Domino Records takes 3 Four Tet albums off streaming services amid royalties dispute
Earlier this year, Four Tet (Kieran Hebden) took Domino Records to UK court over streaming royalties for the three albums the label released in the early '00s. The case, which is potentially precedent-setting for contracts signed in the pre-streaming era, is ongoing, and Domino has now removed the three albums -- Pause (2001), Rounds (2003) and Everything Ecstatic (2005) -- from streaming services.
Four Tet took to Twitter on Sunday to express his concern over Domino's action. "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," he wrote. "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," Hebden continued. "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 its time for artists to be able to ask for a fairer deal.
Four Ten concluded with, "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."
In August, representatives for Domino said that royalty rates in Four Tet's contract did not apply here as, “Streaming was not, as at the date of the 2001 Agreement, a mainstream method for the lawful distribution of recorded music.” Four Tet's 2010 album for Domino, There is Love In You, was part of a different contract and is still available on streaming services. The dispute is ongoing, stay tuned.