This article in Slate details the timeline. My favorite part was the woebegone explanation of why Spider-Man and Iron Man can never appear in the same movie. On Broadway, maybe...?
Intellectual Property rights of all kinds live in a sort of half-light, half-dark limbo between anti-competitive monopoly and incentive to all to increase innovation and monetize new ideas. Copyright laws, of late, seem to be trending in the exact opposite direction as public mores on the topic. If copyrights were shorter (how much shorter? we don't know), then there might be less money in copyright "trolling." Or there might be more -- shorter time to profit could lead to more aggressive behavior. The fact is, we don't know what will happen if we change the laws. What we do know is that the laws in the US don't match the behavior of our citizens. In 2009, a woman who allegedly downloaded 24 songs through Kazaa was hit with a $1.5M verdict for copyright infringement. (It was later reduced to $220,000 -- what a relief?). Is this justice? Would the RIAA have made $1.5M or even $220,000 off of the music she "stole"?
I think we can all agree that the topic is worth further review. The RSC made a great first step. Unfortunately the lobby flexed its muscles and set us back. However, I think it's fair to say that the RSC drew blood. Now it's up to us to let the lobbyists know what we expect from our lawmakers.