by Mike Masnick
Mon, Oct 10th 2011 10:34am
from the can-someone-please-explain dept
Itís happening at all levels, small and large. Record shops and independent bookstores close at a steady clip; newspapers and magazines announce new waves of layoffs. Tower Records crashed in 2006, costing 3,000 jobs. This summerís bankruptcy of Borders Books ó almost 700 stores closed, putting roughly 11,000 people out of work ó is the most tangible and recent example. One of the last video rental shops in Los Angeles ó Rocket Video ó just announced that it will close at the end of the month.I keep reading this paragraph over and over again, and it gets no less insane each time. Since when were the folks who work behind the counter at Tower Records and Borders "the creative class?" As far as I can tell, Timberg appears to be arguing that when the people who made buggy whips were put out of work, it demonstrated the death of the transportation industry. He's honestly arguing that the end of incidental jobs, related to an obsolete technology or system, represents the end of an entire industry -- while completely ignoring the (large and growing) entirely new system that has taken the place of the obsolete one. That's ridiculous.
Does he mention that for actual musicians and actual writers there are now many more ways to create, distribute, promote and make money? No. That would involve actually knowing what's going on. He complains about young authors and musicians "struggling through the dreary combination of economic slump and Internet reset." But, was there ever a time that the vast majority of young authors and musicians were not "struggling"? The adjective "starving" typically comes before "artist" for a reason. And the reality is that in the past it was much more difficult to make a living as an author or a musician, because the only way to succeed was to get chosen by one of a very small number of gatekeepers -- the record labels or the big publishers -- and then even after that you'd have to be one of the approximately 10% of creators they sign who they actually decide are worth making successful. Most musicians and most authors -- even those who sign to major labels and publishing houses -- still end up struggling economically. That's always been the case. Pretending that it's something new is a lie.
If Timberg were paying attention, he'd realize that the opportunities for musicians and authors today are much greater, because they don't have to be chosen by the big gatekeepers. They can put out music themselves and monetize it via any number of new and useful DIY platforms, from Bandcamp to Tunecore to Topspin and onwards. And authors have the same opportunity. They can put up their own websites and do self-publishing via Amazon or Lulu. And there are a growing number of success stories of such "direct-to-fan" campaigns in both industries -- people who would have been completely trampled and never accepted by the old industry.
And because of this, we're seeing a massive revival of cultural creativity. And that's because it's not limited to just a few gatekeepers and tastemakers, but everyone can contribute to "the creative class," and people can find their niche and find their audience. It's an amazing era of cultural output... and yet Timberg is missing it all because he's expecting to find it in the counter jockey at Tower Records?
Apparently this is a start of a new "series" from Timberg on Salon to investigate "the hollowing out of the creative class -- its origins, its erosion, the price of 'free,' and offer possible solutions and reasons for hope." But there's a problem there. The very assumption that underpins the entire series is false. If anything, the evidence suggests we're seeing more creativity than ever before. More output. And it's not just amateur content. The size of the creative industries continues to grow, and the opportunities for struggling artists to make a living have never been greater -- in large part because the internet that Timberg doesn't seem to know about has provided the tools to break down the gates and enable large segments of these folks, who never could have made any money at all, to now make significantly more.
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Jul 19th 2011 12:25pm
from the live-mashup dept
Step on up, Madeon. While it's not a keyboard directly but (perhaps more impressively) a Novation Launchpad, this 17-year-old recently released this incredible video of him mashing up 39 of his favorite songs into one song... live. I defy anyone to claim that what he's doing here is anything less than a musician playing a keyboard or guitar:
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jul 7th 2011 11:32am
from the who's-ripping-off-whom-again? dept
And, as we noted in the post last year, don't think that because a band goes "unrecouped" that the label loses money on them. The "recouping" only comes from the 10% royalty rates, which are really much, much lower (in this example, the "real" royalty rate is more like 2.5% due to the clauses in the contract). That leaves 97.5% of the money in play. Obviously, some of that is covering costs and expenses. But there's plenty of cash that makes its way into the label's bank account, when an album sells $20 million.
