As noted by our illustrious leader Fruit Brute, there was a rumor running the gambit. While it is not surprising that the street date for Halo 3 was broken, it is one of the most anticipated titles since the release of the Xbox 360. Some had reported that Microsoft was threatening to ban any player found playing the title before the official launch date.
Later, it was reported that Microsoft was only threatening it's employees. Turns out that all this nonsense can be put behind us. In the most recent statement by Microsoft, no players employee or otherwise will be banned for booting that early copy.
"We can confirm that Microsoft is not taking any action (such as banning Xbox Live accounts) against gamers who are playing Halo 3 before the official street date. Any rumours or speculation to the contrary are false,"
Looks like we can have your cake and eat it too.
Microsoft issues official statement over Halo 3 banning [Pro-G]