Rhode Island might be about or should I say is about to get in Microsofts naughty books after its come to light that the State of Rhode Island is attemting to auction off some of the Xbox 360 development kits that 38 Studios (a game developer) own.
The developer has got into some money troubles with the state and now Rhode Island is attempting to recoup some of the money it lent to the studio by holding an auction of some of their hardware in Maryland and in Rhode Island.
Listed on the auction are “Gaming consoles: Xbox 360 XDK console” which are infact the property of Microsoft and while studios pay for the privalage in most cases, these are infact only licensed to authorized studios and only intended for development uses, preventing it being passed on, handed down, traded, sold and so on to anyone but Microsoft. Anyone wishing to use the hardware does in fact need Microsofts permission first.
Its most likely due to damage prevention, should the wrong people get hold of these kits or get them on the black market it could do all kinds of chaos to things like piracy and trade secrets. If Rhode Island don't hand over the goods quickly or at least stop trying to sell this hardware, then we can expect Microsoft to go full force with their army of lawyers.