Note: This was appended today to the top of C-JeS’ statements from yesterday
[Re-read yesterday’s texts HERE]
False postings about the preliminary injunction order for the invalidation of the exclusive contract obtained by JYJ against SM Entertainment Inc. (“SM”) in 2009 and the conciliation reached in 2012 between JYJ and SM have recently swept the Internet. As such postings have caused confusions among fans at home and abroad not fully aware of the factual background, C-JeS Entertainment Corp. (“C-JeS”) will explain JYJ’s position below to avoid any further confusions.
On July 31, 2009, JYJ filed a request for a preliminary injunction to invalidate the exclusive contract with SM, and on October 27, 2009, the 50th Civil Division of the Seoul Central District Court (Presiding Judge: Byung-Dae Park) rendered a decision granting such request. The court ordered that “SM shall not, contrary to JYJ’s will, negotiate or enter into a contract with a third party for JYJ’s appearance in any TV program or movie, their participation in any performance or concert, their production of music records or their participation in any entertainment event or activity, or request third parties, including broadcasting companies, music production companies and concert agencies, to terminate their relationship with JYJ to interfere with JYJ’s engagement in any entertainment activity.” The court’s reasoning behind such order was that ① the exclusive contract between SM and JYJ allows SM to exercise unreasonable control over JYJ through its superior position, and imposes payment of excessive compensations or unjust burdens seriously infringing JYJ’s economic freedom and fundamental rights and, therefore, can be considered to be void or being invalidated as a legal action against good moral and social order, and ② given SM’s influence on the Korean entertainment market, a protracted litigation will likely substantially restrict JYJ’s entertainment activities, which may raise not only economic concerns but also cause serious infringement of JYJ’s fundamental rights under the Constitution, including their freedom of occupation and the freedom of activity.
SM filed an objection against the preliminary injunction order, however, the 50th Civil Department of the Seoul Central District Court (Presiding Judge: Sung-Joon Choi) dismissed SM’s objection and upheld the original preliminary injunction order on February 15, 2001, stating that ① the exclusive contract between SM and JYJ constitutes an “exclusive contract on a subordinate relationship” under which the entertainer does not have an independent decision-making right but must follow the agency’s unilateral instructions, and such defect in the exclusive contract caused by the difference in the bargaining power of the parties was not cured until the execution of the fifth supplementary contract, and ② the 13-year contract term, which we find to be excessively long, must be limited to a reasonable period to protect JYJ’s personal rights and their freedom of occupation and minimize side effects resulting from JYJ’s engagement in activities against their will, and such long term “exclusive contract on a subordinate relationship” cannot be justified by arguing that such contract was necessary for SM to reduce its investment risks or help JYJ enter overseas markets smoothly.
The preliminary injunction order had been possible thanks to JYJ’s courageous decision and prompted the Korea Fair Trade Commission to establish a standard form of exclusive contract to rectify unfair contractual relationships prevalent in the entertainment industry. Several entertainment agencies voluntarily took the initiative to improve their systems so that more entertainers have negotiating powers commensurate with those of entertainment agencies.
Some people, however, have recently been disseminating groundless rumors described below based on certain record on conciliation negotiation between JYJ and SM:
① Some people alleged on the internet that the exclusive contract between SM and JYJ was not unfair on the grounds that the settlement amount SM paid to JYJ was smaller than the amount originally claimed by JYJ, and that SM paid such amount to JYJ only to settle the amount that should have been paid to JYJ in 2009 but was not paid due to the lawsuit. However, JYJ agreed to reduce the settlement amount in order to settle the dispute as soon as possible, fearing protracted litigation will only waste the time and money and may make it impossible for JYJ to take part in the entertainment business of their own will for the litigation period.
② Other people alleged on the internet that JYJ executed the 13-year long-term exclusive contract at the request of TVXQ members’ parents. The court, however, found that the members’ negotiating powers were at their lowest at the time they signed their exclusive contract, which was right before the release of their debut album on January 14, 2004, and it is unfair and against good moral and public order for SM to have JYJ sign a long-term exclusive contract taking advantage of the situation where there is no alternative choice.
③ People also alleged on the internet that the Korea Fair Trade Commission’s order to take corrective measures is only applicable to those contracts between SM and its trainees. In fact, the Korea Fair Trade Commission has repeatedly issued orders to take corrective measures with respect to the exclusive contracts between the entertainment agencies and their entertainers. The controversy on the fairness of such contracts became widespread after the problems and issues related to the contracts between agencies and their trainees were raised.
