Four Tet wins £56k in streaming royalties court case against Domino Records: “I hope these types of life of copyright deals become extinct”

The label recognises that a 50 per cent royalty should be paid on the historical contract

Four Tet

Image: Burak Cingi/Redferns.

Electronic producer Four Tet has reached a settlement with Domino Records over a court case concerning streaming and download royalties that began in 2021.

Four Tet, real name Kieran Hebden, revealed the news in an Instagram post today (20 June). The post includes scans of the court case’s settlement form.

In the post, he explains that Domino Records “have recognised my original claim, that I should be paid a 50 per cent royalty on streaming and downloads, and that they should be treated as a license rather than the same as a CD or vinyl sale.”

The settlement form states that Hebden will receive a sum of £56,921.08, “calculated to the difference between royalties which would have been payable at the 50 per cent rate you claim and what has been paid at the 18 per cent rate to date.”

It goes on to state that the producer will, going forwards, continue to earn a 50 per cent royalties rate from his tracks played on streaming services.

However, the producer says that there are sections of his catalogue where the record label still hold ownership. He refers to the “evolutionary nature” of the music industry, saying: “I hope these types of life of copyright deals become extinct. It seems crazy to… institutionalise music in that way.”

In the Instagram post, Hebden reveals to fans: “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.

“Hopefully I’ve… prompted others to push for a fairer deal on historical contracts,” he says.

The court case against Domino Records began in 2021 and concerned the label’s royalty rate for streaming and downloads of albums and singles from the noughties. During the dispute, Domino Records pulled three of Four Tet’s albums from streaming service in a move that Hebden described as “heartbreaking.”

In February 2022, Hebden signed a new exclusive global publishing deal with Universal Music.