Monday, November 02, 2009

[Lawsuit] 091031 TVXQ Dispute 'SM's Dilemma'

Much attention has been put on SM Entertainment and its future actions as the Courts have sided with the three TVXQ members YoungWoong Jaejoong, Micky Yoochun and Xiah Junsu on the legal dispute between the three and their agency regarding their exclusive contract.

On the 27th, the Seoul District Courts partially accepted the exclusive contract suspension request against SM Entertainment submitted by Xiah Junsu, YoungWoong Jaejoong and Micky Yoochun.

To have the Courts partially accept the exclusive contract suspension request is to have the Courts decided that the contract between SM and the members of TVXQ is in fact unlawful. According to the decision of the Courts, SM is not allowed to interfere or question any individual activities of the three members or create contracts regarding group activities without the consent of the three members.

For now, SM has stated that the agency cannot accept the Courts' ruling. SM Entertainment released a notice stating "Although the entire contract was not suspended, the Courts stated that some parts of the contract was questionable and that is why we are submitting an appeal," and "Till now, we have kept some information from the media as the Courts requested that neither side be interacting with the press during the trial. Now we will reveal that information and release an official statement.

Unless an extremely controversial secret is revealed by SM Entertainment that could turn the tables, it can be said that the contract between SM and TVXQ has already been nullified.

The dilemma that SM faces now is the fact that the agency's other singers may attempt to leave the agency in the same method. TVXQ is not the only reason why SM is being so adamant and firm of their stance in this dispute. To state that conclusion first, there is close to no chance of TVXQ disbanding or ending their activities. This is because all three members involved in this dispute have no thoughts of leaving the group names TVXQ. Some representatives to the entertainment business stated that, "There is a high chance that SM and the three members will become equal partners regarding activities such as the release of a new album in the future."

The problem is how the two sides will fix the contract and the income division. Although the income SM receives from album sales or commercial activities will reduce, it is not so much that the company will run into bankruptcy.

The biggest problem for SM Entertainment is the fact that the majority of agencies works under a system that invests money to raise trainees into singers in a span of 1~7 years that does not guarantee profit after the singer's debut. In the case of TVXQ, if they are allowed to leave the agency stating that the contract was unlawful after gaining popularity, the agencies will have no incentive to continue on with this method of raising stars. This is also why the Fair Trade Committee constantly fails to come to a consensus with agencies when it comes to creating a basis contract.

The reason that SM is being carefully watched for its future actions regarding this trial and the consequences that follow is because this is not merely a problem between SM and TVXQ.

Source: [mk news+DNBN]
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[Lawsuit] 091030 The Need For Change In The Entertainment Agency And The Solution Through The TVXQ Dispute

First of all, the Courts have sided with the three TVXQ members. In reference to the exclusive contract suspension request submitted by Xiah Junsu, YoungWoong Jaejoong and Micky Yoochun, the Courts laid down the decision that 'SM Entertainment is not allowed to interfere or question any individual activities of the three members or create contracts regarding group activities without the consent of the three members.'

This dispute between the group that is the Hallyu Wave's key player and king of the Asian market and the group's agency, the nation's top entertainment agency, is said to bring large waves of change not only to the entertainment industry, but to the entire nation as well. Many have said that the Courts' ruling has kick started the battle against unlawful contracts while others have said that the decision has completely ignored the trainee-raising method of most entertainment agencies.

The TVXQ case can be seen as a result of SM's 'Failure At Management.' However, that is only the evaluation based on the results. The reason the TVXQ dispute has come so far and deep is because there was a charge forward with a lack of 'communication and respect' on both sides.

One of the reasons that this dispute cant not be the center of attention in the entertainment industry is because the Courts have sided with the members of TVXQ and completely overturned the traditional method of agencies' formation of their contracts. We cannot blatantly say that all 13 year contracts are slave contract. As long as 'communication and respect' is prevalent and a fair income division is put in place, it will be a happy contract. They would be willing to sign onto a contract longer than 13 years at will. They would not think of moving to a different entertainment agency.

If TVXQ's birth is inspected, the process is a system with no room for 'communication and respect.' TVXQ is a team that was created by picking the best out of hundreds of trainees and forming a group. Even the members themselves would not have known what lay ahead of them in the future of their music careers. They were able to snag the title of 'Top of the Korean Music Industry' under the system of a large entertainment agency, and their entrance into the overseas market was probably calculated meticulously. The entire process would amount to a total of 10 years.

As this much time has passed, the members are bound to have looked back on themselves. They are also bound to have increased their musical control and bettered their abilities to select their paths. There were times when they had to stand on a stage regardless of the fact that they did not want to, and they would have had to handle the agency's actions to stop any activities that may 'endanger the group' with a feeling of oppression. This is where 'communication and respect' is needed. As the two sides are the bests of the best, there probably was the need to approach the situation calmly and after much thought. If things have come so far, there were bound to have been instances unknown to the public that pushed it so far. To become irreparable.

In truth, the members are preparing to 'sue for the nullification of the contract and compensation for damages incurred from the income division' while SM is submitting an appeal. SM has also stated that they will be revealing information that has not been told before and releasing an official statement.

When seeing all the big and small disputes that have erupted in the Korean music industry, they all originate from income division problems (unlawful contracts), failure to communicate (respect for human rights), natural limits (musical limits, lack of responsibility as a celebrity), and a interference of the family (interference from a third party).

But the income division problems have been the biggest disputes in this industry. Income division is important to gain trust and investments. If income division is not transparent, that is what a slave contract is. The lack of transparency in income division is what started the lack of human rights for celebrities in the music industry in the mid 90s.


The music industry must use this dispute as a stepping stone towards a change in 'communication and respect'. What can gain more trust than a contract is'communication and respect' and 'a transparent income division'. There is no other 'road to a solution'.

Source: [star news+DNBN]
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[Lawsuit] 091028 TVXQ's Victory Is A Call For Change In The Entertainment Industry From The Courts

On the 27th, the Seoul District Courts sided with popular group TVXQ's three members and their exclusive contract suspension against SM Entertainment. The Courts decided that the entertainment agency was not allowed to create new contracts without the consent of the celebrity and must not interfere with said celebrity's independent activities in the business. Therefore, a road of free movement has opened up for the members of TVXQ. Although the formal trial procedures are left, this decision seems to shed light on the future of unlawful contracts that are rampant in the entertainment business. Overall, the call for shift from a vertical relationship to a parallel, equal relationship is welcomed. Many expect this dispute to lead into an equal relationship between celebrities and agencies in the future.

Till now, the Korean entertainment business, as the term 'slave contract' implies, has been criticized for its inability to escape unlawfulness and unfairness. The majority of celebrities was put at a disadvantage starting from when their contracts were set up and have become mere tools of agencies. From their official activities to personal actions, everything celebrities did was dictated by their agencies. This was the kind of situation that the three members of the nation's best idol group were in when they went against their agency. If they were in such a state, it is not hard to think of what unthinkable states the no-name celebrities and not-so-famous celebrities are in.

Most domestic entertainment agencies work under a scout-train-management system. Agencies have trained talented rookies and raised the value of no-name celebrities in this organized and investing method. However, although it is easy for a celebrity to become wound up in an unlawful exclusive contract, it is not as easy to escape from his or her entrapment. It can be said that the Courts ruled that, "This is an unfair structure that does not give the members even the bare minimum rights they should have," and "As the members have to pay extremely large amounts of compensation if they go against the contract, it is impossible for the members to wander astray from the contract," because of such methods employed by entertainment agencies.

This decision will bring about a big change to the entertainment business as a whole. This is because the complaints that have been silenced till now may erupt and flood. There is a high chance that the dispute between the members of TVXQ and their agency will take a long time. Right after the Courts' decision, the three members stated that they would file lawsuits for Compensation for Damages and Exclusive Contract Nullification, while the agency has stated that they will be revealing information that the Courts requested they keep quiet from the media and an official statement. This reporter hopes that this dispute will not end a mere expendable argument, but a stepping stone to a new cultural change in the entertainment industry. The tyrannical domination of the biased and vertical patriarchal culture that believes that, "Since I have raised them, I can do whatever I want with them," must now come to an end. It is time that a win-win and equal relationship was created in our entertainment business to take the industry to a whole new level.

Source: [yonhap news+DNBN]
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[Lawsuit] 091029 SM-TVXQ Contract w/r/t/ Income Distribution

The Court has granted the injunction filed by the members of TVXQ against SM Entertainment.The Court found that the Contract between SM and the Members was unconscionable and against public policy. Following this victory, the Members are proceeding with the main suit to ask for the rightful shares of all income generated from their activities.

The following is a summary of the outrageous terms of the Contract that relates to the distribution of income. The clear conclusion is that the TVXQ members have received next to nothing for their six years of work, and that virtually all money we spend to buy SM products stay with SM. Please read the below to see the extent of the injustice.

