Via Atrios we bounce to BoingBoing:
The internet chapter of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a secret copyright treaty whose text Obama's administration refused to disclose due to "national security" concerns, has leaked. It's bad.
There are several parallel struggles going on right now to define the form and structure of the 21st Century economy both globally and here in Estados Unidos. Some are in the headlines (health care, transitioning off carbon-based energy and dealing with climate change, reforming finance) and a couple other big ones are not.
The two things which fly under the radar are that classic favorite, the military industrial complex, which is verboten for polite political discussion, and the struggle to define the balance of power around information. In this latter struggle, we have some real choices to make, and they're pretty important.
If something like this treaty goes through, the future looks pretty damn dim for internet-enabled innovation, culture, and industry. In essence, the treaty denies non-creators any meaningful ability to "own" the information contained within products they purchase. It also creates highly restrictive requirements for "policing" infringement which will create enormous legal overhead for what are today simple staples of online life (e.g. forget about Flickr or Youtube).