A company called Attributor is building a service that will allow content creators (eg: big media) to track who uses their copyrighted material elsewhere on the web:
“The company has developed software that identifies an electronic “fingerprint” for a particular piece of material — an article, a picture, a video. Then it hunts down any place across the Web where a significant chunk of that work has been copied, with or without permission.”
“When the use is unauthorized, Attributor’s software can automatically send a message to the site’s operators, demanding a link back to the original publisher’s site, a share of revenue from any ads on the page, or a halt to the copying.”
More on Attributor from TechCrunch.