Please keep in mind that SM's contract with TVXQ has been amended five times and therefore the applicable terms have varied over time. Accounting for all the resulting complexities, the truth adds up to the following:

I. TVXQ has received $0 for their album sales prior to July 2008, and only a negligible amount after that date.

Prior to the fifth and final round of amendments on July 1, 2008, the Contract read that for any album or single with sales not exceeding 500,000 copies, SM would be entitled to 100% of the profits, leaving the members with nothing. From the time of TVXQ's debut in late 2003 and until TVXQ's release of their 4th Korean album "Mirotic" in September 2008, no Korean album had sold more than 500,000 copies. Therefore, prior to July 2008 TVXQ has had absolutely zero income from their album sales.

On July 1,2008, SM amended the Contract to give each Member 1% of total sales for each album that sells over 200,000 copies. For any albums that sell fewer copies, the members are to receive 0.6% to 0%. SM has not honored even these outrageous terms, as it has not paid TVXQ a single cent since February 2009.

In sum, SM has kept 100% of all sales that TVXQ has generated with the sales of their albums and singles prior to July 2008, and has kept 95% or more of the sales after that date.

II. TVXQ has received $0 for the sales of concert DVDs and albums featuring recordings from such concerts.

Under the Contract, the Members are not entitled to receive any share of the profits generated from sales of concert DVDs and "live" albums.

III. TVXQ has received $0 for their appearances on TV programs.

Under the Contract, Members are not entitled to receive any share of the profits made through their TV appearances if the appearance is of a temporary nature. As all programs on which TVXQ appeared have featured the Members as "guests"and therefore by nature have been temporary, SM has kept all profits that TVXQ has generated from these TV appearances.

IV. For all other possible sources of revenue, SM subtracts from the total revenue all expenses, including salaries of other staff, stage preparation expenses, rent, travel expenses, food expenses, and the like, then gives TVXQ only a fraction of the remaining amount.

As for all other sources of income, the Contract states that TVXQ is entitled to varying percentages of the "net income." The Contract defines "net income" to be the amount remaining after the applicable "operating costs". The "operating costs" are defined to include such expenses that are traditionally expected to be covered by the employer, including but not limited to 1) salaries of the staff (manager, clothing coordinators, makeup artists, dance crew, and the like), 2) performing stage preparation costs, 3) living expenses, including rent and water/electricity bills, 4) travel expenses, including plane ticket costs, 5) meal expenses, and the like.

Even after all these "operating costs" are deducted from the net income, the Members are only entitled to a small percentage of the remainder while SM keeps the rest.

In conclusion, please realize that SM has kept virtually all of the profits that our Members have generated over the past six years. Our Members have received, literally, next to nothing.

Following thevictory of the granting of the preliminary injunction, the Members now prepare for a suit to claim their rightful share of the profits that they themselves generated.

Source: dnbn
Translation: Inklette @ dnbn
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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Korean Idol World Realities

“I fell through the cracks,” said the attractive brunette sitting across from me with her characteristic bluntness.

I first met Isak (real name: Ida Simmons) when I worked at Arirang TV and Radio, an English-language broadcasting station. The daughter of a Caucasian father and a Korean mother, Isak had previously been the member of an unsuccessful SM Entertainment act called Isak N Jiyeon. However, she managed to eventually parlay her bubbly charms into a successful career as both a DJ and VJ at Arirang Radio.

While Isak, who still has three years left on a ten-year contract, applauded SM founder Lee Soo Man’s ability to think outside of the box and accept a biracial Korean-American into his company, she also remembered the more suffocating aspects of being a K-pop entertainer in the earlier part of the decade. For example, when she lived with several other SM trainees in a dormitory-like setting, the girls’ managers devised a clever way to keep tabs on the talent:

“[T]hey were afraid that we would sneak out. They would put in a house phone for us, and we couldn’t call from our cell phones. We had to call from our house phone to our manager as soon as we walk[ed] in the door [to inform them] that we came in.”

Isak also recalled the strict no-dating policy at the time:

“No dating,” she said. “You get caught, you pay consequences.”

I asked her what the consequences were.

“I was threatened that if I didn’t break up with my boyfriend then I would be either cut from SM or not [be] able to debut.”

Ironically, Isak found that the no-dating rule could actually hamper an artist’s performance, especially since many K-pop songs were about the very topic that its singers were forbidden to engage in: love.

“They’re singing about love but they’ve never experienced love,” she complained. “I think that’s a very big error.”

Isak noted, nonetheless, that a lot had changed in the industry. While “just look pretty and dance” may have been the rule when she began her career, current K-pop fans expect a lot more personality from their favorite stars. Now, as Isak noted, “it seem[s] to be becoming a trend for celebrities to be dating in Korea… a lot of people were coming forward and being honest about their relationships.” And it didn’t stop there: entertainers like Lee Hyori would even appear on reality shows, doing things like going to doctor appointments sans makeup, allowing fans to become even closer to their idols.

The trend toward a more naturalistic and approachable depiction of idol stars, according to Isak, is a positive one, and she heaped a great deal of praise on 2NE1, a four-member girl group represented by YG Entertainment:

“I don’t think 2NE1 is the typical Korean pretty girl,” said Isak. “I think they’re the most beautiful girls in the world because they don’t have double eyelids; because they don’t have noses that hit the ceiling; because they don’t have that “entertainer” look that people have grown accustomed to.”

For all the positive changes that have happened in the industry, however, Isak had a warning for those who were dreaming of becoming an idol star: long contracts and hidden fees had not disappeared.

“They [the management companies] promise before you debut, ‘we’re going to house you, we’re going to feed you, we’re going to give you all the lessons you need. Do your best’ and then we think that that’s all free,” remembered Isak. She soon learned, however, that all the expenses that went into her upkeep, including stylists, salon visits, manager fees, food, and clothing, were deducted from her pay.

Young Kim, host of the Arirang Radio program “K-pop Zone” and former rapper for such groups as S#arp and Uptown in the late 1990s, noted just how little money one could make, even as a member of relatively successful groups: “I made about three thousand dollars in the seven months that I was promoting the [S#arp] album.”

Although Kim, Isak, and others I spoke with said that they believed conditions had greatly improved, recent legal battles and contract disputes (such as the one staged by three members of the immensely popular boy band TVXQ against SM Entertainment, their management company) suggest that something may be rotten in the candy factory. As one industry outsider told me with a knowing smile, “They work their kids hard.”

However, Mark Russell, a Korean pop culture expert, recently commented on his blog, the problem is actually not rooted in the management companies, but rather in the Korean music system itself. Having to train, house, and feed future stars whose success will ultimately have to recoup not only the investment in them, but the company’s investment in other trainees who have yet to make it or who simply fell through the cracks…the economic constraints of such a system are considerable, to say the least. Imagine, then, the costs that go into sustaining the thirteen members of Super Junior or the nine young ladies who make up Girls’ Generation.

More revealing was when Russell told me that, “[In] the late 90s, Koreans spent, depending on the exchange rate, somewhere in the neighborhood of four to five hundred million dollars a year on CDs and tapes. Last year, they spent 60 million. We’re talking about an 80% decline.” The steep fall in music sales could explain why over the years, K-pop stars have moved from being only singers to multitasking entertainers – unless you were writing your own music (and many idol stars do not), there just wasn’t that much money to be found in music anymore. Revenue would have to be generated through concerts, commercial shoots, and public television appearances. Meanwhile, selling talent overseas was no longer just a ploy by the bigger management companies to increase profits, but a financial necessity as the Korean music market continued to shrink.

There are big risks at stake for those investing in idol groups. These risks did not go unnoticed by Isak who understood her previous lack of freedom, stating that, “[We] are products. I know it sounds very bad, but we are products, and that’s why our companies…sometimes treat us like products.”

However, for all the financial risks the companies bear, perhaps the biggest gambles are still those taken by the talent in sacrificing their youth to achieve national or even international stardom. As D-Lite (Daesung Kang) of Big Bang put it, sacrificing “common things in life that we liked – walking around the streets, time to hang out with old friends, etc…” was something he knew he’d have to do.

Every idol star has gone into the K-pop game knowing the cost of fame. Behind the bright lights and their big smiles hides another truth, which D-Lite voiced in simple terms: “We all knew that we had to let it [their former lives] go when we decided to [join] Big Bang but, honestly, sometimes it’s tough on me.”

As I pondered the pressures of surviving in a shrinking Korean music market, I could only think, “It’s tough all around, kid.”

SOURCE: MTV IGGY, Seoulbeats
CREDIT: omonatheydidnt

Thursday, September 17, 2009

[Lawsuit] TVXQ talks with SM Entertainment break down

TVXQ / DBSK / Tohoshinki members Xiah, Micky, and Jaejoong were trying to make efforts to resolve the issues with SM Entertainment behind the scenes but it seems all talks of coming to an agreement have broken apart. Korean Media Outlet Newsen recently had a phone conversation with the court overseeing the issue.

