Bills are at the moment making their way through congress to bring the US into compliance with the conclusions of the World Intellectual Property Rights Organization (WIPO). These bills will cause sweeping changes in the nature and intent of copyright law, essentially altering the purpose of copyright law to protect the interests of corporations who profit from Intellectual property and revoking the fair uses of the general populace. These laws put the profits of transnational corporations above the promotion of science and the useful arts and both literally and effectively threaten the foundations of free speech.
Postscript: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is now Public Law 105-304. The concerns expressed in this paper, including the criminalization of tools which can serve to defeat copyright protection, have been realized thanks to the 105th congress.