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Musician Kieran Hebden – aka Four Tet – took legal action against his former label Domino earlier this year, in a dispute about the digital royalties he was due from albums released in the 2000s.

Earlier this week, Hebden criticised Domino in a series of tweets, after those albums were removed from digital services. “Earlier this week Domino’s legal representative 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,” he wrote.

Now Domino has responded with a statement on the takedowns and the wider dispute.

“Domino are just as saddened about this current situation.  The decision to temporarily remove the three Four Tet albums from digital services was not taken lightly. We were advised to do so as a necessary consequence of Kieran’s litigation at this time,” said the label in a statement sent to Music Ally.

“Kieran began his claim about contractual provisions in his original 2001 agreement with Domino on 1st December 2020. Since then, we have offered both in correspondence and in open court to mediate, but have been rebuffed by Kieran and his legal team. We have continued trying to re-engage with them to find a solution to this dispute: one that is fair to both sides, but to no avail.”

The statement continues: “Through all of this, we have been and continue to be open to discussion and mediation. While we are equally as disheartened to have to take these steps, we remain hopeful that an amicable solution can be reached in the future. Our door is now and will always be open for further discussion with Kieran.”

You can read Hebden’s tweets via the thread below.

I’m so upset to see that @Dominorecordco have removed the 3 albums of mine they own from digital and streaming services. This is heartbreaking to me. 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.

— Four Tet (@FourTet) November 21, 2021

Yesterday, UK industry bodies the MMF and FAC issued their own statement about the album takedowns, claiming that the move “raises all kinds of moral and legal questions about rights assignment and the power of labels over an artist’s work”.

They also linked the dispute to a campaign to persuade the British government to “instigate changes to the law to end ‘life of copyright’ deals and return rights ownership to artists and songwriters after a set period of time”. A private members bill from MP Kevin Brennan will soon be receiving its second reading in the UK Parliament, and could seek to introduce these measures.

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