In the phone conversation, the court stated that it'll be all up to them to come up with the resolution as both sides despite talks of resolution, will not budge from their initial stances. They continued by stating that they're thoroughly reviewing all the papers, documents, and evidence given. After this thorough investigation, both parties will be notified of the decision. The Court stated that they don't know when exactly they'll come up with the decision but that it should be sometime this month.

As the talks have broken down, it seems there's no chance of resolution outside the courts. Hopefully the courts come up with a fair and firm decision.

Credit: allkpop

Sunday, September 13, 2009

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Friday, September 11, 2009

[Lawsuit] TVXQ vs. SM Entertainment Pending Final Decision - All Evidence Due Today

The legal battle regarding unfair contracts between team TVXQ (Youngwoong Jaejoong, Micky Yoochun, Xiah Junsu) vs. SM Entertainment is slowly coming to an end.

The court had ordered SM Entertainment to turn in all financial documents by September 11th, 2009 (today in Korea). Upon review of these documents, a final decision is to be made.

The court has stated that this will be a final judgment and that both parties will not be returning for a retrial, once a decision is made.

SM Entertainment stated:

"After turning in all documents by the 11th, there is nothing more for us to do than await the courts final decision. As of now, we have no idea when a decision will be made by the courts."

Stay tuned for more developments.

Source :

Friday, September 04, 2009

[Lawsuit] 090831 TVXQ's Japanese Income Division; Each Member Received "150 million Won"

*note from your translator: for those who don't really know about the Korean currency
150 million Won = around $120,000 dollars*

TVXQ received only $120K in 4 years. This means $30K per year....thats equivalent or less than what a low-income, labour job earner gets in America!

Income was divided in the order of Avex-SM Japan-SM-Members... SM Double Acquisition Controversy

An argument that five member group TVXQ, who are currently in a legal dispute with their agency over their exclusive contract and inexact income divisions, earns an extremely low income from their Japanese activities has been put forth.

An influential acquaintance of the three members who are locked in this legal dispute (YoungWoong Jaejoong, Micky Yoochun, Xiah Junsu) stated, "The amount of money TVXQ has earned from when they started their Japanese activities in 2005 till now is a little over 150 million Won per member."

This is the first time TVXQ's Japanese activity income division has been referred to in detail.

He explained the income division process in detail saying, "A portion of the money TVXQ earns from their Japanese activities goes to their Japanese agency Avex, and some of it goes to SM Japan. The rest goes to SM Entertainment. Therefore, the members receive only an extremely small portion of the overall income."

He also added, "SM Entertainment owns more than 90% of SM Japan's quota and is the parent company of SM Japan," and conspired that, "Another controversy arises of their Japanese income division because of this." He stated that, "Since the members have never seen the actual Japanese contract, they have no clue of how the income division is going on between the agencies and are feeling very frustrated with the situation."

SM Entertainment owns 93.5% of SM Japan's quota

Actually, according to the quarterly report SM released in May, SM Entertainment owns 93.5% of SM Japan's quota (On March 31st).

Even the Civil Society Organization has pointed out that there are problems in the way SM Entertainment divides and calculates the income.

Lee Dong-yeon, professor at the Korean National University of Arts, stated, "The money TVXQ earns from their Japanese activities is first divided by Avex and SM Japan who co-manage the group by 50% each, then SM and SM Japan split the money SM Japan got by 50% each. Therefore, TVXQ only receives a small portion of 1/4 of their income, not a portion of their entire income".

At the debate that was on the prompt 'The Problems Regarding the Korean Entertainment Management System Revealed Through the TVXQ Dispute and the Solutions To These Problems', Professor Lee said, "It can be said that SM Japan and SM Entertainment are basically one company therefore SM Entertainment is using this to acquire twice the amount of money they should be getting from TVXQ's Japanese income."

Professor Lee also stated that, "It can easily be seen that we obviously cannot say that TVXQ and SM Entertainment have a fair and just contract agreement when carefully reading through the fine print of the contract and taking into consideration TVXQ's income division and the preposterous amount SME claims they spend on managing TVXQ (In truth, most of this money is actually not included in the income division.)"

On a side note, it has been found that SME did not adhere to the Preservation of Evidence Request that the three TVXQ members filed that was accepted by the Courts. This Preservation of Evidence Request includes all documents relevant to TVXQ's activities that would help calculate TVXQ's actual income that include account books, receipts, transfer slips, etc.

On the 21st, the Seoul District Courts asked SME at the first hearing to hand in all documents relevant to the trial, but SME did not follow through.

SME's lawyer stated before that, "These documents are all company secrets, and it would be fatal to SME if they were released to the media."

Source: [newsen+DNBN]
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Thursday, September 03, 2009

[Lawsuit] DBSK`s Activities in Japan is About 1.5 Billion

In regards to the long term contract and undisclosed earning percentage split problem, it had created an unfair contract. Tohoshinki’s 3 members finally decided to go through court to resolve this dispute with their agency SM Entertainment.

Recently, the 3 members of Tohoshinki had requested to have their earning percentage split in Japan’s documents without taking in much consideration.

It is said that Tohoshinki had debuted in Japan in 2005 and till now, 4 years had passed and each member's earning in these 4 years could only reach about 1.5 billion. This is the first time that Tohoshinki’s earnings from their daily activities in Japan have been revealed.

Representatives had too expressed that SM JAPAN is a company that SM KOREA has 90% control over, and because of the matter over in SM Korea, it is said that it makes one suspricious of how SM Korea manages to pay for SM Japan too.

The members are rather confused over the whole percentage split earning because they have yet to see the whole real contract, according to SM in May revealed their financial status, SM Japan belongs around 93.5% to them. In regard to this matter, the public have raised questions.

Korean art schools professor, Lee Dong Ting said “Because of Tohoshinki’s activities in Japan, it had created a problem in percentage splitting. According to Tohoshinki’s agency, SM Japan and Avex would like to take in 50-50 of the earnings then between SM & SM Japan, another 50-50 in earning’s and in truth, Tohoshinki actually received only 1/4 of the earnings during these activities.

With an agenda of “Through Tohoshinki you could see that the companies system is full of problems and solutions were made,” Professor Lee also pointed out “SM JAPAN and SM been seen as 1 company is okay, therefore this kind of split for earning’s can bee seen as a dirty hand trick.” Professor Lee then said “The total amount that Tohoshinki is getting, being an artist and enjoying their reputation along with SM’s way of making use of the money in the name of ‘because it’s business’ (IE. Saying they need to pay their stylists etc) is not tallying with the reality calculation.”

Source: hohobbs
Translation: mel @
Credits: { One World. One Red Ocean. One TVXQ! }
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Monday, August 31, 2009

[News] 090828 An Offering Of A Sacrifice To Spirits Done For "Heading To The Ground"

There was an offering of a sacrific to the spirits done for MBC’s new Wednesday-Thursday drama ‘Heading to the Ground.’

On the 24th at 2pm, the offering was one at MBC’s Yangju set and actors such as Jung Yunho, Ara, Lee Yunji, Lee Sang-yoon, Kim Jaeseung etc camealong with Director Park Sungsoo and all the staff.

Jung Yunho, who plays the lead role of Cha Bong-goon, prayed for the success of ‘Heading to the Ground’ by saying “Please help this drama be a big hit!” and praying alongside fellow actors Ara, Lee Yunji and Lee Sang-yoon.

Director Park Sungsoo said, “I was touched by the passions of these young actors who threw themselves into everything and anything we asked them to do. I think that the hard work of the actors will be seen in the eyes of our viewers,” and “I directed this drama with a fun and happy heart because the actors and staff always made the set come alive with their jokes and antics.”

Ara, who plays the role of Kang Haebin, said, “Overall, there are a lot of action scenes. Cha Bong-goon (Jung Yunho) especially has a lot of them, but he would rarely use a stunt double and worked hard in all his scenes and that gave all of us strength to work harder,” and “Because the script itself was funny, shooting the drama was fun too.”

Jung Yunho, who plays the lead role of Cha Bong-goon, said, “I’m doing everything for the first time so it took me some time to get comfortable, but all the staff members are excellent and all the actors on set were cheering each other on so I’m expecting this drama to be really good,” and “I still am lacking in some areas but everyone will be able to see me grow more along with Bong-goon each time an episode airs,” and was very modest.

The drama ‘Heading to the Ground’, which is gaining a lot of attention as this is TVXQ’s U-Know Yunho’s debut into acting, will first air on September 9th.

