If you’re still one of the few persons that only have one single Xbox Live on their Xbox 360, you can stop reading here. If on the other hand you’re one of the many thousands that have registered a second or third account in another region using region lockout circumvention, you will be interested to know that Microsoft is planning to ban those accounts soon.
Update: Chris Paladino from Microsoft Community Team confirmed that downloads are being blocked from wrong regions but states they’re not actually banning the illegal accounts. Like him, we are now “still waiting to hear back the official word.” Meanwhile our source had to remove his article.
Everyone knew how to do it and many people did. The Xboxic crew actually uses the ‘trick’ frequently to make sure our reporting is correct on when what Xbox Live Marketplace content became available in which region. No more, according to usually quite well informed German site Xbox Archiv (Babelfish translation follows):
For approx. 2 weeks we know that Microsoft will block/delete in the near future Xbox Live Fake account to serve to procure itself e.g. from US the Marketplace of contents. Unfortunately we could not publish these information, since they originated from a confidential discussion. Since many sources however already on it report, we can do you the information also admit now to give. What will happen?: As soon as Microsoft notices that US Xbox tries a Live account with a IP e.g. from Germany something of the market place to download, then this account will be blocked/deleted in the future. That applies also to accounts as gold members was put on. This is justified with legal and copyright regulations for films of the content offerers or indicated titles etc.. There will still be updates for games, but new game content or video/demos of the foreign market place probably belong to the past.
Apparently the sudden need to act upon this ‘abuse’ has risen with the release of the video marketplace and its inherent copyright implications. In short, when you log into Xbox Live from an IP address that does not correspond to the correct country for a given account, the account will get flagged for deletion or banning. To check where your IP is located you can go here for example, and read the WHOIS-information that is known for your current IP address.
Although we haven’t received firm confirmation yet of any actual banning, we at Xboxic consider it safe to state that it’s only a matter of time before the hammer gets dropped on some foreign accounts: the video marketplace publishers will make sure of that to ensure their regional copyrights are not violated. Too bad for the legit users that are just curious about content not released in their home region for often dodgy reasons.
Cheers Ganymed for the pointer!