As for what kinds of tricks the labels use, well, Frascogna notes "breakage fees" of 20%, which are based on breakage rates for vinyl from half a century ago. That CDs don't break so much and that digital files don't break at all, doesn't matter. The labels still try to get a super high breakage rate that they get to deduct. For them, it's pure profit. Then there are "uncollected account" withholdings, on the basis that some retailers go bankrupt and don't pay for the stock they had. The way it's described here, that's often just a set number, rather than based on any actual, documented cases of uncollected fees. Next up? "Free goods." Now, we talk about the importance of free goods all the time. But here it's used in a different manner. Basically the labels deduct the "cost" of providing reviewers/radio stations/etc. with "free" copies of your album. That money comes straight out of the gross that the royalty is calculated on. The fact that you could just email the mp3 to those folks yourself? Well, pay no attention to that newfangled technology.
Next up, there are "container charges." That's for things like the jewel cases and inserts for CDs. Again, the fact that digital music doesn't have such expenses is pretty much ignored. Also, the fact that all of these expenses get deducted from the artists' share? That also seems wrong. Even more insane? Apparently the standard "container charge" is an additional 30% off the revenue. Again, in many cases that's just pure profit for the labels.
Finally, there's the ever lovely and totally amorphous "reserves." As Frascogna notes: "no one really knows what reserves entail." It's basically a blank check for the record labels to claim they have to keep some of the money themselves for "other stuff," which is mostly undefined. In this case, some labels simply set a straight percentage, up to 20% more of the gross that artists never get to see as part of their own royalties.
Bring all that together, and the 10% royalty looks more like a 2.5% royalty, and that's not enough to even get halfway to recouping even if you sell 1 million albums at the high high price of $20/album. And that doesn't even touch on splitting up any money you get between band members and paying the manager/agent, etc. When you dig in to things like this, you can understand how artists like Lyle Lovett can say they've sold 4.6 million albums and never made a dime in royalties from album sales.
Now, many of these points can be negotiable if you're knowledgeable about them. But many artists sign such contracts without realizing what that fine print really means -- and that's just what a lot of the labels are counting on.
by Mike Masnick
Fri, Apr 15th 2011 7:32am
from the especially-younger-artists dept
You would think, then, that this would push back against the government's new copyright policies, but apparently, it does not.
Of course, some will also point out that even though these artists claim that file sharing isn't harming them and that it's often helping them... the majority still believed in DRM and stricter enforcement against infringement. That seems like a bit of a conundrum, and it appears the government basically just focused on this latter point, rather than the earlier points. But, it's really not too surprising. If you ask someone: do you want a government-granted monopoly privelege and/or a method for limiting competition, many will say yes. Even with empirical data that they're better off without it, it's difficult for people to give up government protectionism... But that's no reason to just grant such protectionist policies. It makes sense to see if a sugar monopoly actually benefits the overall production of sugar in a country. It does not make sense to ask the sugar monopolist if they need a sugar monopoly.
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jul 22nd 2010 12:04pm
from the sounds-nice,-though dept
The article highlights a guy who won one of the big UK TV music competition shows... but has already been dropped from his label despite selling 500,000 singles and having a top 5 album in the charts. The final quote in the article basically highlights how a million dollar/pound recording deal really doesn't mean anything at all:
"What record companies are actually saying when they offer a £1m record deal is, 'we're going to pay the basic costs and, as long as you make it very quickly, then you can make a lot of money'.So there you go. A million pound/dollar recording deal covers your basic costs, and if you don't make it back in about five minutes, then you're basically a lost cause. Once again, those "big" record deals aren't looking so hot any more, are they?
"But you're going to have to make it very quickly.
"Now it seems to me that, if you don't make it in five minutes or on The X Factor, then you don't make it."
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jul 15th 2010 1:12pm
from the subjectivity dept
80 percent of all records released are just noise -- hobbyists. Some companies like TuneCore are betting on the long tail because they get the same $10 whether you sell one copy or 10,000. Who uses Photobucket and Flickr? Not professional photographers -- those are hobbyists, and those are the people who are using TuneCore and iTunes to clutter the music environment with crap, so that the artists who really are pretty good have more trouble breaking through than they ever did before.As I noted in my original post on the interview, I thought Silverman was making a big mistake in dismissing those "hobbyists," since a bunch of them seemed to be making a decent living -- and the numbers were growing. I also found the "crap" comment to be pretty obnoxious. We see that type of comment here all too often. We'll point to some unique content creator who is doing something impressive, and the response (often from angry industry insiders) is that "yeah, but the content is crap." It's a funny sort of reaction. It's as if these people are so afraid that others with better business models will drive them out of business that they need to pre-emptively mock the quality -- even if the content seems to be exactly what a certain market is looking for. There are lots of content creators that we talk about whose content I don't personally care for. But my personal opinion on the quality of the content is meaningless. It's a question of personal tastes, and if there's an audience for the content, then, clearly something's working right.