C-JeS decided to take stern legal actions against the illegal activities distorting the court’s decision in the preliminary injunction order and the conciliation between JYJ and SM based on false rumors and damaging JYJ’s reputation. For the reasons described above, C-JeS has filed a complaint against those who spread false rumors described in this statement for the violation of the Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilization and Information Protection, etc. (defamation). C-JeS hopes this statement will help all JYJ fans confirm the truth and will prevent any further misunderstanding.
※ Attachment: Seoul Central District Court’s Order dated October 27, 2009, Preliminary Injunction for the Invalidation of the Exclusive Contract, Case No. 2009Kahap2869 https://goo.gl/We0zk0
Despite being voted the most popular singer, Junsu, musician of Korean male trio JYJ, was not extended an invitation for the 2016 Seoul Music Awards Thursday, sparking debate whether his estranged former agency SM Entertainment is still wielding its power in the local music industry.
Below is the timeline of the trio’s years-long legal battle for independence from the record label giant.
— July 2009: Three members of the quintet K-pop boy band TVXQ — Hero Jaejoong, Micky Yuchun, and Xiah Junsu — nullify their contracts with SM Entertainment, citing unfair distribution of profit and the excessively long 13-year contract. SM responds saying their claim was deviant and reckless.
TVXQ, before Xiah Junsu, Micky Yoochun, Hero Jaejoong (from the left) split (OSEN)
— September 2009: Hero Jaejoong, Micky Yuchun, and Xiah Junsu change their stage names to Jae-joong, Yu-chun and Jun-su, respectively, and establish a trio called JYJ.
— October 2009: Court grants injunction to protect JYJ’s activities, regardless of SM Entertainment’s objection.
— June 2010: JYJ holds Japan concerts in Osaka and Tokyo.
— September 2010: JYJ release their debut album “The …” in Japan, topping the Oricon Weekly Chart. A week later Avex Entertainment, former agency of JYJ for their Japan activities, halts all Japan activities.
— October 2010: JYJ releases its debut album, “The Beginning,” whose domestic sales exceed 300,000. SM Entertainment files injunction against its release in the Korean market
JYJ’s 1st album, “The Beginning” (C-Jes Entertainment)
— January 2011: JYJ releases “Their Rooms ‘Our Story.’”
— Feb. 2011: The Seoul District Court rules in favor of JYJ’s Korean activities, legally nullifying the contract between JYJ’s three members and SM Entertainment.
— April-June 2011: JYJ goes on first world tour in Thailand, Taiwan, China, Canada and the United States.
— July 2013: The Fair Trade Committee orders the Union of Korean Pop Culture and Arts Industry, a collective federation of artists promoting Korean culture and arts to withdraw its act of relentlessly hindering JYJ’s activities in Korea, which was revealed to have been done in collusion with SM Entertainment.
JYJ in Japan tour in Fukuoka Dome in 2014 (C-Jes Entertainment)
— March 2015: Jae-joong was enlisted to army
— April 2015: JYJ Jun-su makes first TV appearance through “EBS Space,” a live music performance show, six years since debut as JYJ.
— Aug. 2015: Yu-chun was enlisted to army
— November 2015: The so-called “JYJ Act,” to protect musicians from being hindered by dominating powers, passes the National Assembly
Junsu in his first TV appearance in “EBS Space” (EBS)
— January 2016: Jun-su bags “the most popular singer” at the 25th Seoul Music Awards, yet was not invited to the venue.
By Son Ji-hyoung (email@example.com)
There is interest focusing on whether group JYJ’s Junsu will appear on the 3 terrestrial broadcasters’ music programs, amid him making a solo comeback next month.
According to the business industry on September 14, Junsu will release his solo album in only 7 months after his 3rd album ‘FLOWER’ last March. In the album this time, there contains songs well-matched for autumn and winter, like ballads and dance songs filled with vocal colors unique to Junsu. He is planning on going on an Asia Tour –i.e. to Japan and more– after the album release.
In the business industry, they are paying attention at Junsu being able to appear on the 3 terrestrial broadcasters’ music-airing programs this time. Junsu was a member of TVXQ but is active together with Yuchun and Jaejoong as JYJ after they split from SM Entertainment in 2009 and shifted their affiliation to C-JeS Entertainment. However, Yuchun and Jaejoong, including Junsu, even have not made an appearance on the 3 terrestrial broadcast channels’ music programs after their split from TVXQ. JYJ’s terrestrial music program appearance is unique only to Junsu’s EBS ‘Space Empathy’ last April, and this is also an appearance achieved 6 years after his withdrawal from TVXQ.
