Four Tet Takes Legal Action Against Domino Over Royalties Dispute Related to Streaming

The IDM artist signed with the label in 2001 — seven years before Spotify launched.

Music
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Four Tet, real name Kieran Hebden, is taking Domino Recording Company to court due to a royalties dispute in relation to streaming.

According to reports, the IDM artist is “seeking damages of up to £70,000 plus costs over the claim for historical streaming and download royalties, as well as a legal judgement on the 50% rate,” the latter of which pertains to the royalties rate. Four Tet initially signed with Domino in 2001 — seven long years before the launch of Spotify in 2008 — and documents obtained show that his lawyer, Sam Carter, is arguing that Domino is legally obligated to pay the 50% royalty rate for music streamed on platforms outside the U.K due to this clause:

“In respect of the exploitation of the Masters and any videos embodying the Masters and received by us from our licensees outside the UK we shall credit your audio and audio-visual royalty accounts respectively with 50% of all royalties and fees arising from such exploitation.”

However, Domino allegedly claims that “streaming was not, as at the date of the 2001 Agreement, a mainstream method for the lawful distribution of recorded music and was not as at that date within the contemplation of the parties.” The label adds that Four Tet “was only entitled to 75% of 18% of the dealer price (i.e. a 13.5% royalty rate), although the label has paid the full 18% on a discretionary basis.”

Four Tet and Domino’s case will be given to a judge at the Business and Property Courts of the High Court of Justice.

Elsewhere in music, De La Soul finally owns the rights to all their masters for the first time in years.

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