ESA Weighs In On Possible Xbox 360 Ban

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ESA Weighs In On Possible Xbox 360 Ban

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The Entertainment Software Association is urging against a ban of the Xbox 360 in the U.S.

In May, Judge David Shaw recommended to the International Trade Commission that the importation and sale of the Xbox 360 be banned in the United States because the console infringes upon patents held by Motorola. The recommendation followed an actual ban (sort of) of the console in Germany, which is currently up in the air due to the ongoing legal action in the U.S. And while a flat-out ban on the 360 seems unthinkable, it could theoretically happen, although many tech industry heavyweights, including HP, Nokia, the Business Software Alliance and even the Federal Trade Commission are urging the ITC to "decline to issue an order of exclusion" against the console.

Also against the idea, entirely unsurprisingly, is the Entertainment Software Association, the trade association that represents "the business and public affairs needs of companies that publish computer and video games." Its membership "includes most of the major U.S. game publishers and the major video game console makers," the ESA said in a statement, which leaves it "uniquely positioned to describe the impact on the public interest of an exclusion order affecting the Xbox."

"The video game industry is a significant contributor to the U.S. economy and job growth, and reaches American consumers of all walks of life. According to a 2011 NPD industry sales report, nearly three-quarters of all American households play games, and consumers spent nearly $25 billion on video games, hardware, and accessories in 2011," the ESA statement said. "An exclusion order banning the importation of Xbox gaming consoles into the U.S. would harm not only Microsoft, but a variety of other parties across the gaming ecosystem, including most importantly consumers and game publishers."

While an import ban would cause harm to game developers, publishers, consumers and of course Microsoft, Motorola Mobility "would suffer no equivalent harm" if the ITC declines to take action, the ESA added, and "any harm MMI would suffer can be remedied financially."

Despite the judge's recommendation, it's considered very unlikely that the ITC will impose a ban against the Xbox 360. As patent expert Florian Mueller pointed out in May, ITC judges routinely recommend orders of exclusion if they determine that a patent infringement has taken place, and those recommendations are "very frequently not adopted" by the commission that heads the ITC. It's far more likely that a licensing agreement on the technology in question will be imposed on the two companies instead, thus eliminating the infringement.

Sources: GamesIndustry, Foss Patents

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well I hope they don't ban the xbox360 here in America or anywhere else in the world.

If it were to happen it wouldn't affect multiplatform games and consumers could just play those games on the PS3 and/or WiiU when it releases.

I think I speak for all Xbox owners when I say imposing a Licensing Agreement has a MUCH better ring to it.

DVS BSTrD:
I think I speak for all Xbox owners when I say imposing a Licensing Agreement has a MUCH better ring to it.

Well played. Except for the part where it isn't fucking funny, since it could result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs in the US, and millions of additional jobs world-wide.

I guess where I am somewhat still confused on this, is the fact that microsoft infringed upon another companies patent. If a smaller company had done the reverse, Microsoft would have reamed them, no questions asked. Yet everyone is rushing to Microsofts defense now? Maybe I missed something, but my opinion right now is screw them, no favoritism just because the company is large.

While the obvious shanking of the Videogames Industry and Worldwide Jobs market is nothing to get over-excited about, I would quite like to see this happen just to see the shitstorm that will result from all the beady-necked teenagers who will have to actually... GO OUTSIDE to entertain themselves.

Good Lord. These are the End Days.

I can't see it happening and while I am
A) British
B) Only use my PS3

I really hope it doesn't because it would be such a hit to the US economy and to the gaming community as a whole. Could you imagine people smuggling 360s into the country?

Alchemist08:
I guess where I am somewhat still confused on this, is the fact that microsoft infringed upon another companies patent. If a smaller company had done the reverse, Microsoft would have reamed them, no questions asked. Yet everyone is rushing to Microsofts defense now? Maybe I missed something, but my opinion right now is screw them, no favoritism just because the company is large.

Also people are acting like the 360 does things that the PS3 can't do. If the 360 were banned tomorrow, the PS3 would pick up the slack.

Crono1973:
If it were to happen it wouldn't affect multiplatform games and consumers could just play those games on the PS3 and/or WiiU when it releases.