In the business industry, it is reported that JYJ has not appeared on a music program since splitting from SM, and yet their legal battle has made an impact. They are artists who started a legal battle with and withdrew from the ‘pop culture power’ SM –that’s commonly known as the country’s biggest entertainment–. Because of that, they were left off of appearing on terrestrial music programs. We will point out that couldn’t be the only ones a burden on broadcasters themselves.
Park Chan Jong is a progressive politician and lawyer who works for human rights and minors in Korean society, who has previously shown his support in stopping the interference of JYJ’s activities.
[TRANS] JYJ’s Park Yuchun…is enlisting into the army on August 27. The years have passed all of a sudden. It seems like a couple of days ago that his entertainment contract with SM raise the issue of a ‘slave contract’…it is dazzling that it developed growth a great deal all the while..if I recharge myself during the term of his military service, I confidently believe the chance of a larger leap will come.
By Kwon Ji-youn
JYJ member Kim Jun-su’s rare appearance on nationwide television on April 30 has sparked new interest in the opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy lawmaker Choi Min-hee and her “JYJ law.”
Choi tabled a revised law on April 14 that aims to prevent broadcasters from banning or blacklisting artists without a justifiable reason and the main beneficiaries of this revised law, if passed, will undoubtedly be JYJ.
Kim’s performance on EBS’s “Space Sympathy” marked his first appearance on a televised music production in six years.
Choi seems to think an understanding between SM and the broadcasters is behind JYJ’s prolonged absence from such programs, and industry insiders agree, saying broadcasters do not find it necessary to cross swords with entertainment cartels such as SM.
“Despite the Fair Trade Commission’s (FTC) request in July 2013 for JYJ’s previous agency to refrain from interfering with the group’s business activities, JYJ is still unable to perform on televised music shows because of unfair corporate practices on the parts of major broadcasters,” Choi said in a statement.
The revision included sanctions against such broadcasters.
During a recent interview, assemblywoman Choi Min Hee, who had proposed the ‘JYJ Law,’ explained in detail why she wants to create such bill, as well as why she borrowed the group name ‘JYJ’ for the title of her proposed bill.
When assemblywoman Choi Min Hee was asked why the name of the bill was named after idol group JYJ, she answered, “Members of JYJ went to court with their former agency and won the suit. This symbolizes a new rift within the entertainment industry. Putting emphasis on that meaning, we named it so that it would reinstate what’s stated in Article 85 of Broadcast Law.“
In response to the question, “What is the reason for making this law?” the assemblywoman replied, “Laws are made for citizens to use as a base, it’s not for them to lean on. However, there has to be a legal basis where the weak is protected as much as possible. Broadcasting law is the same. The whole world is screaming ‘win-win’ when it comes to partnerships, but only in Korea is there a hierarchy among the broadcasting station, producers, and the cast. We should break the tradition of forced efficiency. This bill was proposed so that we can correct wrongful actions and regain viewers’ rights.”
Over 200 smitten teenage girls and young women congregated at EBS headquarters in Dogok-dong in southern Seoul on Monday to see JYJ’s Kim Jun-su on stage.
He was performing on EBS’ music show. It was a rare exception to the usual indie lineup, made possible by the persistence of JYJ fans. Since Kim released a solo album in March, fans kept writing requests on the EBS’ website to have him on the show.
In the background is a bitter feud between JYJ and SM Entertainment. Three members of SM’s top manufactured combo TVXQ split and formed JYJ in 2009. SM Entertainment since then used its clout to block JYJ from TV appearances.
In 2013, the Fair Trade Commission found SM Entertainment guilty of interfering with JYJ’s showbiz activities and ordered them to stop, but nothing changed. For the last six years, no JYJ members have been seen on terrestrial or cable TV music shows.
Local broadcasters may soon face tougher regulations in preventing celebrities from appearing on their programs.
On Tuesday, Rep. Choi Min-hee of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy proposed a revision to the Broadcasting Act toughening regulations against broadcasters’ unfair practices.
Dubbed the “JYJ bill,” the proposed revision would enable the Korea Communications Commission to intervene when a broadcaster bans someone without reasonable cause.
Citing the case of JYJ, Choi said that there needed to be a means to intervene in a broadcaster’s decision to ban certain individuals.
JYJ was formed by Jaejoong, Yoochun, and Junsu in 2010 when they broke away from TVXQ. Following the move, JYJ experienced friction with their former agency SM Entertainment, as a result of which they were prevented from appearing on terrestrial broadcasters’ music programs.
According to Choi, the Fair Trade Commission’s 2013 ruling in favor of JYJ has done little to enable the group to perform on television.