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Entertainer Ordered to Compensate for Contract Breach

An entertainer must compensate for damages when they annul a contract unilaterally, even if the entertainment agency is not fulfilling its duty.

The Seoul High Court ruled Tuesday in favor of an entertainment agency in a case involving one of its entertainers, who broke her contract unilaterally.

The agency had failed to pay money owed to the entertainer, identified only as Lee. But according to the ruling, Lee was required to ask the agency to fulfill its contractual duties and cancel the contract only after the agency showed no intention of living up to them.

The agency requested 80 million won ($64,000) in compensation, but the court ordered Lee to pay only 30 million won, which is the double the amount the agency spent for the entertainer.

Lee signed a contract with the agency in 2005, entrusting the agency with all her rights regarding the entertainment industry and to split the accruing profits in half. In the case of Lee breaking the contract, she was required to compensate twice the amount the agency paid for her.

After a year, when the agency did not distribute her share of profits, Lee notified the agency about the annulment of the contract. The agency said it would pay her share within a month, but Lee refused and unilaterally terminated the contract.

The ruling came after TVXQ, a five-member K-pop group popular in Asia, submitted an application for provisional disposition to terminate the validity of their contract with SM Entertainment earlier this month.

Actor Yun Sang-hyun, who starred in "My Wife Is a Superwoman," was also accused of cancelling his contract by his former agency.

To prevent increasing disputes, the Fair Trade Commission put forth a standardized form of contracts, but experts point out that it is only a recommendation and does not have any legal power.


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Tags: court / legal issues
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