, in a bid to counter piracy. The ban from the Xbox Live service is reported to have affected anywhere from 600,000 to 1 million Xbox 360 users.

The so-called modded consoles allow gamers to play illegal copies of  games.  Microsoft said the practice violates the Xbox Live terms of use, and that it reserves the right to cut service to its online gaming service.

This comes on the heels of the launch of  the most anticipated game of the year, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which sold a reported 5 million copies in the first 12 hours, according to news reports. The BBC reported that Microsoft said that banning gamers was part of an ongoing effort to curb piracy.

The ban has triggered the listing of  hundreds of modded Xbox 360s, some being offered for less then $100, on Craigslist on Long Island.

Microsoft said the Xbox Live online gaming service serves more than 20 million users worldwide. The only way for those banned to return to Xbox Live is to purchase a new, unmodded Xbox 360 console.


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