Caribou said Domino’s decision to remove three of Four Tet’s albums from streaming services “can only be seen as a desperate and vindictive act.”
Four Tet – real name Kieran Hebden – signed with Domino in 2001 for the release of his second studio album, ‘Pause’. He then released three other records via the label: ‘Rounds’ (2003), ‘Everything Ecstatic’ (2005) and ‘There Is Love In You’ (2010).
Earlier this year, Hebden announced that he was seeking damages from Domino for a historic royalty rate applied to downloads and streaming revenue from his music first released in the 2000s.
In the pending lawsuit, Hebden alleges that the label is in breach of its 18% royalty rate (which Domino applied to record sales) and that a “reasonable” rate of 50% should have been given to downloads. / streamings.
Hebden claimed in a tweet over the weekend (November 21) that the label has now removed three of its Domino albums from online streaming services. The producer added that he had been alerted to the move “in order to stop the [legal] current case â.
I am so upset to see this @Dominorecordco have deleted the 3 albums they own from digital and streaming services. It’s heartbreaking for me. People ask me why they can’t stream music and I’m sad to have to say it’s out of my control.
– Quatre TÃªt (@FourTet) November 21, 2021
“I am so upset to see that [Domino] have removed all three albums they own from digital and streaming services, âFour Tet wrote. âIt breaks my heart. People ask me why they can’t stream music and I’m sad to have to say it’s out of my control.
Now Caribou – aka Dan Snaith – has shared his thoughts on Twitter. “Please read this thread from Kieran @fourtet,” he began. “Kieran is my musical mentor and I have never met someone more committed to improving music culture and an advocate for independent artists than him.”
Snaith continued, “Her decisions throughout this time have always been driven by setting a fair precedent for other artists in similar situations rather than her own self-interest.”
The Canadian musician went on to say that “it is often assumed that independent labels have the same interests at heart and are benevolent players in today’s music industry climate”, before hailing Merge Records and City Slang.
âBut it is clear from their actions that the management of [Domino] are not, âhe added. “Finding out more about what is going on behind the scenes in this case only makes me more sure of that opinion.”
Please read this thread from Kieran @fourtet. Kieran is my musical mentor and I have never met someone more committed to improving musical culture and an advocate for independent artists. 1 / https://t.co/UJNJM1k2dR
– Caribou (@caribouband) 22 November 2021
Caribou concluded, âTake away Kieran’s albums rather than allow a precedent to be set for musicians to receive [a] a fair share of streaming revenue can only be seen as a desperate and vindictive act. “
Writing on Twitter last Sunday, Four Tet said, âI think there is a problem within the music industry about how the money is shared in the age of streaming and I think there is. it is time for artists to be able to ask for a fairer deal.
âIt’s time to try to make changes where we can. I am not motivated by money, but I have to take a stand when I experience something that is just plain unfair.
The Music Managers Forum (MMF) and Featured Artists have since issued a statement, claiming that “the withdrawal of the first three albums from Four Tet [â¦] Domino’s streaming services raises all kinds of moral and legal questions about the assignment of rights and the power of labels over an artist’s work.
He continued, “Regardless of the legal dispute between the two parties, this is a flawed and doomed decision, and we urge them to reconsider their decision.” You can read the entire post below.
The MMF and @start artists released this joint statement regarding news that Domino has removed three of Four Tet’s albums from the streaming services in an ongoing legal action. pic.twitter.com/qAmSx4gU5S
– Music Directors Forum (@MMFUK) 22 November 2021
The upcoming court case is expected to be tried by a High Court of Justice business and property court judge on January 18 next year.
Four Tet is seeking damages of up to Â£ 70,000 plus costs related to the claim for historical streaming and download royalties as well as a legal judgment on the 50% rate. Its lawyers argued that for all download and streaming services operating outside the UK, a rate of 50% would apply.
Domino rejected this request and highlighted a separate clause in the 2001 contract. âWith respect to records sold in new technology formats other than vinyl, compact discs and analog cassettes, the royalty rate will be 75% of the rate otherwise applicable. “
It comes as regulators, industry figures and government continue to scrutinize the remuneration of streaming artists as part of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Special Committee investigation. (DCMS) on the matter.
The findings released last month saw MPs push for new legislation that “enshrines in law [artistsâ] right to a fair share of income âto remedy the inequality of remuneration received by artists.