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Electronic Frontier Foundation Accuses Microsoft Of Misusing DMCA

A consumer protection group has accused Microsoft of misusing copyright law to stifle production of a third party Xbox-compatible memory sticks.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation on Wednesday filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California against the Redmond, based Microsoft Corp. for misusing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Gamasutra (opens in new tab)reports.

In 2009 Microsoft used a firmware update to lock out Xbox-compatible accessories not authorised by the company. In its defense the company states that the users who use unauthorised accessories like memory sticks, headsets, and controllers with the gaming console are violating the DMCA act and will face remote discontinuation of those accessories. The company also filed a complaint against Datel Design & Development for selling memory sticks that were not approved by Microsoft.

The consumer-protection group has come out in support of Datel Design & Development and has accused the software maker for trying to stifle the gaming accessory market and of keeping a tab on the behaviour of Xbox users worldwide.

"Congress did not intend to grant manufacturers the power to eliminate competition for replacement parts, accessories, or repair services. That's bad for consumers and bad for innovation," said Abigail Phillips,Senior Attorney at the EFF.