I wasn't the only one who felt that the "cluttering with crap" comment was out of line. TuneCore's Jeff Price (who has been having quite a back-and-forth with Silverman lately) issued quite the sarcastic apology, while mocking the idea that only Silverman gets to decide what is quality music:
We're sorry that the fact that people are buying music from TuneCore Artists is stopping people from buying music that Tommy likes. If Tommy could only control what music you get exposed to you would be more inclined to buy his music. It's actually a brilliant strategy: limit choice, force the releases you want to sell down people's throats, control what music is exposed by the media outlets (like radio and MTV) and then take all the money from the sales that come in. Oh wait, my mistake, that's the way it was in the old music industry, and 98% of what the majors labels released failed. I guess limiting choice does not make music sell.Price also points out that Silverman's claim that this is "clogging" the market is ridiculous. It's not like people can't find what they want. If that's a problem, it's a problem of filters, not a problem of too much music. I tend to listen to some fairly obscure music in some specific genres, and sure there are acts in those areas that I don't think are very good, but it's pretty easy to quickly figure out who is good and who is not and move on. Claiming that "bad" artists somehow hurt good artists is ridiculous. You hear it all the time in various industries, but it's the same silly story all over again. More content creators don't take anything away from good content creators. Good content creators can and do still thrive.
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Jul 13th 2010 9:06am
from the going-behind-the-veil dept
Of course, it's actually even more ridiculous than this report makes it out to be. Going back ten years ago, Courtney Love famously laid out the details of recording economics, where the label can make $11 million... and the actual artists make absolutely nothing. It starts off with a band getting a massive $1 million advance, and then you follow the money:
What happens to that million dollars?And that explains why huge megastars like Lyle Lovett have pointed out that he sold 4.6 million records and never made a dime from album sales. It's why the band 30 Seconds to Mars went platinum and sold 2 million records and never made a dime from album sales. You hear these stories quite often.
They spend half a million to record their album. That leaves the band with $500,000. They pay $100,000 to their manager for 20 percent commission. They pay $25,000 each to their lawyer and business manager.
That leaves $350,000 for the four band members to split. After $170,000 in taxes, there's $180,000 left. That comes out to $45,000 per person.
That's $45,000 to live on for a year until the record gets released.
The record is a big hit and sells a million copies. (How a bidding-war band sells a million copies of its debut record is another rant entirely, but it's based on any basic civics-class knowledge that any of us have about cartels. Put simply, the antitrust laws in this country are basically a joke, protecting us just enough to not have to re-name our park service the Phillip Morris National Park Service.)
So, this band releases two singles and makes two videos. The two videos cost a million dollars to make and 50 percent of the video production costs are recouped out of the band's royalties.
The band gets $200,000 in tour support, which is 100 percent recoupable.
The record company spends $300,000 on independent radio promotion. You have to pay independent promotion to get your song on the radio; independent promotion is a system where the record companies use middlemen so they can pretend not to know that radio stations -- the unified broadcast system -- are getting paid to play their records.
All of those independent promotion costs are charged to the band.
Since the original million-dollar advance is also recoupable, the band owes $2 million to the record company.
If all of the million records are sold at full price with no discounts or record clubs, the band earns $2 million in royalties, since their 20 percent royalty works out to $2 a record.
Two million dollars in royalties minus $2 million in recoupable expenses equals ... zero!
How much does the record company make?
They grossed $11 million.
It costs $500,000 to manufacture the CDs and they advanced the band $1 million. Plus there were $1 million in video costs, $300,000 in radio promotion and $200,000 in tour support.
The company also paid $750,000 in music publishing royalties.
They spent $2.2 million on marketing. That's mostly retail advertising, but marketing also pays for those huge posters of Marilyn Manson in Times Square and the street scouts who drive around in vans handing out black Korn T-shirts and backwards baseball caps. Not to mention trips to Scores and cash for tips for all and sundry.
Add it up and the record company has spent about $4.4 million.