Source: [pimedia+DNBN]
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[Trans] 090829 GQ September Issue ‘The Real TVXQ Was In Japan’ CRITIQUES

TVXQ sings “I got you~ooo, Under my skin,” and dances. When the buttons on the shirts that cling onto their bodies cannot handle their powerful moves and burst, U-Know Yunho’s well-developed and chiseled pectoral muscles are shown. Fans from all over Korea, who may have had ill feelings towards the long stretch of Japanese activities, act as though the group had never left and stare at their TV and even go up to the TV screen and stroke it. I’m talking about the comeback stage of that happened after the album’s release last December. Fans found something a little odd about TVXQ during this stage. Although the five members’ faces were the same, it was as though their faces had been stuck on someone else’s body. This was because of their ‘muscles’.

TVXQ’s thin and muscular bodies are completely different from SM Entertainment’s preceding idol groups. The direction that the members of TVXQ are headed is being influenced by the Japanese activities they have been carefully and diligently doing. In Japan these days, their is a ‘Hosomacho’ or ‘thin muscle’ trend blazing through the nation. The biggest reason for this trend is because the majority of young Japanese women prefers the thin muscled hosomacho look over the heavily muscled gorimacho (gorilla macho) look.

What am I talking about? There are probably going to be some people who tell me that this trend has been around for a while with the majority of singers in Johnny’s Entertainment and with the majority of males in Tokyo having a thin muscle body structure. But what they are talking more about skinny guys who look as though they have muscles because they are skinny, not the ‘thin muscle’ look. But to think that TVXQ is just one of the many hosomacho groups is a big mistake. This is because the popularity of Tohoshinki, as they call themselves in Japan, is so great and out of this world that it cannot be fully comprehended or understood in Korea.

If we divide the dominating Japanese male idol groups into three categories, the first would be ‘role Lolita’, groups comprised of pretty boys, the second would be ‘Yankees’, groups comprised of members who have a bad boy vibe to them, and the third would be the TVXQ style. The TVXQ style’s popularity can be properly felt in Japan’s host clubs. Koreans may connect the words host or hostess with adult clubs and see these words with a negative outlook, but to many young, handsome and popular college students in Japan, it is the most preferred part-time job.

Different from Korea’s hosts, Japan’s hosts serve only alcohol and there is a different term for those who provide sexual intercourse and they are called ‘Urisen’. In these host clubs that can easily be found in Shinjuku’s Gabukicho area, the pictures of the hosts in the clubs tell women what kind of style each host is. Before, most of the people in the pictures copied the style of Johnny’s Entertainment’s idol groups. But now, at least one or two hosts in every club very conspicuously copies the style of one of the members of TVXQ.

In this area, there was once a time where the most manly people were nabe (a girl dressed up as a guy or a trans gender female). with their thin, pretty bodies. But now many Japanese women are asking for the hosomacho style, men who are not only pretty, but are also manly, and who are not only skinny, but has muscles. The TVXQ wind is blowing through the clubs of Gabukicho.

Since many Korean idol groups are popular not only in Korea but all of Asia, many Koreans may think that TVXQ’s popularity is similar to that of other celebrities. Shall we delve deeper to see just how popular TVXQ is in Japan? TVXQ’s most recent Japanese single sold almost 200K copies in one week. This sets TVXQ with the second highest first week sales in their agency, Japan’s biggest company Avex.

The only group above TVXQ is the 14-member group Exile, the group that received the highest award from the Japanese Record Association and the group that even creates big changes in society with their raging popularity. This means that TVXQ’s first album sales beats that of the female leaders of Japanese pop, ‘Amuro Namie’. ‘Hamasaki Ayumi’ and ‘Koda Kumi’. This is a feat that not even popular star ‘BoA’ has achieved. These are the kind of top singers we can compare TVXQ to now.

But I am not basing their popularity on album sales only. TVXQ has set a huge record of being on Japan’s representative music chart ‘Oricon Chart’ as 1st on weekly single sales six times already. Since the year 2000, the number of stars who have attempted to enter the Japanese market is enormous, with stars such as S.E.S, Sugar, Park Junghyun, Rain, Lee Soo Young, Se7en, SS501, Ryu Siwon, Park Yongha, Lee Byunghun, Yoonha, K, Sunmin, Big Bang and Super Junior.

But the only singers who have reached first on Oricon’s weekly single charts are BoA (once) and TVXQ (six times). TVXQ also succeeded in being invited to hold two concerts in July at the Tokyo Dome which is considered the Dream Stage, even to Japanese singers. This has never been completed by any other Korean singer before.

But the Bible sends a message, “Prophets do not get respect from their homelands.” For some odd reason, TVXQ’s outstanding achievements do not seem to be reported or praised in Korea. Also, it is sad to see that TVXQ’s success of almost selling 200K copies of their single was buried under the dispute between SM Entertainment and three members of TVXQ (Micky Yoochun, Xiah Junsu, YoungWoong Jaejoong) and the disbandment rumors that followed it.

They are not something something ’sama’ (like Yonsama) who were washed ashore by the Hallyu Wave. No, they even asked all Japanese media agencies not to associate the word ‘Hallyu’ with them (even asking for news articles to be pulled down if the word was used in relation to them), to show that they wished to succeed with their own powers and were able to become widely known in Japan. TVXQ had to erase their nationality in order to gain the acceptance from the Japanese population.

The rumors of disbandment at the height of their popularity has become a hot topic of conversation in the Japanese music industry. Japanese media has been created a daily special to update everyone about what’s happening in Korea with regards to TVXQ, and this has caused Avex’s CEO to come forward and give an explanatory statement to clam the Japanese fans. He announced that TVXQ’s Japanese activitees would continue regardless of what was happening in Korea and he decided to announce this himself. This has never happened before.

It seems as though the way Korean agencies set the income division when writing up the contract has surprised the people of Japan who are used to the Japanese agencies’ way of working that gives monthly salaries that may change. Since the first official event TVXQ held after the disbandment rumors came out was in Japan and not Korea, the source of such rumors, with the Fireworks Festival Concert, the Japanese media was more vigilant when it came to reporting the issue than the Korean media.

Therefore, whether they wanted this or not, this case has opened TVXQ up to a wider fan base including the younger generation. YoungWoong Jaejoong, who is the most popular amongst the members in Japan, was even seen in a paparazzi scandal magazine that only extremely famous Japanese celebrities appear in.

Although the situation in Korea is a complete mess, TVXQ might be able to take one step further in their Japanese activities through this happening. But they must once more grab hold of their Korean fans. There are already rumors that the ‘light fanbase’ is ready to embrace the new 6 member male idol group SM Entertainment is preparing.

As faithful as Korean fans are, they are also able to turn their backs on a singer very quickly. If even the fans who used to embrace them turn their backs on TVXQ, the group will become the prophets who are not respected in their homelands.

Source: [GQ Magazine+DNBN]
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[News] DBSK’s Expected 2 Months Break

Dong Bang Shin Ki outdoor concert, a-nation that is pre-scheduled to be held on August 29th in Osaka, Japan will keep going on.

After the provisional disposition facing DBSK’s agent SM Entertainment to stop exclusive contract effect from part of DBSK members, it’s been a difficult environment for DBSK to continue their activities, therefore the continuance of DBSK future activities has been gathered lot of fans’ attention ever since.

Recently DBSK’s Korea label SM Entertainment and Japanese label AVEX don’t catch any additional schedules other than ones have been pre-arranged. Except Yunho who will debut in MBC drama “Heading to The Ground”, the remaining members are said to be having break naturally (T/N: I’m not sure why the reporter doesn’t mention Changmin as well)

Members activities will be stopped at least for 2 months is being certain, but members’ concert in Shanghai that has been planned to proceed on October 2nd is expected to be executed.

The provisional disposition againts SM Entertainment filed by 3 DBSK members Jaejoong, Yoochun, and Junsu has received its first hearing on August 21st in the morning. The judge at that time said, “For the sake of public responsible to DBSK biggest fans and also the members internal relationship, I hope the two sides to consider settlement of this dispute amicably.” advising for a consensus.

Next hearing will be held on September 11th.

Translation: sharingyoochun@wordpress

[News] Despites The Crisis, Changmin is Still Concentrating on His Acting Debut

“This first debut, I want to carry it perfectly.”

DBSK member Changmin (21) has been concentrating on acting training for his first challenge drama “Paradise Ranch”. Recently DBSK meets crisis as in lawsuit case related to some of its members. During this lawsuit period, it’s been repeatedly stressed that the lawsuit and members’ individual activities are separate stories. They’re already preparing for another coming up activities.

Just few days ago, after finishing a performance in Japan, Changmin returned home and when there isn’t any official activity, he’s fully absorbed to the debut drama training. Going back and forth Japan – Korea, Changmin never once keeps aside his script reading training.

