Microsoft is banning Xbox Live accounts for what it describes as "Marketplace Theft".
Xbox 360 owners, many of whom have pleaded innocence, have reported receiving permanent bans from the online gaming service up to 12/31/9999.
In a thread on the Xbox.com forum titled "Suspended for Marketplace Theft?", a spokesperson for Microsoft explained that the action was in response to those who had "illegitimately" accessed downloadable content.
"During the course of a recent investigation, we have discovered users who illegitimately accessed Xbox Live Marketplace downloadable content," the spokesperson said.
"Please know that we are being very careful regarding these suspensions, and have clear evidence regarding each account issued a permanent suspension from the service. We apologize for any frustration or confusion resulting from our inability to share individual details, and thank you all for your cooperation in this matter."