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Domino Removes Four Tet Albums From Streaming
Christian Eede , November 22nd, 2021 15:04

The move comes ahead of a court case between the label and artist about streaming royalties

Domino has removed three of Four Tet's albums from streaming platforms.

In a series of tweets, Four Tet, real name Kieran Hebden, said he was "so upset" at Domino's decision to take the albums Pause, Rounds and Everything Ecstatic down from streaming services, adding: "People are reaching out asking why they can't stream the music and I'm sad to say that it's out of my control."

Domino's decision to take down the three albums, for which the label currently owns all rights, comes amid a legal dispute between Hebden and the label over streaming royalties. The case is set to go to the High Court on January 18, with Hebden seeking a higher royalty rate of 50 percent, plus damages of up to £70,000. Domino argues that the originally agreed rate of 18 percent is entirely lawful as streaming didn't exist when the two parties agreed the contract in 2001.

"I signed with Domino over 20 years ago, in a different time before streaming and downloads were something we thought about," Hebden said in a Twitter thread about the case. "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 three of my albums forever. Music I created that's important to me and to many of you too."

He continued: "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."

It's believed the case could set a precedent for streaming royalty rate disputes, particularly regarding contracts signed in the pre-digital era, with Hebden seemingly the first artist to take a claim of this kind as far as the High Court.