So their profit is $6.6 million; the band may as well be working at a 7-Eleven.
And note that those are bands that are hugely, massively popular. How about those that just do okay? Remember last year, when Tim Quirk of the band Too Much Joy revealed how Warner Music made a ton of money of of the band's albums, but simply refuses to accurately account for royalties owed, because the band is considered unrecoupable. Sometimes the numbers even go in reverse. If you don't understand RIAA accounting, you might think that if a band hasn't "recouped" its advance, it means that the record labels lost money. Not so in many cases. Quirk explained the neat accounting trick in a footnote to his post about his own royalty statement:
A word here about that unrecouped balance, for those uninitiated in the complex mechanics of major label accounting. While our royalty statement shows Too Much Joy in the red with Warner Bros. (now by only $395,214.71 after that $62.47 digital windfall), this doesn't mean Warner "lost" nearly $400,000 on the band. That's how much they spent on us, and we don't see any royalty checks until it's paid back, but it doesn't get paid back out of the full price of every album sold. It gets paid back out of the band's share of every album sold, which is roughly 10% of the retail price. So, using round numbers to make the math as easy as possible to understand, let's say Warner Bros. spent something like $450,000 total on TMJ. If Warner sold 15,000 copies of each of the three TMJ records they released at a wholesale price of $10 each, they would have earned back the $450,000. But if those records were retailing for $15, TMJ would have only paid back $67,500, and our statement would show an unrecouped balance of $382,500.So, back to our original example of the average musician only earning $23.40 for every $1,000 sold. That money has to go back towards "recouping" the advance, even though the label is still straight up cashing 63% of every sale, which does not go towards making up the advance. The math here gets ridiculous pretty quickly when you start to think about it. These record label deals are basically out and out scams. In a traditional loan, you invest the money and pay back out of your proceeds. But a record label deal is nothing like that at all. They make you a "loan" and then take the first 63% of any dollar you make, get to automatically increase the size of the "loan" by simply adding in all sorts of crazy expenses (did the exec bring in pizza at the recording session? that gets added on), and then tries to get the loan repaid out of what meager pittance they've left for you.
I do not share this information out of a Steve Albini-esque desire to rail against the major label system (he already wrote the definitive rant, which you can find here if you want even more figures, and enjoy having those figures bracketed with cursing and insults). I'm simply explaining why I'm not embarrassed that I "owe" Warner Bros. almost $400,000. They didn't make a lot of money off of Too Much Joy. But they didn't lose any, either. So whenever you hear some label flak claiming 98% of the bands they sign lose money for the company, substitute the phrase "just don't earn enough" for the word "lose."
Oh, and after all of that, the record label still owns the copyrights. That's one of the most lopsided business deals ever.
So think of that the next time the RIAA or some major record label exec (or politician) suggests that protecting the record labels is somehow in the musicians' best interests. And then, take a look at the models that some musicians have adopted by going around the major label system. They may not gross as much without the major record label marketing push behind them, but they're netting a whole lot more, and as any business person will tell you (except if that business person is a major label A&R guy trying to sign you to a deal), the net amount is all that matters.
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Apr 13th 2010 7:33am
from the funny-how-that-works dept
IS TOURING ALONE ENOUGH?First of all, there aren't that many folks who claim that touring alone is enough of a business model, and the rest of the post doesn't focus on "touring alone," but on a variety of alternative business models, which makes it a weird and entirely misleading title. In fact, a year ago, we explained why (just like the RIAA is pointing out) touring alone probably isn't enough to replace the revenues of the recording industry -- but that if you combined touring with other business models, it certainly could work quite well. But by using "touring" as the peg, the RIAA can debunk touring alone and pretend (falsely) that it's debunked the entire space of alternative (smarter) business models. Neat trick, but easy to see through.
Some industry observers like to suggest that efforts to address the theft of music online are somehow tantamount to efforts to maintain an "outdated business model" rather than to address forms of unfair competition based on illegal acts.Now, I am one such "industry observer" who has pointed out that the RIAA has made a Herculean, if ultimately self-defeating, effort to maintain its outdated business model. But that has nothing to do with "theft of music online." It has to do with the changing economics of creating, promoting and distributing new music. Some of that may involve some amount of copyright infringement, but the business model of the RIAA was outdated even in the absence of infringing uses -- and, of course, such infringement is not and never has been theft. Of course, the RIAA knows this, but this blog is a weak attempt at painting itself as a victim, after decades of denying musicians money that it actually owed them. So, the best they can do is pretend that these new technologies represent "theft." Weak.
