Kieran Hebden aka Four Tet has come to a settlement with Domino Records over the royalties paid on his streamed and downloaded content. An agreement to pay 50% of royalties on the aforementioned formats has been agreed, with the original contract omitting these specific royalty payments, which resulted in an 18% payout. In a statement issued on Billboard Domino records explained:
"Domino are pleased that Kieran Hebden has chosen to settle his 2020 claim and accepted financial terms first offered to him in November 2021. Kieran's claim arose from differing interpretations of specific clauses in a contract entered into by Kieran and Domino in 2001 in the pre-streaming era, and the application of those clauses to streaming income".
"Since 2021, Kieran has added to and pursued his claim despite numerous attempts by Domino to settle the matter. Neither the courts, nor the settlement terms, have made any determination as to how streaming should be categorised or streaming income split. The case now having been settled, we are glad to be able to dedicate our full attention to resourcing and supporting our artists and we wish Kieran continued success in his career".
Four Tet went to Twitter yesterday to share his point of view on the case through a series of tweets:
I have a bodacious update on my case with Domino Records. They have recognised my original claim, that I should be paid a 50% royalty on streaming and downloads, and that they should be treated as a license rather than the same as a CD or vinyl sale.
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, but I feel hugely relieved that the process is over.
Hopefully I've opened up a constructive dialogue and maybe prompted others to push for a fairer deal on historical contracts, written at a time when the music industry operated entirely differently.
I really hope that my own course of action encourages anyone who might feel intimidated by challenging a record label with substantial means.
Unlike Domino, I didn't work with a big law firm and luckily the case took place in the IPEC court (where legal costs are capped) so I was able to stand my ground.
Sadly Domino still own parts of my catalogue for life of copyright and would not give me an option to take back ownership.
I feel so thankful for the people who worked with me on this, all of them understood my motivation, and I am truly grateful for all of the fans and artists who showed support for the intention here.
How do you feel about the agreement? Do you think 50% is a fair amount of royalties?
Domino records: https://www.dominomusic.com/uk
Four Tet: https://www.fourtet.net/
MIDI, polysynths, all round nice guy
Built on Takt and Tone tech its beats and synth
New native instrument from the Spark range
Oh and NAMM too