Except you know, consumers would have to pay to buy a PS3/WiiU/Gaming PC if they don't have one, and have to rebuy all their xbox games on a new console. Not an owner of an X-box myself, but pretty sure that would be a heavy cost to xbox owners.

Edit: People have pointed out it's the selling of xboxes not the owning of them, so future readers no longer need to point out my derp.

Richardplex:

Crono1973:
If it were to happen it wouldn't affect multiplatform games and consumers could just play those games on the PS3 and/or WiiU when it releases.

Except you know, consumers would have to pay to buy a PS3/WiiU/Gaming PC if they don't have one, and have to rebuy all their xbox games on a new console. Not an owner of an X-box myself, but pretty sure that would be a heavy cost to xbox owners.

They could just keep their 360 and their existing games. They could buy a PS3/WiiU/Gaming PC and just get new games on it. Their old games would still play just fine on the 360.

Also, they could trade in their 360 and the games and use that money to buy a PS3/WiiU/PC.

Richardplex:
Except you know, consumers would have to pay to buy a PS3/WiiU/Gaming PC if they don't have one, and have to rebuy all their xbox games on a new console. Not an owner of an X-box myself, but pretty sure that would be a heavy cost to xbox owners.

Or they could, you know, just play the 360 they already have. It's a ban on sales. The police won't come knocking down the doors of 360 players anywhere.

Edit: Damn you, ninjas!

If Microsoft really infringed on Motorola's stuff, no sympathy there. Ban sale of xbox and sort things out fast as possible so things can go back to normal.

Detective Prince:
I can't see it happening and while I am
A) British
B) Only use my PS3

I really hope it doesn't because it would be such a hit to the US economy and to the gaming community as a whole. Could you imagine people smuggling 360s into the country?

I guess drug cartels will have to find other means of hiding cocaine in then.

Crono1973:

Richardplex:

Crono1973:
If it were to happen it wouldn't affect multiplatform games and consumers could just play those games on the PS3 and/or WiiU when it releases.

Except you know, consumers would have to pay to buy a PS3/WiiU/Gaming PC if they don't have one, and have to rebuy all their xbox games on a new console. Not an owner of an X-box myself, but pretty sure that would be a heavy cost to xbox owners.

They could just keep their 360 and their existing games. They could buy a PS3/WiiU/Gaming PC and just get new games on it. Their old games would still play just fine on the 360.

Also, they could trade in their 360 and the games and use that money to buy a PS3/WiiU/PC.

Whoracle:

Richardplex:
Except you know, consumers would have to pay to buy a PS3/WiiU/Gaming PC if they don't have one, and have to rebuy all their xbox games on a new console. Not an owner of an X-box myself, but pretty sure that would be a heavy cost to xbox owners.

Or they could, you know, just play the 360 they already have. It's a ban on sales. The police won't come knocking down the doors of 360 players anywhere.

Edit: Damn you, ninjas!

..Or they could do that. Sorry, that was a very derpy moment of me. Still, if their Xbox breaks they're screwed.

Richardplex:
[...] Still, if their Xbox breaks they're screwed.

Well, if it breaks and they'd get a replacement for free, yes, then they're (probably*) screwed.
If it breaks outside the service period, they'd have to shell out money for a new console either way. Although the part about the games would suck then.

*Depending on the exact wording of the sentence, only actual SALES of 360s would be banned, at least from what i understand. This means if the sale makes Microsoft money, they can't do it because they use unlicensed property of Motorola. I figure this _may_ not apply to replacement consoles, since a) this would lead to a breach of (service) contract forced upon Microsoft by law, and b) since replacement console _cost_ money, I'd figure they might be allowed to replace consoles. At least that's what I'd do if I were the judge.

RvLeshrac:

DVS BSTrD:
I think I speak for all Xbox owners when I say imposing a Licensing Agreement has a MUCH better ring to it.

Well played. Except for the part where it isn't fucking funny, since it could result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs in the US, and millions of additional jobs world-wide.

I fail to see the source of that exaggeration, care to expand a little bit please?

does the ban include the next gen X-Box?

mysecondlife:
If Microsoft really infringed on Motorola's stuff, no sympathy there. Ban sale of xbox and sort things out fast as possible so things can go back to normal.

