Fortune in its July 23, 2012 issue (online as of July 11) has a great article on the history of the battle that sunk Kim Dotcom and MegaUpload and how it relates to copyright and the cloud.
The problem, some would say, is that the original copyright term of 14 years in 1790 has gone bonkers and is now lifetime plus 70 years. And, the US really had no choice as France and others had such long terms and had laws that refused coverage to US copyright owners in their countries for any longer than the US provided for foreigners in the US. If the US did not extend it would have left money on the table, since much more copyrighted material originates in the US than elsewhere. In a way, the online piracy does a service by shortening the effective term of coverage to nothing, which is closer to 14 years than our current century long copyright term.