Alice stores 1 MB of data on the SAFE network. Four copies of her data will be stored on the SAFE network. Does Alice have to allow 4 MB of stored space in her vault to reach storage parity?
This is under huge discussion at the moment. There is a possibility she pays from nothing to the minimum possible cost, no more though. We hope the cost is zero. The 4* and 1* costs were part of the quid pro quo mechanism (POR tokens). The 1* would have been less than 1 in many cases though. We are all pretty convinced though that the new routes are better here. safecoin offers many advantages, mainly that farmers will be happy to farm data for cash. Like bitcoin miners mine for cash.
Perhaps a user-selectable redundancy level would be a partial solution. The user could select one, two, three, or four copies of his data to be stored on the network in accordance with his vault capacity, safecoin resources, and risk-averseness.