Four Tet Takes Domino Royalty Dispute to UK Court
Kieran Hebden (aka Four Tet) is taking legal action against Domino over royalties related to streaming, as reported by UK trade outlet Music Week. He’s reportedly seeking “damages of up to £70,000 plus costs over the claim for historical streaming and download royalties,” along with a judgement on a disputed royalty rate. Pitchfork has reached out to representatives for Four Tet and Domino for comment.
The case revolves around a contract that Hebden signed with the label in 2001, well before the advent of contemporary streaming services. His legal team reportedly argues that Hebden is entitled to a 50% royalty rate for music streamed through platforms based outside of the United Kingdom, such as Spotify and Apple Music. The belief stems from the following contractual clause:
Domino does not believe streaming qualifies for the 50% royalty rate, reportedly stating, “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.”
Instead, Domino reportedly argues that Hebden “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.”
The case will go to a judge at the Business and Property Courts of the High Court of Justice following failed efforts to settle an agreement out of court.
Read “A Guide to the Royalties Battle Between Streaming Services and Songwriters on the Pitch.”