As to the AC's comment about "... collecting more in royalties is "bad . . . for artists...." - I don't see that anywhere in the article! However, in my opinion, increasing the royalties is likely neither good nor bad for the artist (at least, not for the vast majority of them) because I don't believe the artists will ever see a cent of the increase.
Going from 1% to 3% is not a "2% increase" - it's a 300% increase. Try absorbing a 300% increase of any expense and see how your business fairs. The extra expenditure has to come from somewhere, and accommodating it may tip the scale from "viable" to "impossible" if the business is already on a tight margin.
The phrasing of their denial has two points of weasel words that can make their statement true ... sort of. First: ...recent press reports have been misleading... doesn't say the reports are wrong, only that they're misleading. Second: ...the mail scanning described in the article does not exist on our systems. does not deny that email scanning is (or was) taking place - it only denies that it's not being done as described in the article.
...As adults, we should enjoy the five-sense experience of the people around us...
For the average person, this is probably good advice. For those of us called "Aspies" (we have Asperger's Syndrome), dealing with "the people around us" (that we don't know well) in any context that isn't banal and totally superficial is not just difficult, it's often impossible. The advent of being able to "connect" to people with technology as a buffer enables us to get to know other people well enough to be able to deal with them, and, sometimes, even deal with them in real life.
The real problem that government has with the drug trade is that it's all untaxed revenue. Other than that, it's a good PR stalking horse. They really don't care what the riffraff does to themselves ... as long as all the taxes are paid (and bribes are a nice bonus).
I stopped following mainstream media news when it became obvious that they where very slanted (as opposed to "biased") and had no interest in fact checking - and this was long before the "internet" was actually a useful thing to most people (other than email). Once the internet developed sufficiently, I used it to do my own fact checking on what little news I would accept, and that only proved just how bad the mainstream sources were. Bias I expect; people writing the stories have their own feelings about it - this is being human. Allowing that bias to slant the story is a totally different matter.