Microsoft has begun blocking non-U.S. residents' access to exclusive downloadable content. Xbox Live users in Europe and elsewhere have long taken advantage of a well-known workaround
, registering North American "dummy" accounts in order to access downloadable content exclusive to that region -- in some cases, North American users have done the opposite. Not anymore.
With the launch
of a downloadable TV and movie service in the US, Microsoft is suddenly interested in controlling the destinations of the content it provides. The solution is simple: block access of region-protected content from any IP address that does not correspond with the country/region that the user's Xbox Live account is associated with. We are still awaiting an official statement regarding this new policy, but Microsoft's Chris Paladino has apparently confirmed
, "I do know for a fact that we are not banning the accounts."