Ever since the Napster rise and fall there has been an on going debate in regards to copyrighted material being shared across networks with peer to peer (P2P) applications and popular social networking websites. I know from my school and work that technology exists that may analyze network traffic and determine what content travels through a connection. The content may be stopped if deemed a violation of copyrighted materials. For example, if a student is transferring a song or video from home to their email account so they may upload it to their Ipod. Corporate employees may be exempt from many of the free speech debates that arise. Universitys on the other hand, at least public universitys have large student bodies to please, and furthermore these students have rights. The technology can be very expensive if a third party is used to thwart sharing of copyrighted materials.
Another hot topic are the social networking sites such as myspace.com and youtube.com which contain quite a bit of copyrighted material. The content is placed on the sites and shared by the person users but ultimately the site is distributing the music. The music and videos help a lot of newer bands that are just starting gain popularity without spending tons of money on advertising. The same technology that may be used on college and corporate network may also be used on the networks that have web servers that distribute non-copyrighted material in order to find items that should not be shared.
A final interesting note for those who do not pay attention to the news (of any sort), google.compurchased youtube.com. This move for Google is a huge step since they spent 1.85 billion dollars on youTube which is already having issues due to the amount of copyrighted material that the artists are complaining about.