There's been a lot of traffic about the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in the last week or so, but not nearly enough. In a nutshell, instead of proposing legislation through transparent and traditional channels (Congress, Parliament, etc), member countries seem to be pushing to enact legislation via an international treaty which has so far been withheld from the public. If the treaty is signed, wham-bam, thank-you ma'am, we've got a new law. And know what? It's not really about anti-counterfeiting as much as it is about copyright reform.
Want some more background? Take your pick on where to start reading.
Want a number to make you sit up and take notice? According to a statistic being passed around on twitter, the population of countries negotiating ACTA is 1,178,504,491 ... public with access to text: 42.
Want to listen instead of read? Michael Geist spoke for 20 minutes at the Washington College of Law:
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a form you Americans can use to contact your CongressCritter about this issue.
One of the leaks around ACTA suggests that there's a provision which will require ISPs around the globe to monitor and adhere to takedown notices upon mere accusation of copyright infringement, as well as a three-strikes and you're off the internet forever. You read that right. The RIAA or whomever simply accuses you three times, and you're banned from the internet for life. Sounds like a joke, doesn't it? Apparently it's not.
Happy Friday the 13th :-(