From Changmin’s assistant, “The series of recent crisis creates burdensome to him mentally, is true. But as acting has been his long dreamed challenge, makes a great motivation to him afterall. From now on, he’s going to be busy traveling back and forth between Korea and Japan. Even from his recent departure (in Korea) few days ago, he already portrayed an excitement about the drama preparation.”

“Paradise Ranch” is a co-production drama between SM Entertainment and Samhwa Networks and they have goal to broadcast the drama at the end of this year. A delightful story of romance is blended by beautiful music will show the fresh youth romantic acting of Changmin. The drama will enter its first shooting early next month.

Source: naver news
Translation by: sharingyoochun@wordpress

[News] Cosmetic Company Lawsuit Case: Full Investigation

Seoul’s Gangnam Police Station on August 27th has lauched a full investigation regarding lawsuit filed by cosmetic company, CREBEAU in which DBSK members Jaejoong, Yoochun, and Junsu have their investment.

The public prosecutor from Seoul police office section 7 (head: Kim Cheong-hyeon) directed the investigation according to letter of complaint to SM Entertainment from CREBAU officer who requested for a full investigation of complainant’s identity before court review next week.

This police investigation is held as an instant basis to decide whether there’s criminality charges in defamation mark that is accused to SM Entertainment as defendant by CREBEAU company.

On August 4th, CREBEAU company where in DBSK members Jaejoong, Yoochun, and Junsu have their investment in filed a lawsuit against SM Entertainment for a defamation issue.

Translation: sharingyoochun@wordpress

[News] 3 DBSK Members’ Investment Cosmetics Company Sue SM for Defamation Issue

Seoul Central District Court officer revealed on August 26th that a representative of CREBEAU (위샵플러스) cosmetic company had filed lawsuit against SM Entertainment in charge of defamation issue on August 4th.

CREBEAU representative said, “The problem that is filed by 3 members who are also investors in our company is something to do with the unfair distribution income and to terminate the exclusive contract effect. However, SM keeps distorting the essence of the issue by saying that the main reason of their lawsuit is related to the cosmetic company. This is definitely a false representation and inflicts a serious libel to our company.”

Translation: sharingyoochun@wordpress

[Lawsuit] SM x DBSK Lawsuit: “Will The Evidences Application be Accepted?”

As had been reported, besides the provisional disposition to terminate exclusive contract effect, 3 members of DBSK namely Jaejoong, Yoochun, and Junsu also submitted Preservation of Evidence request so that they could calculate the exact amount of their income.

However, in the first hearing held on last August 21st, SM responded regarding the Preservation of Evidence request, “This immediate appeal for Preservation of Evidence can’t be executed.” SM expressed disapproval regarding the submission request. The company explained that DBSK income receipts along with other documents and materials needed for this settlement is company’s trade secret. And if they’re to be exposed to the media, it can lead to fatal effect.

Regarding the problem, the court described an “in camera” system to invalidate SM’s claim of a fatal risk. The “in camera” system is the process in which the viewers of the evidences are to selected/limited number of people only. Because of this, DBSK’s payment issue can be resolved and the current conflict can be raised.

SM officials therefore approved the DBSK’s ‘Preservation of Evidences application’ and the submission deadline is tomorrow, August 26th.

The court judgment whether SM’s application is received as valid evidences or not is to be determined on Friday, August 28th.

Meanwhile, on the same day (August 28th), DBSK fanclub Cassiopeia is showing support to their idol by submitting petition which is signed by approximately 121,073 people at 1:30 p.m to National Human Rights Commission. “DBSK members have been victims of serious human rights violation and now are seeking way to escape from it. We asked the help from National Human Rights Commission to give human rights protection for DBSK members through their court hearing.”

On last August 20th, Cassiopeia had already submitted their petition which was already signed on-line by 120,000 people from August 12th to 18th (six days) to Seoul Central District Court to support the terminate of unfair contract.

Source: diodeo + newsen
Summarized by: sharingyoochun@wordpress

Saturday, August 22, 2009

[Lawsuit] 090821 SM "We've Lost 15 Billion Won+ In Image Damage Because Of This Trial"

SM Entertainment (SME) stated that they were the only ones who received damages because of the request for the suspension of TVXQ's exclusive contract.

On the 21st at 10:20 am, the first hearing for the lawsuit between SM Entertainment and the three members of TVXQ's Youngwoong Jaejoon, Micky Yoochun and Xiah Junsu, began.

During this hearing, SME's lawyer stated, "In the case of the three members of TVXQ, they don't have any dissatisfied feelings towards this lawsuit as it got them out of concerts and advertisements that they did not want to participate in," and "But in the case of SME, they had to pay compensation for said canceled events and future scheduled events with 8 billion Won to pay domestically and 15 billion Won to pay if overseas activities are calculated. Not only will SME suffer monetary loss, the image of SME has also been hit because of this trial."

SME's lawyer stated that the focus of this lawsuit was not the period of the exclusive contract or the unfair income division, but the cosmetic company that the three members were involved with. He explained that the only two reasons SME asked the three members not to participate in such a venture were because such a venture went against their exclusive contract and because the venture could hit TVXQ's image in a negative way.

SME's lawyer also said, "In reference to the length of their exclusive contract, the special quality of the entertainment business needs to be considered," and "Even in the recommended exclusive contract guidelines released recently, there are exceptions when it comes to singers."

He also said, "The three members claim that they never were told of exactly how much they earned but SME revealed this amount to the members every six months and the members even signed these income documents."

On a side note, the three members of TVXQ filed for an Exclusive Contract Validity Suspension and Provisional Disposition Request against their agency SM Entertainment on July 31st. They also filed for a Preservation of Evidence request to be able to calculate the exact amount of TVXQ's income.

The three members asked for a cancellation of their contract due to the unlawful clauses in said contract but SM Entertainment stated that the three members were filing this lawsuit because of the cosmetic company they were associated with; both sides show no signs of backing down. TVXQ's leader U-Know Yunho and youngest leader Choikang Changmin did not participate in this lawsuit.

Source: [star news+DNBN]
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Friday, August 21, 2009

[Lawsuit] TVXQ's 1st Court Hearing Ended Today

TVXQ and SM Entertainment's first court hearing took place today August 21st, 2009 at 11:40am KST.

TVXQ's lawyer stated "TVXQ members are very upset about the entire situation, but hopes that the lawsuit will end well." In addition, "We do not want TVXQ to split up. And even if they do change management companies, there is still a chance that TVXQ will remain together."

SM Entertainment's lawyer stated, "There are no personal grudges against the members, however this lawsuit is an enormous loss to the company, therefore we wish to resolve this as quickly as possible and have TVXQ continue their activities." In addition, SME stated that, "In regards to the members running Chinese based cosmetics businesses, SM only intervened as it could potentially hurt their image. That was the only reason."

The 1 hour and 20 minute hearing over exclusive contract rights and improper compensation is now over, however all parties are required to submit all proof and documentation by September 12th, 2009, in order for the courts to make a final judgment.

TVXQ: " We Want This Lawsuit to be Finished as Quickly as Possible"

TVXQ's YoungWoong Jaejoong, Micky Yoochun and Xiah Junsu have stated that they wish for their lawsuit against SM Entertainment to finish quickly.

Both sides stated their position at the first hearing held on the 21st at 10:20 am.

The members' side pointed out the unlawful problems in their exclusive contract as well as the doubtful income division made by SME.

SME's side stated that they were in red figures for four years after TVXQ debuted, said that they had divided the income well and that what the three members were saying was false.

Both sides stated that they wanted this lawsuit to be solved as quickly as possible. The judge stated, "If both side would like to set a settlement date that will not be open to the public, that can be arranged," and urged both sides to come to a mutual agreement.

It can be seen that the judge believes it will be better for the two sides to start fresh as quickly as possible rather than have a tiring fight in court.

On the other hand, on the 20th, 120,000 fans submitted petitions against SME's unlawful contract to the Seoul District Courts where the trial is being held.

Source: [asiae+DNBN]
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[Lawsuit] 090818 Yoochun, jaejoong, Junsu "Focusing completely on the First Hearing"

The three members of TVXQ who are currently in a dispute with their agency SM Entertainment, YoungWoong Jaejoong, Micky Yoochun and Xiah Junsu are completely focused on preparing for the first hearing.

On the 17th, a representative of Sejong law firm, that is aiding the three members, told Money Today Star News that,
"We are preparing for the first hearing that will be soon," and "TVXQ's stand and SME's Stand on this situation have not changed at all."

He also said, "As they are still under SM Entertainment, all five of them are completing the shcedules they have been given."

The three members' lawsuit's first hearing will be held on the 21st this month.

The three members of TVXQ filed for an Exclusive Contract Validity Suspension and Provisional Disposition Request against their agency SM Entertainment on July 31st asking for their release from their exclusive contract. They also filed for a Preservation of Evidence request so that they could calculate the exact amount of their income. TVXQ's leader U-Know Yunho and youngest member Choikang Changmin did not participate in this lawsuit.

