The internet has been abuzz recently with the news that Microsoft is taking further steps against piracy and illegal activity with its latest amendments to its End User License Agreement terms and conditions.
After originally being brought to light by Alphr.com, readers began to speculate that this new clause could disable any pirated games or content, no doubt due to the vague wording of the End User License Agreement. Since then several news outlets have reported that it is merely Xbox and Windows Games published by Microsoft that they will have the power to disable if found to be altered, hacked, or pirated in any way.
The altered clause is as follows:
“We may automatically check your version of the software and download software updates or configuration changes, including those that prevent you from accessing the Services, playing counterfeit games, or using unauthorized hardware peripheral devices. You may also be required to update the software to continue using the Services.”
To many the concept initially sounded quite drastic, on closer inspection the changes aren’t that big or different from previous agreement terms, after all disabling pirated games is something Microsoft have had the power to do for a long time now, this really is nothing new.
Whilst many people have read articles about this on the internet and assumed that Microsoft would be looking at all their files, and be ready to delete any downloads or applications on their machine, the reality is, such an operation would most likely be too time consuming and the results would no doubt be patchy and questionable. Without paying extremely close (and time consuming) attention to detail with every users individual files, monitoring all content of users could prove a disaster, let alone a financial drain.
Microsoft’s refusal to reply to questioning over these amendments as of yet suggests they would rather keep the public thinking they can detect and remove any illegal content on their systems, which in all fairness to Microsoft is a fairly clever move.
They may not have the power to tackle all pirated material but as long as some users are under the assumption they do and Microsoft aren’t denying it, it could have a positive impact against online piracy. In this case, their silence is golden!