On the web for the past several weeks and months, the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act currently before Congress, if passed, would have serious consequences for the internet and would change the landscape drasticly.
The real question is how should society best balance the needs of the copyright holders and the public using the internet, when sharing content is increasingly becoming the status quo. There are no easy answers. We all need to be concerned about how this develops. Wikipedia’s FAQ provides a lot of information.
In a talk, Clay Shirky provides some background and brings forth the real issues.