It not that simple. Microsoft was paying Motorola for the H.264/MPEG-4 technology patent per device. Then Google bought Motorola and significantly increased the price they wanted per device just from Microsoft. Microsoft thought this was unfair and wanted negotiate with Google to bring it down to what other are paying. Google refused to negotiate and Microsoft leaving it no option to either replace the technology or remove it, didn't pay. The case went straight to court.

Crono1973:

Alchemist08:
I guess where I am somewhat still confused on this, is the fact that microsoft infringed upon another companies patent. If a smaller company had done the reverse, Microsoft would have reamed them, no questions asked. Yet everyone is rushing to Microsofts defense now? Maybe I missed something, but my opinion right now is screw them, no favoritism just because the company is large.

Also people are acting like the 360 does things that the PS3 can't do. If the 360 were banned tomorrow, the PS3 would pick up the slack.

I doubt that. It's a nice sentiment, but unrealistic. And I don't think these people are defending Microsoft, they are defending all the folks and industry who depend on the infrastructure that has been built up around the existence of the xbox and Live. Any one with some experience in the real world of capitalism can see how stupid a ban would be.

With that being said, Microsoft needs to be the one to pay up, not the people who depend on them. Another solution CAN be found if a little brain power is exercised.

LostintheWick:

Crono1973:

Alchemist08:
I guess where I am somewhat still confused on this, is the fact that microsoft infringed upon another companies patent. If a smaller company had done the reverse, Microsoft would have reamed them, no questions asked. Yet everyone is rushing to Microsofts defense now? Maybe I missed something, but my opinion right now is screw them, no favoritism just because the company is large.

Also people are acting like the 360 does things that the PS3 can't do. If the 360 were banned tomorrow, the PS3 would pick up the slack.

I doubt that. It's a nice sentiment, but unrealistic. And I don't think these people are defending Microsoft, they are defending all the folks and industry who depend on the infrastructure that has been built up around the existence of the xbox and Live. Any one with some experience in the real world of capitalism can see how stupid a ban would be.

With that being said, Microsoft needs to be the one to pay up, not the people who depend on them. Another solution CAN be found if a little brain power is exercised.

If Microsoft pays up, the cost gets passed onto consumers anyway. Live is not worth keeping so if that is lost, so be it. It is the only P2P paid gaming service out there, it is the anomaly.

I own a 360 and all that but... if they infringe upon patents then they shouldnt be punished as money is involved?! What the fuck is the point in patents then? I would see Microsoft burn and all 360s be recalled before I accept this kind of bullshit corporate hypocrisy.

gigastar:

RvLeshrac:

DVS BSTrD:
I think I speak for all Xbox owners when I say imposing a Licensing Agreement has a MUCH better ring to it.

Well played. Except for the part where it isn't fucking funny, since it could result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs in the US, and millions of additional jobs world-wide.

I fail to see the source of that exaggeration, care to expand a little bit please?

Is it *really* necessary to provide a citation for why the blocking of import of one of the leading consumer entertainment products might cause job losses both in the US and in each country which produces the components for the product?

Not to mention the fact that banning the product from import into the US would lend greater legitimacy to the claim, likely leading to import holds in most Western countries.

This is basic market economics, not neurosurgery or astrophysics.

I mean, I guess I could dumb it down a bit for you. Here:

"When it isn't legal for you to sell your product, you start firing people."

Kinguendo:
I own a 360 and all that but... if they infringe upon patents then they shouldnt be punished as money is involved?! What the fuck is the point in patents then? I would see Microsoft burn and all 360s be recalled before I accept this kind of bullshit corporate hypocrisy.

You're guilty of murder. Since I said it, it must be true. We'll execute you now, then hold your trial in three weeks.

I mean, the evidence against you is substantial, so why should we bother going to trial BEFORE handing out a punishment?

I wonder if Microsoft will make the rumoured X360 emulator for Windows a reality now?

Crono1973:
If it were to happen it wouldn't affect multiplatform games and consumers could just play those games on the PS3 and/or WiiU when it releases.

However Microsoft is a US company and the US goverment received revenues from it doing business both here and abroad. What's more the other major console manufacturers are from other countries.

If Microsoft had the 360 banned this would allow foreign business interests to dominate the market unopposed, and the US would lose the revenues it would be getting from the success of it's product. We don't want this rising, billion dollar industry to be totally dominated by imports.