The suggestion is there are ample alternative mechanisms for generating revenues from music -- money from touring, selling merchandise like t-shirts, licensing music for commercials.Yes. Indeed. But it's not a suggestion. There's a fair bit of evidence to support that. In fact, we've shown multiple studies from multiple sources and multiple locations all showing this is true. So, it would take quite a debunking from the RIAA to prove this wrong. But, of course, the RIAA doesn't do so. Because it can't.
Completely ignored are the pleas for enhanced copyright protection from artists and unionsA bit of a non sequitur, but not ignored at all. In fact, it's no surprise that artists and unions would want gov't-backed monopolies that mean they have to work less hard to obtain royalties. Who wouldn't want that? But a bunch of self-interested folks begging the gov't for protectionist policies is hardly evidence that copyright isn't being abused to prop up an outdated business model. If anything, it supports that view even more.
Instead the handful of established artists for whom Internet anarchy works as an effective marketing tool are cited.Wait. That's just a lie. For years, we pointed out unsung artists who were making this work -- artists like Maria Schneider, and in response folks like the RIAA told us that "sure, this model might work for no names who have nothing to lose by giving away their works, but it'll never work for the big artists, like those we represent." Yet, now that it is working for those artists too, the RIAA wants to pretend it only works for them? Nice try, guys. But, as we've demonstrated over and over and over again, with a large and growing list of artists (not just "a handful"), this model works for artists up and down the music food chain. The RIAA says it only works for "a handful of established artists" but doesn't explain the success stories of folks like Corey Smith, Motoboy, Matthew Ebel and others who were hardly "established" when they began using these methods for their own success.
No one has ever said that everyone can succeed with them. However, one thing we have seen is that pretty much every artist who has embraced these models and principles has done better than they did trying to go about things the old way. Those who were on big labels found that they made more money this way. Those who weren't on big labels also found they made more money this way. And, we're not saying this is anti-label. There are lots of smart music labels that are embracing these principles as well. Just not the ones who run the RIAA.
Even more importantly, the reality of the marketplace is ignored in favor of theory.There's only one party in this conversation ignoring "the reality of the marketplace... in favor of theory," and considering that we've posted numbers on most of the artists we've talked about, and the RIAA is best known for either not sharing or totally making up numbers, take a wild guess who's in reality and who's focused on "theory."
While touring and merchandise sales will work for some bands -- most notably big bands that "made it" in the 80's, 90's or earlier (and built on the back of touring support from music labels) -- it is exceedingly challenging for other bands to generate sufficient income just from touring, and touring support from the labels is rapidly disappearing.See what the RIAA did there? Now it goes back to pretending this is just about touring. Of course, it's not. Most of the models we discuss don't focus just on touring.
Check out this article in BBC News about UK rock band Doves. And of course, without brand/name recognition, merchandise sales are commercially irrelevant.That BBC article is quite one-sided, and basically says that the labels aren't providing tour support any more. And that proves what? It proves that the RIAA itself is screwing this up, by not supporting one part of the business that is making lots of money. I'm not sure what that proves other than that the RIAA is really bad at figuring out how to adapt to the changing world.
But, more to the point, the idea that bands can't tour without support from a major label is just silly. There are all sorts of new and more efficient ways for bands to find gigs and create tours. Sites like Eventful, SonicBids, Songkick and lots of others are making all sorts of useful tools around touring, that make it possible to do shows on a much more efficient and cost-effective basis. Yes, the big labels provided lots of money for tours in the past -- and they did so in a wasteful manner. But rather than become more efficient, now they're just hoarding their cash and blaming everyone else!
As for the lack of "brand/name recognition" making it impossible to sell merchandise, that's true. But the RIAA seems to be implicitly stating that the only way to get brand/name recognition is through a big RIAA label. Yet, the examples we've shown over and over again have focused on musicians figuring out how to connect directly with fans themselves. Without the need for massive marketing from the RIAA.
