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Elon Musk's Starlink broadband warns users against downloading torrents, illegal streaming

India Today logo India Today 06-05-2021 India Today Tech

Elon Musk's Starlink broadband which will work through orbital satellites is likely to begin its services in India in 2022, once it clears the ongoing regulatory hurdles. Starlink will warn users against downloading torrents or copyrighted content. A Starlink user in the US who goes by the username substrate-97 on Reddit noted that he was downloading pirated content without a VPN to see what would happen, and he got a notice from the company. He posted a screenshot of the notice on Reddit.

"Been purposefully torrenting without a VPN to see what world happen and finally got a notice" "Been doing it since I got Starlink, so like two months," substrate-97 added. "It's been pretty low key stuff though. Finally downloaded something from a Fortune 500 company and my assumption was that it was specifically that."

Stralink in a notice to substrate wrote, ''We must insist that you and/or others using your Starlink service refrain from illegal downloads of copyrighted content," Starlink in a notice said. "Downloading copyrighted materials without a license may lead to suspension or termination of your service, and put you at risk of legal action by the content owner."

The thread attracted users from different parts of the world questioning if Starlink's policy would differ from country to country. A user who goes by the name Nydilien wrote asking if the policy will be applied in Switzerland where there is no such restriction. "Does Starlink's policy differ from country to country? I hope we don't have that restriction here in Switzerland, where downloading/pirating copyrighted material for free is legal,"

In contrast, a Canadian user noted that users can get sued for downloading pirated content. "In Canada there's firms that just blanket sue anyone with a IP address they can get an address for.

It's insane. So many parents paying $1500 for a download," a user who goes by the name Tartooth noted.

The rules on piracy are similar in India under the Copyright Act, where offenders could attract a three-year prison term and a fine of up to Rs 3 lakh for viewing, downloading, exhibiting, or duplicating illicit content. Users, however, find their way around the laws through a virtual private network (VPN), which encrypts the connection, and blocks the internet service provider. Now, Reddit users have noted that this will happen to Starlink users as well who can "cheat" using a VPN and not an open connection. "That's honestly hilarious. It's like a teacher seeing a kid cheating during a test and being like "C'mon bro, you gotta cheat better than that," a Redditor Neocactus posted.

Elon Musk has noted that Starlink will give up to 300 Mbps speed and will also be mobile, it will especially come in handy to users with less or negligible network areas. Currently, Starlink is accepting pre-orders through its website for a refundable deposit of $99. However, it does not guarantee services to its users. As of now, SpaceX has noted that Starlink received over half a million pre-orders the world over.

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