Case Update: Sam Carter Acts for Four Tet Against Domino Recording Company

Digital exploitation?

Four Tet recently obtained leave to amend to determine whether Domino’s removal of the sound recordings from all digital services (in an effort to resolve the dispute) constituted a fundamental breach of contract resulting in the copyright reverting to Four Tet.

Sam Carter acts for recording artist Four Tet in an IPEC complaint regarding alleged underpayment of royalties for the digital exploitation of sound recordings, pursuant to a recording agreement entered into before the digital exploitation does not exist as a common method.

The case could set an important precedent for building historic recording contracts in the digital age, and has received significant media attention (it has even been brought up in Parliament).

The Four Tet case could set an important precedent for how historic recording contracts should be interpreted in the digital age

Kieran Hebden (professional name Four Tet) has brought an action against Domino Recording Company Ltd for breach of contract relating to alleged underpayment of digital royalties. The contract was made in 2001, before ‘digital’ became mainstream, and a decision on the key question of construction could set a significant precedent for how other historical recording contracts should be interpreted in the digital age.

In November, Domino made Hebden an open offer of all damages and costs it sought in the original claim, removed the affected albums from all digital services (and pledged not to reinstate them). ) and sought expungement/summary judgment, in an attempt to avoid the need for a trial on the original infringement allegations. However, Hebden was granted leave to amend to litigate new infringement claims in connection with the removal of the albums from the digital services, and to file for copyright reversion as a result of these alleged infringements.

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