Domino Records removes Four Tet albums from streaming services amidst ongoing royalties claim suit

Following a lawsuit filed by Kieran Hebden, aka Four Tet, against his former label Domino, the label has removed the three albums Four Tet recorded during his time with them from streaming services. After signing with Domino in 2001 Four Tet released four albums with the label, Pause (2001), Rounds (2003), Everything Ecstatic (2005) and There Is Love In You (2010). Hebden announced earlier this year that he was claiming damages against the label for a groundbreaking royalty rate, based on Domino’s streaming profits from his music from which he was still receiving the royalty rate based on his 2001 contract. 

The latest in the on-going suit sees Domino remove the three albums from Four Tet on the label available on streaming services, allegedly in an attempt “to stop the [legal] case progressing”. In a series of Tweets on November 21, Hebden revealed what Domino had done, expressing: 

“ 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.” 

The move from Domino has sent shockwaves across the industry. Producer Caribou stressed on Twitter that Domino’s actions “can only be seen as a desperate and vindictive act,” saying:

“Kieran is my musical mentor and I’ve never met anyone as committed to the betterment of musical culture and being an advocate for independent artists as he is… But it is clear from their actions, that the management at [Domino] are not. Knowing more about what is going on behind the scenes with this case only makes me more sure of this opinion.”

Meanwhile, The Music Managers Forum (MMF) released a statement on the issue, making their stance clear. “The removal of Four Tet’s first three albums […] from streaming services by Domino raises all kinds of moral and legal questions about rights assignment and the power of labels over an artist’s work,” they pointed out. Domino released a statement to NME on the situation, saying: “Domino are just as saddened about this current situation. The decision to temporarily remove the three Four Tet albums from digital services was not taken lightly. We were advised to do so as a necessary consequence of Kieran’s litigation at this time.”