Gamers would still have games, but it's a bigger issue than that. This is why there are exclusions and specific laws and rulings that can be made for the greater good. Mororola's rights in this case might very well do damage on a level well beyond punishing Microsoft due to how entrenched Microsoft became and how it's the only major player for the US in the console/hardware arena.

It's a touchy subject, and I have mixed feelings about it. I don't think the 360 should be pulled or Microsoft crippled, like it or not in the big pictures they are "our" guys on this battlefield. On the other hand I *DO* think Microsoft should be required to pay something to Motorola over a period of time, and that this provides justification for increased scruitiny by the goverment into Microsoft's overall business practices.

There needs to be a penelty, but the obvious thing of pulling the 360 can't really happen because it affects so much more than Microsoft in the big picture right now. They do that, and we're pretty much giving the gaming industry (at least the hardware aspect of things) over to non-US (Japanese) interests which isn't a good thing from an economic perspective.

RvLeshrac:

Kinguendo:
I own a 360 and all that but... if they infringe upon patents then they shouldnt be punished as money is involved?! What the fuck is the point in patents then? I would see Microsoft burn and all 360s be recalled before I accept this kind of bullshit corporate hypocrisy.

You're guilty of murder. Since I said it, it must be true. We'll execute you now, then hold your trial in three weeks.

I mean, the evidence against you is substantial, so why should we bother going to trial BEFORE handing out a punishment?

Except that in reality there is absolutely no evidence of your claim... have you read the article? Do they say that it isnt patented? No, in fact it quite categorically states it does infringe upon patents... so what the hell are you talking about?

I'm against a ban of the console, but I'm for a HUGE fine. Let it be like 10$ per sold console.
Hey, still less than per pirated song which is basically 20.000$

Why should MS be excluded from the law? Why should they be able to use Google's technology without paying. If they didn't like the price that Google asked, they should have just removed the technology, or made their own if they think they will make it cheaper.

They had plenty of other choices, legal choices.

I'm baffled that so many people here are on the side of Microsoft, jet they take every chance they get to insult pirates and say how there is no apology for piracy.
Guess what, this is basically the same. MS took something that isn't their without paying because the price was to high.

EDIT:
And do you guys really think that a ban of the xbox 360 would have a that huge impact on the US economy to allow such a hypocrisy?
lets face it, this generation is over. I doubt the number of sold consoles until the nextbox will be significant compared to the total numbers. I doubt the PS3 or WiiU would take over the market of the xbox 720.

The only thing that banning the xbox would really do is show that a company doesn't own the country. But judging from the fact that the court is still trying to find a way to get MS out of the shit, I would say that the companies do own the USA.

Therumancer:

Crono1973:
If it were to happen it wouldn't affect multiplatform games and consumers could just play those games on the PS3 and/or WiiU when it releases.

However Microsoft is a US company and the US goverment received revenues from it doing business both here and abroad. What's more the other major console manufacturers are from other countries.

If Microsoft had the 360 banned this would allow foreign business interests to dominate the market unopposed, and the US would lose the revenues it would be getting from the success of it's product. We don't want this rising, billion dollar industry to be totally dominated by imports.

Gamers would still have games, but it's a bigger issue than that. This is why there are exclusions and specific laws and rulings that can be made for the greater good. Mororola's rights in this case might very well do damage on a level well beyond punishing Microsoft due to how entrenched Microsoft became and how it's the only major player for the US in the console/hardware arena.

It's a touchy subject, and I have mixed feelings about it. I don't think the 360 should be pulled or Microsoft crippled, like it or not in the big pictures they are "our" guys on this battlefield. On the other hand I *DO* think Microsoft should be required to pay something to Motorola over a period of time, and that this provides justification for increased scruitiny by the goverment into Microsoft's overall business practices.

There needs to be a penelty, but the obvious thing of pulling the 360 can't really happen because it affects so much more than Microsoft in the big picture right now. They do that, and we're pretty much giving the gaming industry (at least the hardware aspect of things) over to non-US (Japanese) interests which isn't a good thing from an economic perspective.

Before the XBOX the game industry was owned by the Japanese. It didn't kill us then and it won't kill us now. Microsoft is more interested in making a cable box in the future anyway.

