Four Tet posted a series of tweets on Sunday (November 21) alleging that his former label, Domino, which he is suing over a knotty royalty dispute, is scrubbing his music from streaming platforms. “I’m so upset to see that @Dominorecordco have removed the 3 albums of mine they own,” he wrote. “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.” Caribou’s Dan Snaith, a former Domino artist, weighed in the next day, describing the apparent takedown as “a desperate and vindictive act.”
Although Hebden did not specify which of his albums have been removed, the Domino-issued Pause, Rounds, and Everything Ecstatic have not been listed on Spotify or Apple Music since work on this story began on November 21. The Domino-issued EP Ringer and LP There Is Love in You were still available, though Hebden reissued the latter last year on his Text imprint. Neither Domino nor Four Tet’s lawyer responded to requests for comment.
Referring to the royalty lawsuit, Four Tet tweeted that Domino’s lawyers had “said they would remove my music from all digital services in order to stop the case progressing. I did not agree to them taking this action and I’m truly shocked that it has come to this.”
The case relates to Four Tet’s 2001 contract with the label, signed before streaming services existed. He is reportedly seeking damages of up to £70,000, plus a corrected royalty payout, as Music Week reported in August.
Four Tet’s legal team argues that he is entitled to a 50 percent royalty rate for streams through international platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music. Labels tend to pay the lower rate of roughly 16 percent for streams, although UK lawmakers called for widespread implementation of the 50 percent rate in an inquiry that concluded this year.
Dan Snaith tweeted that Hebden is “motivated by setting a fair precedent for other artists in similar situations, rather than by his own self interest.”