Kieran Hebden’s dispute with former record company Domino Recordings has taken another twist, with the artist also known as Four Tet accusing the label of removing three of the albums he recorded for them from digital services in order to stop an ongoing court case progressing.
Hebden is taking legal action against Domino, claiming that the royalty rates that it’s paying on a number of his albums and EPs that were released in the '00s are in breach of contract.
The contract, which was signed in 2001, states that the producer is owed a royalty rate of 18% on sales of vinyl, cassettes and CDs. However, Domino has also been applying this rate to streaming and downloads.
Hebden argues that Domino should pay an increased royalty rate of 50% for streaming and downloads. He’s seeking damages of up to £70,000 plus costs, in addition to a legal judgement on the royalty rate.
A total of four Four Tet albums were released on Domino: Pause (2001), Rounds (2003), Everything Ecstatic (2005) and There Is Love In You (2010). At the time of writing, only the Expanded Edition of There Is Love In You (which was released on Text Records) is still available on Spotify.
I’m so upset to see that @Dominorecordco have removed the 3 albums of mine they own from digital and streaming services. This is heartbreaking to me. People are reaching out asking why they can’t stream the music and I’m sad to have to say that it’s out of my control.November 21, 2021
In a series of Tweets (opens in new tab), Hebden began by saying: “I’m so upset to see that Domino Records have removed the 3 albums of mine they own from digital and streaming services. This is heartbreaking to me. People are reaching out asking why they can’t stream the music and I’m sad to have to say that it’s out of my control.”
He continued: “Earlier this week Domino’s legal representative said they would remove my music from all digital services in order to stop the case progressing. I did not agree to them taking this action and I’m truly shocked that it has come to this.
“I signed with Domino over 20 years ago, in a different time before streaming and downloads were something we thought about.
“I considered the people who ran Domino to be my friends and to be driven by trying to create a great musical community. As a result Domino own 3 of my albums forever. Music I created that’s important to me and to many of you too.
“I believe there is an issue within the music industry on how the money is being shared out in the streaming era and I think it’s time for artists to be able to ask for a fairer deal.
“It’s time to try and make changes where we can. I’m not driven by the money, but I have to make a stand when I am experiencing something that’s simply unfair.
“Shout out to everyone out there enjoying my music and supporting the stuff I do!! I hope we can get this music back soon…”
Hebden says that the case is due to be heard on 18 January.