One last question: how is generating revenue from licensing of music to sell other products more socially useful than the sale of music itself?Ah, yes. The "socially useful" question. It sounds great, but is entirely meaningless. After all, how is generating revenue from smelly automobiles that break down more socially useful than selling horses and buggies? Or, perhaps a more apt comparison: how is having all your phone calls connected directly more socially useful than having operators manually connect each call? Social utility doesn't matter. Economics doesn't care about social utility, and in the long run, in every single case, people tend to discover that there is more social utility in embracing progress rather than denying it.
Cars became more socially useful than horses and buggies by making travel more efficient and faster -- even if it hurt those who relied on the old system (horse shoers and buggy whip makers, for example). Automated telephone switching created a much better phone system, and other advancements including the internet -- even if it meant a lot of operators lost their jobs. And generating revenue from alternative means by selling other products is more socially useful than the sale of music directly because it's more efficient. It allows for less expensive creation, promotion and distribution of music -- meaning it brings more music into the world, helps more people hear more music more quickly for less cost -- and, in doing so, opens up tons of more efficient and socially beneficial business models.
Besides, isn't it just a little ridiculous for the recording industry -- who has filled landfills with non-degradable plastic discs to start talking about how "socially useful" its business model is?
It seems to me that this is the worst of all worlds, one in which all artistry will not be rewarded -- and one in which only music that works well in selling diapers and cars will be commercially produced. Is this supposed to sustain the diversity of music that we want? Would we have Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith, the Sex Pistols under this kind of system for compensating artists? Not remotely.Ah. and now the shift. Suddenly the RIAA is pretending that this is all about product placement and commercial licensing. Except, it's not. And, uh, last I checked, Bob Dylan was shilling for Victoria's Secret, so apparently, he's perfectly happy with such a system.
Exactly what kind of product licensing would have sustained the Smiths or Nirvana? Was there anything on Springsteen's first record that would have drawn the attention of advertising companies? In fact, we never would have had Elvis (either one)! This is an alternative universe in which I would not care to live.Now this is rich. This from an industry that kicked all sorts of fantastic bands to the curb, because their music "wasn't commercial enough" for the major labels... and now it's complaining about how music will be "too commercial" under this new system? Except, of course, that's not true. If you listen to the music from different artists who have embraced these models, you'll find all kinds of music -- and much of it isn't commercially driven at all. In fact, that's why fans like it so much, because it's not being programmed by some exec in New York, but directly between the musicians and their fans.
Sorry, RIAA, you are protecting an obsolete business model, no matter how much revisionist history you cite and how many out of context arguments you make. Of course, we're more than willing to help your members figure this stuff out. They can just give us a call. In fact, more than a few already have. This might explain why they're questioning the value of continuing to be members of the RIAA.
by Mike Masnick
Fri, Apr 9th 2010 9:46am
from the must-read dept
The BPI wrote the bill as a protectionist measure of an outdated and unworkable business model. It was a model that was NEVER to the advantage of musicians who cared about the music they played and the culture it existed in, but one that made sense at a time when physical distribution was required to reach anyone, and the costs involved were prohibitively high. At that point, labels lying to musicians about how much they dig the music, while making a fortune for themselves but still never "recouping" on the album was deeply unpalatable but a necessary part of recording and releasing music.It's great to see musicians realizing that just because the bill's backers claim it's in their interest that this is not necessarily the case -- and that it could very much go against their interests.
All the costs have dropped. I've written extensively about this -- most notably here -- but nothing has changed in the industry. They still spend money on the behalf of musicians, pay themselves that money, recoup it (AGAIN) and own the product at the end. None of that is remotely to our advantage.
So, the premise of the bill -- that the situation is desperate -- was spurious. The figures quoted for industry 'losses' are insane. Utterly nonsensical if mapped against spending trends on 'physical and download entertainment media' -- we are part of a much bigger entertainment industry now that we ever were, and we don't dominate it in the way we did from 1956 to 1998. Games and DVD are a bigger part of it than ever. And entertainment spending continues to rise. So 200 million hasn't been 'lost', it's being spent elsewhere. Meanwhile, the cost of making and distributing records is tiny, and download sales go up and up.
How you can see that as a situation that needs legislating is utterly beyond me. To shut down sites and services on suspicion of illegal activity is a civil liberties travesty. To have my internet traffic monitored 'in case I do anything bad' is like the royal mail reading my post, in case my letters contain naughty words. While threatening to brick up my front door if they find them, or think they might have found them.