Starlink Is Just Another ISP When it Comes to Piracy

Starlink Is Just Another ISP When it Comes to Piracy

There’s a lot of buzz right now around SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet, which is available across the northern US along with a few places in Canada and the UK. Hypothetically, the Starlink dish could help people bypass censorship and surveillance in their home countries, but Starlink isn’t going to be a libertarian free-for-all. One Starlink subscriber shared a warning letter they got for running torrents on the connection, and it could have been written by any of the traditional ground-based ISPs.

The subscriber, who goes by substrate-97 on Reddit, says they have been running torrents on Starlink for the past two months. Torrents have become the most popular way of sharing pirated material because they don’t require a central repository of files. Instead, the files are shared among the “swarm” of users. So, you might get a few bits from someone in Asia, a few more from someone a couple of towns over, and so on until you’ve got the entire thing. A copyright holder, or more likely someone paid by the copyright holder, can join the swarm and collect the IP addresses of “seeds,” which are users who are sharing the whole file for others to download.

According to substrate-97, the torrent experiment initially consisted of more obscure things, but they recently pirated something from a “Fortune 500 company.” That appears to have set off alarm bells. The copyright owner most likely made a complaint to Starlink, which forwarded the warning to the owner of the IP address.

Starlink Is Just Another ISP When it Comes to Piracy

“We must insist that you and/or others using your Starlink service refrain from illegal downloads of copyrighted content,” the email says. It goes on to warn that continuing to torrent copyrighted material will result in termination of service and possible legal risk. Although, the copyright holder would need to go to court to force Starlink to reveal the subscriber’s name associated with the IP address, and that’s exceedingly rare these days.

Starlink, which costs $99 per month after a $500 setup fee, currently relies on a network of more than 1,400 satellites, but SpaceX wants to deploy as many as 30,000. No matter how many satellites it has, Starlink will still work like a regular ISP on the ground, copyright notices and all. That means you can also circumvent this monitoring with a VPN or seedbox, just like you can on any other ISP.

Continue reading

SpaceX All-Civilian Inspiration4 Crew Completes Successful Trip
SpaceX All-Civilian Inspiration4 Crew Completes Successful Trip

While in low earth orbit, the mission’s four passengers took some out-of-this-world selfies and placed the first-ever sports bet from space.

Switch Modder Pleads Guilty to Piracy, Will Pay Nintendo $4.5 Million
Switch Modder Pleads Guilty to Piracy, Will Pay Nintendo $4.5 Million

A few years ago, a group called Team Xecuter began releasing mod kits for the Nintendo Switch. That's nothing new — cracking game consoles to run homebrew software has been common for ages. However, most people modding their consoles do so to play pirated ROMs, and Team Xecuter made the mistake of leaning into the piracy angle.

The Pirated Version of Final Fantasy XV is Much Faster Than the Legal Game
The Pirated Version of Final Fantasy XV is Much Faster Than the Legal Game

Final Fantasy XV's PC implementation is supposed to be the best version of the game, but the Denuvo implementation is hitting performance hard.

Russian Media Spreading Absurd Conspiracy Theory Regarding ISS Damage
Russian Media Spreading Absurd Conspiracy Theory Regarding ISS Damage

The Russian media is spreading a ridiculous theory that NASA sabotaged the ISS deliberately.