The reason for my ban is basically a version of "Marketplace Theft", though I think that's kind of a funny term since it's impossible to steal from Xbox Live since you can only purchase things at the price set by Microsoft. But what I specifically did was take advantage of free games in other regions. It was actually rather simple to get through a loophole in Microsoft's infrastructure. I simply had to create a Hotmail account and say I was in a certain region (for example, Oman or Bosnia). Once the account was created, I could download that account onto my Xbox 360. Once the account was on my 360, I simply had to search for games on the Xbox Live Marketplace and download them for free. Once they are downloaded, they can be played by any account on that console.
So that's what I did. I think I ended up with about 8 or 9 games. I definitely wasn't the only one doing this, and I definitely wasn't the only one who caught a ban for doing this. The one unusual thing that happened to me was that both my account and my console were banned. Most people only got their console banned. My guess as to why I also got my account banned (which is far worse than a console ban) is because I had played one of the games on my account and they could see it in my play history. That's really the only reason I can think of.
I'm not trying to plead innocence here. I knew what I was doing was probably wrong and against the rules. As fellow CAG gunnm so poetically put it, "We stuck our dick in a gloryhole and MS bit its our fault we got banned." I do feel like a permanent account ban is a little bit harsh for my actions, especially since I don't feel like I "stole" anything. I was also a pretty damn good Xbox Live customer as well. I may have "unethically" acquired 8 or 9 games, but I also bought over 250 Xbox Live games legitimately. But Microsoft's system is pretty much 100% closed and I don't really even get a chance to appeal and question their decision. They're so unreasonably firm in their actions that I don't feel like it's worth my time to even try.
So I've just decided to move on. I've gone over what I still own for the Xbox 360 and am working on making decisions on what to do with it. I've got a couple more blog posts coming up about this situation; one detailing the damage that this account ban did to me and another with the aftermath of this ban.