Source: [star news+Yuaerubi]
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[Lawsuit] DBSK forced to a corner; freedom comes at a price of 10.6 billion TWD

DBSK forced to a corner; freedom comes at a price of 10.6 billion TWD

Unsatisfied with their treatment under their managing company, members of Korean superstar boyband Dong Bang Shin Ki, namely Xiah Junsu, Youngwoong Jaejoong and Micky Yoochun have brought their case to court.

However, once the hearing is held and if the members lose their case, a compensation sum of approximately 10.6 billion TWD will have to be paid, tantamount to forcing them into a tight corner.

At the beginning of this month, news of the three members being dissatisfied with SM Entertainment and wanting to leave had begun to surface. In return, SM declared publicly that there was no such thing, and even professed that if they wanted to leave, then they would have to pay to do so.

Once the news of this got out, the 800 thousand strong fan base of Dong Bang Shin Ki almost immediately took action, firstly by using the cancellation of the SM Town Concert to start a boycott of SM products as a form of support for their idols.

SM Entertainment has also seemingly not cared much about all of these measures fans have been taking. Instead, SM has been registering the names of their popular groups such as Super Junior and So Nyeo Shi Dae (Girls’ Generation) as well as Dong Bang Shin Ki, in order to prevent Dong Bang Shin Ki from starting over elsewhere.

According to news reports, a seminar where media experts and scholars came together to discuss this problem all stood on DBSK’s side, saying that SM has used DBSK merely for profit, and the amount that they are paid every year, five miliion TWD, is ridiculous.

Now that DBSK wants their freedom back, the price that they have to pay is far too much, and purely a device to back them into a corner that they cannot retreat out of.

The “Dong Bang Shin Ki Seminar”, co-held by fans, scholars and media experts, was held in order to examine what would happen in the case if the three members lost the case: the end result would be to pay the 10.6 billion TWD compensation sum.

Thus, fans have denounced SM as a bloodsucking company, and they wish to voice out for their idols via the SM boycott

  • 10 600 000 000 Taiwan dollars = 401.778473 billion South Korean won
  • 10 600 000 000 Taiwan dollars = 321.02100 million U.S. dollars

  • Source: Yahoo! News
    Translated by: hazel @
    Shared by: Asianfanatics
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    Wednesday, August 19, 2009


    MBC's 'Section TV Entertainment News' is receiving scorn from TVXQ fans.
    On the latest episode aired on the 14th, 'Section TV Entertainment News' attempted to interview the TVXQ members who are in a conflict with their agency SME and in return, received a lot of criticism.

    Last month on the 31st, three members of TVXQ, YoungWoong Jaejoong, Micky Yoochun and Xiah Junsu, filed for an Exclusive Contract Validity Suspension and Provisional Disposition Request against their agency SM Entertainment and were swept through numerous disbandment rumors but were spotted at the airport heading for Japan to complete their activities there.

    On this episode, 'Section TV' visited the work places of the members' parents and asked them questions regarding the current situation and also attempted to interview the members ar the airport as they were leaving.

    Regarding this, TVXQ fans who would like to see this whole situation work out well criticized MBC by sying, "It was not right for MBC to force an interview on TVXQ when they are suffering mentally and physically these days."

    On the program's forum, many people wrote, "Why did they go to their parents?" and "It all ended with nothing gained except a brief glimpse of them. The only thing this 'interview' probably did was inflict emotional pain on the members."

    Credits: Source: [NTN+Yuaerubi]
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    [Lawsuit] Star Name is Money

    Agency SM Entertainment who has been having legal disputes with 3 members of TVXQ, on July 4th submitted trademark application of names of some of its singers including TVXQ, Girls’ Generation, and Super Junior. SM is currently waiting for the result.

    In 2004 SM already tried to enter the same application but was rejected since “There’s no agreement from TVXQ members,”. To consider the current situation where there’s disputes between the two sides, the members are most likely not consent yet, again.

    Meanwhile, quoting the statement from patent attorney Hwang Sung-pil which was aired on MBC “Happy Day” on August 17th, “The cycle of legislation from trademark rights to trademark, is to legitimate the brand of artists name when deciding margin products, as well as to identify the source of right to display certain brand so that customers are ensure of one’s brand reliability.”

    Estimation of the value of star name.

    The star name whose value is worth for 180 billion won, is gained by Seo Tai-ji on 1st rank. The Korean wave star Bae Yong Joon name is worth for 100 billion won, and rose the 2nd.

    Active in three countries including Korea, Japan, and U.S, singer BoA is ranked 3rd for 100 billion won while on 4th with estimation value of 50 billion won is name of group Shinhwa.

    TVXQ group name is estimated to be worth 40 – 50 billion won thus made 5th. Meanwhile Korean wave star Won Bin and Choi Ji-woo names both are worth 30 billion, thus are placed together on 6th.

    source: Newsen
    trans: sharingyoochun@wordpress

    Monday, August 17, 2009

    DBSK Fancafe’s Prosecution Application Demanding Compensation

    On last August 14th, DBSK fancafe submitted a prosecution application to Korea Consumer Protection Board with subject ‘The postpone of SMTOWN LIVE ‘09′.

    The fancafe explained their background of accusation, “They acted unilaterally in postponing the concert, without consideration and fooling all the consumers who had already bought the concert tickets. Thus, we submitted this application.”

    In the statement which DBSK fancafe submitted to Korea Consumer Protection Board, they mentioned, “SMTOWN LIVE ‘09 which is scheduled to be held on August 16th is indefinitely postponed.

    The postpone was announced a week ago (August 7th) with the reason that DBSK’s case status will make the whole SM family couldn’t unite in the concert.

    However, on August 14th when SM released SMTOWN Summer album ‘09, they promoted the song by stressing it as ‘a song which shows friendship among the young men‘ which shows a whole contradictory.”

    DBSK fancafe demanded not only full refund of their tickets, but also 10% admission fee as compensation and official apology from SM Entertainment.

    Written by: sharingyoochun@wordpress

    [Lawsuit] DBSK/Tohoshinki gets 3rd golden album from Japan Record Association, “More curiosity about group’s Japanese promotions in the future”

    Japan Record Association recently announced, “Million single, album selling and acknowledge”. Dong Bang Shin Ki has been acknowledged for a golden disk by selling more than 100K copies of their albums ‘Five In Black’ in March, ‘Stand By You’ in July and ‘3rd LIVE TOUR 2008 -T-’ in August.

    With that, more attention are raised as in what will the next step be for Dong Bang Shin Ki 3 members Micky YooChun, Xiah JunSu and Hero JaeJoong’s contract discord with SM Entertainment.

    Credit: K-Bites

    Saturday, August 15, 2009

    [Lawsuit] Court Accepts TVXQ's 'SM Preservation of Evidence' Form

    On July 31st, three members of TVXQ, Xiah Junsu, YoungWoong Jaejoong and Micky Yoochun, filed for an Exclusive Contract Validity Suspension and Provisional Disposition Request Form, and the Seoul Central District Court has accepted the three members' Preservation of Evidence Request.

    The Seoul Central District Court has accepted the three members' Preservation of Evidence Request that they submitted on the 5th earlier this month through the Sejong Law Firm. This request was for the preservation of all receipts, transaction slips, account books and such to calculate the exact amount of TVXQ's income.

    It has been found that the Court demanded that SM hand in all documents relevant to this lawsuit.

    Source: [no cut news+DNBN]
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    Friday, August 14, 2009

    [ADV] Stand By U Project

    Hello Fellow Cassies and Bigeast

    As TVXQ is going through hard time right now, a community to unite international fans from all over the world had been created, known as TVXQSUPPORT, to show our love and support to TVXQ.

    Korean Cassies latest project in showing support towards TVXQ is through boycotting SM.ent releases and they are right now collecting fund for newspapers advertisement.

    As for International Fans, the current project is to make Stand by U make it at least to the Top 10 of Oricon Daily / Weekly.

    Due to that, we are calling all of you to join this project.

    The single CD buy date is:

    Sunday, August 16th (Japan Time)


    You may be asking, why Sunday?
    It takes two day for online orders to process, so it will take until Tuesday for all the orders to go through to the Oricon.


    Wednesday, August 12, 2009

    [Lawsuit] Is There a Solution for ‘Slave Contracts?’

    With Korean pop group TVXQ embroiled in legal action against its agency, SM Entertainment, over an allegedly unfair contract, fans and agencies alike are focusing attention on the validity of so-called “slave contracts.” Contracts are dubbed as such for reported disadvantaging the stars and would-be stars who enter into them with management agencies.

    These excessively binding contracts came into focus when actress Jang Ja-yeon ended her life earlier this year amid allegations that she was threatened and forced to provide sexual favors by her former agent.