Kinguendo:

RvLeshrac:

Kinguendo:
I own a 360 and all that but... if they infringe upon patents then they shouldnt be punished as money is involved?! What the fuck is the point in patents then? I would see Microsoft burn and all 360s be recalled before I accept this kind of bullshit corporate hypocrisy.

You're guilty of murder. Since I said it, it must be true. We'll execute you now, then hold your trial in three weeks.

I mean, the evidence against you is substantial, so why should we bother going to trial BEFORE handing out a punishment?

Except that in reality there is absolutely no evidence of your claim... have you read the article? Do they say that it isnt patented? No, in fact it quite categorically states it does infringe upon patents... so what the hell are you talking about?

Have you read the article? Or been keeping up with the case for months now? This case hasn't even gone to trial yet, and the bulk of the evidence is actually on Microsoft's side.

BiH-Kira:
I'm against a ban of the console, but I'm for a HUGE fine. Let it be like 10$ per sold console.
Hey, still less than per pirated song which is basically 20.000$

Why should MS be excluded from the law? Why should they be able to use Google's technology without paying. If they didn't like the price that Google asked, they should have just removed the technology, or made their own if they think they will make it cheaper.

They had plenty of other choices, legal choices.

I'm baffled that so many people here are on the side of Microsoft, jet they take every chance they get to insult pirates and say how there is no apology for piracy.
Guess what, this is basically the same. MS took something that isn't their without paying because the price was to high.

EDIT:
And do you guys really think that a ban of the xbox 360 would have a that huge impact on the US economy to allow such a hypocrisy?
lets face it, this generation is over. I doubt the number of sold consoles until the nextbox will be significant compared to the total numbers. I doubt the PS3 or WiiU would take over the market of the xbox 720.

The only thing that banning the xbox would really do is show that a company doesn't own the country. But judging from the fact that the court is still trying to find a way to get MS out of the shit, I would say that the companies do own the USA.

I want you to read the articles. Read up on the patents. Motorola is holding certain patents which are necessary for the console to comply with international standards. Patents which they are required, by law and treaty, to license, but apparently have refused to license.

Even if Microsoft is infringing upon the patents, it may be *completely legal for them to do so* in this instance.

They won't do it. Not only is it not really deserved, but no judge is going to consciously put a gun to the US (and thus, to a degree, the world's) head and pull the trigger like that. It'd be absolutely catastrophic damage for a company that wouldn't even gain anything from it.

RvLeshrac:

BiH-Kira:
snip

I want you to read the articles. Read up on the patents. Motorola is holding certain patents which are necessary for the console to comply with international standards. Patents which they are required, by law and treaty, to license, but apparently have refused to license.

Even if Microsoft is infringing upon the patents, it may be *completely legal for them to do so* in this instance.

Motorola never refused to license. They only asked for more than MS was ready to pay. And they have the right to ask what they seem to be the right price. That's the core of capitalism. I own something, you want to buy it. I tell you the price, you either accept, decline or give me a price. Now I can accept or decline.

That was at least the story from some previous news about this problem.

RvLeshrac:

Kinguendo:

RvLeshrac:

You're guilty of murder. Since I said it, it must be true. We'll execute you now, then hold your trial in three weeks.

I mean, the evidence against you is substantial, so why should we bother going to trial BEFORE handing out a punishment?

Except that in reality there is absolutely no evidence of your claim... have you read the article? Do they say that it isnt patented? No, in fact it quite categorically states it does infringe upon patents... so what the hell are you talking about?

Have you read the article? Or been keeping up with the case for months now? This case hasn't even gone to trial yet, and the bulk of the evidence is actually on Microsoft's side.

In May, Judge David Shaw recommended to the International Trade Commission that the importation and sale of the Xbox 360 be banned in the United States because the console infringes upon patents held by Motorola.

Bish, bash, bosh. Case closed. Job done. Game over. Go to bed.

This would be the same ESA that supported the PROTECT-IP Act earlier this year, yes? The bill that would have imposed more or less this very same sort of blanket ban on websites for equally innocent "infringements" as the ones Microsoft is guilty of?

Fuck them, and fuck what they think about this or anything else.

There are lot of reasons this is stupid. But that shouldn't legitimise what is effectively a "My client is too rich and famous to go to prison" defence... oh who am I kidding it's the US they legtitimised that defence ages ago.

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