In a few hours in Korea, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement talks will be resuming, with the main meat of the meeting a series of proposals drafted by the American Government.
It's a year since Obama won his victory promising a different way of doing things. I'm not sure a pan-global repressive approach to copyright was quite what anyone was expecting.
Michael Geist has the the details on what is, basically, an attempt to ratchet up US copyright law and blanket it across the world:
If accurate (and these provisions are consistent with the U.S. approach for the past few years in bilateral trade negotations) the combined effect of these provisions would to be to dramatically reshape Canadian copyright law and to eliminate sovereign choice on domestic copyright policy. Having just concluded a national copyright consultation, these issues were at the heart of thousands of submissions. If Canada agrees to these ACTA terms, flexibility in WIPO implementation (as envisioned by the treaty) would be lost and Canada would be forced to implement a host of new reforms (this is precisely what U.S. lobbyists have said they would like to see happen). In other words, the very notion of a made-in-Canada approach to copyright would be gone.
And, of course, the rest of the world.
It makes Feargal Sharkey seem like a very small and silly threat.
Well, actually, Sharkey makes himself seem like that. But you get the drift.