IRELAND: An indication that a new era may be dawning when it comes to the ability of rights holders to enforce intellectual property rights against piracy sites comes from Ireland where EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner Music successfully applied to the High Court to have access to The Pirate Bay, the torrent sharing site, blocked. The Court has ordered the country’s major Internet service providers (ISPs): 02 Ireland, 3 Ireland, Digiweb, Imagine, UPC and Vodaphone to block the site by mid-July. The labels had alleged that The Pirate Bay’s activities were costing them approximately $20 million in lost revenue. It is estimated that more than 200,000 Internet users illegally download pirated material from The Pirate Bay site each month. Brian McElligott and Leo Moore of the Irish law firm William Fry writing in Lexology note: “The decision comes after Ireland signed a controversial statutory instrument amending the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 last year. This change in the law makes an express provision for copyright owners to seek injunctions against ISPs and other intermediaries where copyright infringement is alleged. It also gives the courts an express power to make orders to protect the exclusive rights of copyright holders.”

U.S.: Strong automotive sales helped SiriusXM post some pretty impressive gains in the second quarter as the company added 715,000 subscribers. SiriusXM now has over 25 million subscribers.

U.S.: SoundExchange announced on Tuesday (9) that it had made second quarter 2013 payments of $149 million. It marks the organization’s highest quarterly payment to recording artists and record labels to date with a 55 percent increase from the same quarter last year. The organization also proudly announced that its 2012 administrative rate of 4.9 percent makes it one of the lowest in the world. SoundExchange says that it has paid more than $1.5 billion to artists and labels. “These royalties are paid by Internet radio, satellite radio and cable radio services for their performance of sound recordings, and are distributed by SoundExchange to recording artists and record labels,” SoundExchange notes. “In addition, SoundExchange works with more than 2000 digital music services that rely on the organization to administer the statutory license for the use of a sound recording.”

U.S.: In late June, the First Circuit court upheld the jury’s $675,000 damage award in the Sony BMG Music Entertainment, et al. v Tennenbaum case in which Joel Tennenbaum had been found liable for illegally downloading 30 songs. The jury had awarded statutory damages of $22,500 for each song infringed. If that sounds high, it was only 15 percent of the maximum award possible for willful copyright infringement.