    TVXQ brought yet another perspective to ongoing speculations regarding unfair practices carried out by both large- and mid-sized entertainment agencies here.

    According to the legal document filed by three members of the group ― Micky, Xiah and Hero ― the agency prohibited their freedom as artists by claiming that the group’s and members’ activities belonged to the agency, requiring them to follow the agency’s demands to appear at certain performances and broadcasts, and requiring them to stay under the agency’s wing for 13 years.

    Experts say that this type of contract is standard in Korea’s entertainment industry. A newcomer’s path to stardom depends highly on local agencies’ investments, unlike in the United States, where up-and-coming artists often sign deals with agencies after proving their talents at bars and small theaters on their own.

    “From top stars like the late actress Choi Jin-shil and singer Uhm Jung-hwa, celebrities were ‘made’ into stars by their agents and agencies. These young artists need to be ‘invested in’ for at least 10 years,” said Choi Jung-han, a lawyer and former head of the Korea Entertainment Law Society.

    The agencies, naturally, extend contracts for more than 10 years to collect investments in the future. Of course, this only applies to successful cases.

    Choi explained that although agencies spend their time and money investing in several groups and aspiring talents, only a few of those clients ever taste success. This leads to contracts that trap successful stars into what is now referred to a “slave contract.”

    “If the case with TVXQ and SM does not settle down in a proper way, the same incidents will continue again and again. We must revise contract terms regarding the contract periods and profit distribution,” Kim Won-chan, chairman of the Korea Singers Association, said during a radio interview last week.

    Kim pointed out that although SM Entertainment claimed that they offered 11 billion won to the members, the fairness of the payment amount should be questioned, considering the overall profit the agency has received over the past years.
    “There must be separate regulations detailing the maximum and minimum amounts in profit distribution,” he said.

    The Fair Trade Commission posted a recommendation notice regarding the issue last month, setting forth a standard contract for artists and agencies.

    “The commission did release the notice as a standard contract, but this does not have any legal effect, which is why many agencies and artists are quarreling about the actual practice of it,” culture critic Kim Sung-soo said.

    Kim added that the overall atmosphere must change to scrap such “slave contracts” and messy legal disputes.

    “This type of discontent appears because Korea focuses on only a number of stars. Agencies have no choice but to rely on those who are popular and successful. In the case of major entertainment agencies, newcomers have no choice to follow their contracts to become famous. We have to change the overall system so that the entertainment business can focus on a larger and longer perspective and nourish various types of artists,” he said.

    Meanwhile, the group is expected to follow through with their scheduled performances in Japan. Avex, the group’s agency in Japan, said last week on its official Web site, “We will support TVXQ’s Japan activities to the full. We expect fans to continue to root for TVXQ,” according to Yonhap News.

    “We have received assurances that both sides don’t want the group to disband. This is interpreted as meaning that SM and the three TVXQ members will go ahead with their scheduled performances in Japan,” Avex said.

    The K-pop group will sing in Tokyo on Aug. 22 and 23 and Osaka on Aug. 29 and 30.

    The five-member boy band will also appear on “Music Japan,” NHK’s music program* next month.

    Source: 08/11/2009
    Shared by: KPOPJjang@wordpress + DBSKnights

    *The author made a mistake here. All five members will not be appearing on "Music Japan," only Jaejoong and Yoochun to promote "Colors ~Melody and Harmony~"

    Tuesday, August 11, 2009

    [Lawsuit] SM Entertainment’s application for trademark rights of "Dong Bang Shin Ki" on 5th August

    SM Entertainment has once again applied for the trademark rights for Dong Bang Shin Ki.

    It is known that SM Entertainment had gone to apply for continuation of trademark rights for the name ‘Dong Bang Shin Ki’ at the Korea Industrial Property Rights Information Service (KIPRIS) on 5th August together with 3 other names.

    Currently the company is in a lawsuit with Dong Bang Shin Ki 3 members Xiah JunSu, Micky YooChun and Hero JaeJoong, and this application has brought up different interpretations from music experts.

    With the case of SM Entertainment applying for trademark rights for the name, especially since there was once in 2004 SM has refused to do so for 東方神起, much interests are roused as to the intention behind the act.

    SM Entertainment also applied for trademark rights of other groups like Super Junior and So Nyeo Shi Dae on 4th August.

    One music industry expert said, “Applying for the trademark rights for the singers in your own company is a natural thing. Sometimes it has been taken as a sensitive issue by many.”

    Another said, “The company has the right and this is a natural thing to do. It shouldn’t be seen as a bad intention.” While another said, “Dong Bang Shin Ki is a group that is wellknown throughout Asia and Korea. If the trademark rights are abused, it is damaging to their image. There was a problem of disbanding some time back. But it is true that the sensitive time comes when the company applies for trademark rights to the name.”

    Source: K-Bites

    Jaejoong’s letter to members (Mirotic Period)

    I forgot to post this earlier ~ surfaced on the net a few days ago. Might shed a light to you on why they are doing this lawsuit.

    Jaejoong’s letter to members (Mirotic Period)

    Jaejoong say:

    To: Yoochun
    Yoochun, you don't say much usually but writing this down using these kind of words make me a little embarrassed. I know you have been very tired recently, worried and forcing a smile out - I feel sorry. We are always together and the other members are unable to see your sadness but the hard words have to be said out. If you're tired, tell me, I will help you. I will also listen to all your troubles because I am always by your side. You can tell me anything and everything - the soul of my life. Yoochun, I love you.

    To: Junsu
    My cute Junsu. Because of you, we are DBSK; Junsu, the sound of DBSK. Kim Junsu, hyung really thinks you're important, do you know? I have never forced you to do anything and you have always treatedd me seriously. Sorry, but I love you, my cute little brother, Junsu. Thank you, and sorry, as comapred to many others, hyung really understand your past, and wants to help you and that is why please continue working hard! I love you, Junsu!

    To: Changmin
    Our small and cute cat, we haven't been making you do the cooking recently, sorry. Because of you, we have almost become closer, frustrating. However, we totally understand it is due to your fatigue and your lost energy when you occasionally tease us and command us to do stuff. We are all almost crazy.. haha.. always with a good heart and full of innocence, Changmin. You must continue working hard next time. We are always protecting you, if you're tired, you must say it and we will help you. Forever the youngest, I love you.

    To: Yunho
    Jung yunho, Yunho, Yunho, our leader, Yunho. Are you tired recently? My, Yun, Ho, the reason he became the leader is because he has to tolerate all the hardships. Whenever I see your fatigue body, I think that way. I want to help shoulder some burden but am always unable to.. I know when we received the award, the other members were crying but you were holding it in and only hid in the toilet and cry when we reached home. Therefore, thank you for your letter but what was the content in the letter? "Sleep earlier, if you don't sleep I will kill you.." Yunho, there would not be me if not for you. My other half, Yunho, I love you.

    Source: [heyjj]
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    [Lawsuit] Probe Finds Entertainers Frequently in Bum Deals

    After three of the five members of the Korean pop band Dong Bang Shin Gi, a k a TVXQ, took legal action against the group’s management agency, S.M. Entertainment, on July 31, claiming an unfair contract, officials began examining how other top groups are being managed.

    What they’ve found was sometimes startling. Yuna, a member of a band called Girls’ Generation that is under the same agency, is in a 13-year contract similar to the ones claimed by the three TVXQ complainants.

    A member of Super Junior, a 13-member pop band managed by S.M., cannot leave the company for between five and 13 years.

    “Even though I want to transfer to another management agency, it is not easy because of the long contract period and a large penalty I would have to pay,” the member said during a phone interview with the daily newspaper Ilgan Sports. “Since each member receives 1/13 of total profit earned from the band’s record sales, individual income is not that high.”

    Wonder Girls, a Korean girl pop band. [JoongAng Ilbo]
    Members of the Wonder Girls, a five-member girl band under JYP Entertainment, have signed an exclusive 7-year contract.

    Members of pop groups Big Bang and SS501 are locked into 5-year contracts by YG Entertainment and DSP Entertainment, respectively.

    During its investigation into 20 management companies starting in April, the Fair Trade Commission has found unfair contract clauses for 230 entertainers managed by 19 agencies.

    Included in such clauses are ones mandating that entertainers have to report their whereabouts to the manager at all times, contractors are not allowed to get any job in the entertainment industry after terminating contracts and contractors cannot retire without authorization from the manager.

    Following the investigation, large agencies have completed either renewing or revising contracts and small and medium companies are in the process of doing so. So far, most legal disputes have been between agencies and actors and actresses rather than singers. “The reason why controversies over unfair contracts among singers have not surfaced is that within Korean pop music, there still exists a custom of running the business by verbal agreement rather than strict contract clauses,” said an executive official from an agency who asked not to be named. “Many new singers think that it is hard to become a star if they file complaints against their companies. I believe there are a lot of entertainers suffering from unfair contracts.”

