Four Tet has won his legal case against Domino Records.
The producer – Kieran Hebden – released a string of albums on Domino Records, including his influential 2003 album 'Rounds'.
The deal Four Tet signed did not include streaming, and as such those types of royalties were pieced together using different parts of an arguably out-moded contract.
Seeking to update this, the conversation broke down leading to Four Tet taking the imprint to court. In response, Domino pulled all the work at the centre of the case from streaming (although they were later reinstated).
Now Four Tet has shared "a bodacious update" – he's won, the agreement will be re-written. In a statement, he writes: "They have recognised my original claim, that I should be paid a 50% royalty on streaming and downloads, and that they should be treated as a license rather than the same as a CD or vinyl sale. It has been a difficult and stressful experience to work my way through this court case and I’m so glad we got this positive result, but I feel hugely relieved that the process is over."
"Hopefully I’ve opened up a constructive dialogue and maybe prompted others to push for a fairer deal on historical contracts, written at a time when the music industry operated entirely differently. I really hope that my own course of action encourages anyone who might feel intimidated by challenging a record label with substantial means."
Continuing, Kieran Hebden writes: "Unlike Domino, I didn’t work with a big law firm and luckily the case took place in the IPEC court (where legal costs are capped) so I was able to stand my ground. Sadly Domino still own parts of my catalogue for life of copyright and would not give me an option to take back ownership. I hope these types of life of copyright deals become extinct – the music industry isn’t definitive and given its evolutionary nature it seems crazy to me to try and institutionalise music in that way."
Finishing, he comments: "I feel so thankful for the people who worked with me on this, all of them understood my motivation, and I am truly grateful for all of the fans and artists who showed support for the intention here." Find the statement below.
I have a bodacious update on my case with @Dominorecordco. They have recognised my original claim, that I should be paid a 50% royalty on streaming and downloads, and that they should be treated as a license rather than the same as a CD or vinyl sale.
— Four Tet (@FourTet) June 20, 2022