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Reports State Pledis CEO Han Sung Soo Took Songwriter Royalties For IZ*ONE’s Songs Under Wife’s Name



Han Sung Soo, the CEO of Pledis Entertainment, is reported to have unfairly profited from royalties of IZ*ONE’s music.

On May 26, Dispatch released an exclusive report that the CEO had claimed to have been involved in writing lyrics for eight of IZ*ONE’s songs under the name “So Jay.” According to the report, “We Together,” a song that had been created for Mnet’s “Produce 48” and released in September 2018, did not credit So Jay at the time of its release, but the name was included when the same song was released in October in IZ*ONE’s first mini album “COLOR*IZ.”

So Jay is also credited in IZ*ONE’s second mini album “HEART*IZ” as having participated in writing lyrics for “Violeta,” as well as songs like “Destiny,” “Pink Blusher,” and “Open Your Eyes” on IZ*ONE’s first studio album “BLOOM*IZ.” According to Dispatch’s reporting, So Jay’s share in “Pink Blusher” is set at 1.5 times larger than others who are credited for the song.

Dispatch reported, “The identity behind So Jay is the wife of Pledis Entertainment CEO Han Sung Soo, and her work experience consists of her being a visual director. She has no experience in music,” and “So Jay is unfairly profiting from royalties. So Jay did not actually participate in creating songs for IZ*ONE’s album and has no right to claim any ownership over the eight songs.”

Han Sung Soo was the general producer for IZ*ONE until he stepped down from the position in March 2020. Pledis Entertainment responded to Dispatch’s report and stated, “It was CEO Han Sung Soo who participated in the songs, and he made the decision to use his wife’s name and not his own.”

Han Sung Soo also stated, “I personally participated in the music creation process. Despite this, it was still thoughtless of me to receive royalties under my wife’s name.” He added, “All I wanted was to be compensated for my work. I wanted to be recognized for my participation. I did not think it through. I was greedy and did not uphold the dignity that a producer should have. I apologize.”

Credits for We Together, that was worked on by Bumzu, Nuest Baekho and Pristin's Yehana.



More thorough explanation from someone who works at a Korean indie record label how royalities get split by using the song "Pink Blusher" as an example:
[Spoiler (click to open)]
The [royalty] percentages are all negotiable. If nothing is set specifically, then the share is divided by X number of credited participants. The portions for Lyric writers and composers are fixed. Using numbers for the breakdown of ALL parts of the song, its like this:

master (50%)/copyright(50%). copyright = lyric (50%) and composition (50%). So, we can look at it like master (50%)/copyright (lyric 25%/comp 25%).

In this situation, IZ*ONEs share is in the master 50% side, and this is split between the label and artist. For example, if IZ*ONE get 20%, then the master 50% share would be split 20/80. This amount is separate from the copyright stuff. If IZ*ONE members were writers or composers then, yes, introducing more participants will dilute the pool, but from what I can see, no members are credited for copyright.

For the writers, So Jay is getting a part of the Lyric 25% part. It's possible, that the lyric split would be 60/40 for So Jay and Boombastic, which means So Jay would get 60% of the lyric 25% share and boombastic 40% of the lyric 25%. This is 1.5x. The article probably got it wrong and treated it all together. Per the credits, So Jay does not get any composer royalties, so while its possible, for her to get 1.5 royalties on lyric, its impossible shes getting 1.5x more overall.

The "master" is the term related to master rights. Similar to copyrights, the master right entitles you to protections and rules on what you can earn from it. If you own the master, you basically control what can be done with that specific recording. You can choose to lock it away, license it to music services, make cds, etc. Part of the rights included for master and copyright are rules for performances of the music, in which you can earn royalties.

Performance royalties are typically associated with copyright side. That is when a song is performed "in public" (tons of rules and exceptions) the composer should be compensated for the usage.

However, depending on the country, it can also be part of the master side too. This is usually called a neighboring right, and countries that signed into the Rome convention will support this. Korea is signed into this, so when a sound recording (think the track itself) is publicly performed, then a small set rate is paid to the performers (vocalist and musicians playing instruments). US unfortunately didn't sign the rome convention so thats why master side doesn't get paid for am/fm radio play in the US. Instead, radio stations say that artists get paid something soooo much better called "exposure", so there is no need for this neighboring right royalty. Thankfully though, the US does offer a "neighboring rights lite" where artists can get royalties for performances on digital services, like spotify and satellite radio.



source: @soompi, soompi, naver 1 2, soad874, FluxusJeffrey 1 2, MyTigersDen
Tags: iz*one, pledis entertainment
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