Is there something they’re not telling us here? They don’t want to pay Four Tet more in royalties – but Domino Recordings DO want to pay someone to assist the staff who pay out the royalties…

Over the past week, I have noticed that the long-running legal dispute between electronic musician Four Tet and Domino Recordings. The spat is over the way Domino appear to have interpreted how much to pay out from streaming royalties working off contracts written before the technology existed.

Early last week, Domino made the decision to remove three of Four Tet’s old albums from streaming services entirely. The decision by the label has been dismissed by many quarters as childish, petty and vindictive – and this blog happens to entirely agree that this is exactly how it looks.

Domino have not replied to my emails asking what was behind their decision. So in the absence of this, I believe it was done for one of two reasons. One, Domino’s lawyers have decided this is some kind of leverage they can use against him – and it also stops the amount of royalties potentially due from piling up due to the interest the legal action is bringing.

Or two, the relationship between Four Tet and Domino is appallingly bad. If this is the case, a straightforward divorce might be the best thing they can do. Whatever the truth, I find it a little ironic they were recently recruiting for a Copyright and Royalties Assistant right now…

I’ll be watching this case closely. Because there could be precedents for others here…