Yesterday, the Seoul Central District Court (Civil Cases Department 50, Chief Prosecuting Officer: Seong Joon Choi) dismissed both SM Entertainment (SME)’s objection against JYJ (Kim Jaejoong, Kim Junsu, Park Yuchun)’s provisional injunction, and SME’s injunction to terminate their management contract with C-JeS Entertainment. Though the declaratory suit is left here after judging from the decision made by the court that had dismissed SME’s objections, SME isn’t considered to have a better position in the lawsuit (coldly speaking, the judgment of the original lawsuit can be considered to have been made by over 51%)
First, Let’s look into why the court dismissed the objections.
- The exclusive contract of this case is a dominant-subordinate contract that an entertainer doesn’t have the rights in the decision-making process, and only had to follow the unilateral directions of the management company.
- Because JYJ members were in unilaterally inferior position than SME in negotiation, they had to follow SME’s measures.
The pretext, such as a decrease of investment risk or stable international expansion, cannot justify the extremely long subordinate exclusive contract like this case’s contract.
- Because not only the long-term contract but also the clauses such as SM’s command and supervision to JYJ’s every action and excessive penalty of breach of the contract intensify the subordination of this case’s contract, they are unilaterally unfavorable to JYJ members, and so they are invalid.
Giving these reasons, the court dismissed SME’s injunction to terminate the validity of JYJ members’ management contract with C-JeS Entertainment. The court granted an injunction banning SM’s hindrance to JYJ members’ independent activities in October 2009, and now made clear that SM cannot supervise JYJ members, so SME doesn’t have the chance of winning in the original lawsuit.
I think this decision brought the end to SME Chairman Lee Soo Man’s patriarchal leadership. The core of this leadership is the strategy of a hot and cold bath: as long as the entertainers are the inside of the SM fence, they can be taken best care of (even he supports the members of the group who was terminated because they were no longer popular, employing them as vocal trainers or dance trainers), but once they leave SM, they will stand in the Siberia. In this manner, he has held his entertainers.
This strategy might have been effective in order to maintain the idol-oriented large management company. Rightly or wrongly, it might. But now this strategy has passed the expiration date. Also, rightly or wrongly, it has. Now the outside of the fence is no longer Siberia. They have firm fandoms, in particular JYJ has a global fandom.
In spite of restriction on JYJ’s broadcasting activities, the sales of sound sources and albums are never behind. Despite the check of a Japanese large management such as AVEX, the OST of the drama made good profits in the Japanese market. Outside the Japanese market, SM doesn’t have friendly troops. Only is there global fans and the foreign press that will criticize the unfair contracts and violation of human rights.
Now, it’s time for SM Chairman Lee Soo Man to change the model of his leadership. Because SME is the largest management company which has twice or three times as many staffs as JYP or YG does, it has an ideal condition to make stars. In Asia, it has made “Korean Wave Silk Road” which could make Korean Wave stars. As a No.1 Asian partner of Youtube, SME is putting up a good fight. It needs the win-win strategy’ based on these abilities.
Reality is reality. Even if SM is waiting for the decision of the original lawsuit, the consequences will be more hopeless. Now SM has to draw the bigger picture and holds out its hand decisively. SM has to draw a big picture in order that “StayingXeinQui” and “LeavingXeinQui” work together in the global market by correcting the parts which the court point out, treating them as artists and suggesting proper profit sharing. This is the new leadership that is required of the industry’s No. 1 Chairman Lee Soo Man.
Source: Dogsul’s blog (Dogsul is an important and respected korean reporter)
Trans by: @jyjholic2010
“JYJ, the courts have safeguarded their individual activities, so from now on, the major television stations should let JYJ perform. SM’s not the Blue House (executive office and official residence of the South Korean President), so is there a need to act according to their wishes?”
On the 17th, the Seoul Central District dismissed all injunctions filled by SME against the court’s decision to suspend their contract with JYJ, the group formed by Kim Jaejoong, Park Yuchun, and Kim Junsu.
The most noticeable part of the court’s decision is that the courts have also dismissed SM’s request for suspension of JYJ’s contract with CJES entertainment.
At this point, there is an organization that also draws attention along with SM Entertainment. It’s Korean Federation of Pop Culture and Art Industry (KFPCAI). Last October, the federation caused a stir by sending out an official statement asking the national broadcasting stations, cable channels, record labels, music distributors, and the media to restrict JYJ’s activities after their release of “the Beginning” album.
At that time, KFPCAI took issue with JYJ’s “double contract.” Their claim was that although JYJ won their case to suspend their exclusive contract with SM, their contract hasn’t yet been invalidated and thus their contract with CJES in the current situation is unjust.
However, through the court’s recent decision, such claims made my KFPCAI have lost its persuasive power and justification. This is because the courts recognized that there are no problems with JYJ’s “business delegation contract” with CJES, who is currently managing the group.
However, KFPCAI has yet released its official position on the courts’ recent decision. K-pop fans are watching to see if KFPCAI will continue to ignore the public opinion by reasoning that “the legal battle over the problem of the exclusive contract isn’t over” or by reasoning that “the showbiz’s order is being disturbed because of JYJ.”
On such issue, a representative of a certain civic group pointed out that “with the court’s clear-cut decision, KFPCAI most likely knows that reasoning they’ve asserted in the past is weak. It is now time to change the unjust order of today’s show business instead of rashly reacting with our emotions.”
It is now time for KFPCAI to answer.
Trans by: withjyj (@_withJYJ)
tbh, imho, only good can come out of calling out the stations pandering to big entertainment companies even when the law says otherwise