    The official also said that members of idol pop bands are mostly teenagers when they sign contracts and have to serve two to three year apprenticeships. They have no choice but to accept unfair contracts because they will not have a chance to debut if they fail to satisfy managers during their training period.

    Many experts say disputes between agencies and entertainers occur because agencies try to make up for initial investment costs they expend in promoting idol groups. Also, some budding stars fail to make it despite the investment, leaving the agencies holding the bag. Agencies complained that it is difficult to run the company when contracts are revised after an entertainer becomes popular because of various investment costs.

    Others see things differently. “If Korean management agencies keep on taking the lion’s share of profits earned by their entertainers, more legal disputes like TVXQ are bound to happen,” said Lim Jin-mo, a music critic.

    Experts say the only way to limit onerous contracts is to adopt new rules and regulations. Along with these steps, some suggest that the patriarchal system that lets agencies treat their entertainers as chattel needs to be modernized.

    As conflicts related to unfair contracts have flared in recent years, the Fair Trade Commission began a contract-by-contract probe into the issue and has requested revisions. Some improvements have been enacted. And the commission introduced a system of using “standard contracts” for entertainers last month and strongly recommended that the entertainment industry to use it.

    However, there are exceptions in the revised contracts letting an agency sign long-term contracts for special reasons, such as a long period of overseas activity. Korea Entertainment Producers’ Association has come out against the new system, saying that it does not reflect the reality of Korean pop music.

    Perhaps the Achilles’ heel of the proposed contract is that it is merely a recommendation that has no enforcement teeth. Japanese fans of TVXQ and many experts there deride Korean entertainment management. They said it is impossible to sign a contract that lasts for more than 10 years in Japan.

    But there are differences in the entertainment culture of the two countries. In Japan, where the scale the entertainment industry is much larger than in Korea, a few big agencies are firmly in control of the industry. New entertainers renew their contracts every two or three years and get paid monthly. In the United States, one entertainer is sometimes managed by two separate companies, a management agency which supports overall activities, and an agent overseeing an entertainer’s products and contracts.

    “The entertainment industries in the United States and Japan have developed after going through a lot of trial and error. It is impossible and not right for Korea to immediately follow their example,” said Hong Sung-kee, president of Korea Entertainment Law Society.

    Some say culture is more important than changes in written rules and laws. In a culture that refers to an agency as an entertainer’s benefactor while treating a singer as a betrayer when he or she complains, it is difficult to develop a reasonable contract. “Even though more Korean entertainers are becoming popular on the global stage, the system of managing them has not changed,” said Lee Dong-yeon, professor of Korean Traditional Arts at Korea National University of Arts.

    A new management system and culture have to be developed so that new entertainers can also get legal advice when signing contracts,” he said.

    By Yang Sung-hee, Lee Young-hee []

    Source: JoongAng Daily
    Shared by: lynaeina@soompi + DBSKnights

    [Lawsuit] Eugene on DBSK-SM discord, “It is a pity that companies make use of new singers’ weaknesses”

    Singer/actress Eugene talks about her views regard the discord between SM Entertainment and Dong Bang Shin Ki. She said in a recent interview, “Even though I don’t know the details, I hope both sides can settle this amiably.”

    Eugene was from S.E.S under SM Entertainment debuting in 1997. S.E.S was one of the first girlgroups and had the concept of fairies and had made issues with their songs and costumes. After which, there were the other girlgroups like Fin.K.L, Baby VOX, Chakra. And then recently we have WonderGirls and So Nyeo Shi Dae etc.

    Eugene said, “It is true that SM have a good training system for a big company. With that, there are many youths who wants to debut under these big companies and there are many cases of them signing long term exclusive contracts with the company. When the singers grow and develop, the contract should also change if not there will be piled-up unhappiness. It is a shame that companies take advantages of the weaknesses of these new singers.”

    She added, “Recently when I look at the juniors, it seems that their schedule is so tight they can hardly breathe. It would be great if they are able to find happiness and influence through their entertainer activitise and at the same time are able to improve on things like profits etc.”

    Credit: Kbites

    [Lawsuit] Big Bang's Daesung Point of View on Lawsuit

    I: Three members of TVXQ are in a lawsuit. How did you feel after hearing that

    DS: I've been to Japan. TVXQ's popularity is even more extreme than we can imagine. Sad. I'm quite close with Yoonho hyung since we were on the same program; we still contact each other. I'm not sure why, but I hope it ends well.

    Original article by Choi Minwoo
    To see original article click here.
    Translated by Beau @ bbvipz

    [TRANS] 090809 JoongAng Sunday Magazine Issue

    TVXQ, this generation's legend created by funds and nurtured by fans.

    An example of a successful Idol Group

    TVXQ was the third male idol dance group that SM debuted after H.O.T. and Shinhwa. SM, who is the forerunner when it comes to the K-pop Idol culture, used any and every one of it's producing methods when it came to created TVXQ. Different from their seniors who could not shake off the image of 'A dance group that emphasizes looks,' TVXQ was an idol group that emphasized the members' vocal abilities from the start. They came with an a capella song with excellent vocalist Xiah Junsu as the main vocal. Dance skills and good looks were standard. Their debut song "HUG"(2004), that had some embarrassing lyrics such as "I want to be your bed for one day," gave teenage girls the image of a sweet and charming boyfriend. (The members who would whisper 'girl' after their debut successfully evolved into a mature group who gave off their sexy masculinity in 'Spell(MIROTIC)')

    Each member becomes a subject for Games and Stories

    SM's ability to instill a unique character in each member was the most prominent with TVXQ. 'Visual Shock', pretty boy YoungWoong Jaejoong who has looks that seemed to pop out of a comic book, manly leader U-Know Yunho, sweet guy Micky Yoochun with soft features who shows his honest feelings by frequently crying on stage, tall and handsome Choikang Changmin who is the youngest and cute Xiah Junsu who talks and acts like a child. These characters can be seen anywhere from tv shows to performances, to even the smallest of actions. It is almost as if they have made a kind of drama about themselves unlike other groups.

    'Xiahmori', known by the vast majority of fans, is the members' intentional bullying of Xiah Junsu. Not only does this bullying emphasize Xiah Junsu's cute factor, it also shows the closeness of the members. To compare, the members of TVXQ are like the members of 'Infinite Challenge', each having their own unique character and part, each member created their own story of their characters early on in their singing career. Their images grew stronger as they matured. Masculine U-Know Yunho's 'oldest brother' image sunk in and stayed. While Yoochun's warm acceptance of Xiah Junsu's childish behavior has given them a 'sweet couple' image. The team's youngest member Choikang Changmin, who had the weakest image at the start, became the cool, indifferent 'Chic Chang,' or the 'Real Leader.'

    These images and characters were the deciding factor when it came to the fans' acceptance of TVXQ's existence as one story. There are endless 'activities' to do with TVXQ as the subject. Fan-Fictions that include the idol members loving each other are prevalent in other groups, but they are not as good quality or quantity wise as they are with TVXQ as the main subjects. There is also a game that is called 'TVXQ's Answers for Situations'. It is a game where fans imagine what members would say about a same situation. Through these games, fans are able to become closer to the members, and the relationship between fans become stronger as they share games and laugh about their content. Not only their official fan club site 'Cassiopeia', but also all their tens and hundreds of fan cafes and sites have become a playground for fans.

    The world's greatest fanclub that got on the Guiness Book of World Records

    The number of people in Cassiopeia is 800,000. The number of people in Daum's fan cafe 'Yuaerubi' is also 800,000. SM stopped signing Cassiopeia members in 2006. Nowadays, TVXQ's fans Cassiopeia are simply called 'Ca-A' or 'Kang'. Cassiopeia, a name that derives from the five star constellation, was included in the Guiness Book of World Records for the largest fan club in the world. TVXQ's fandom, that started off as most fandoms do with the majority of fans being in their teens or 20s, spread out to include people in their 30s and 40s, and international fans. The fan clubs have even divided based on age. 'Xiah Soul' is a fan site for people in their 30s who have a preference for Xiah Junsu, and 'DongnaeBangnae' is a fan page where many international fans participate.

    The fandom's personality has changed as well. The generation of fans who not only worship their idols, but also protect and support them, or act as spokespeople for the stars has come. The motherly guardian fandom that watches the stars grow from a young age started off with 'the first Nation's Idol' GOD and has evolved and solidified with TVXQ. The fandom that considers themselves the spokespeople of the stars have served community service hours or donated money under the name of the star. 'Match Made in Heaven' and 'AVC' are some of the Cassiopeia community service groups that move around the nation helping others. Fans do these services to better their star's image but they also become great contributors to society. As many people know, when the Mad Cow Disease crisis occurred in Korea last year, the first people to protest on the streets were the fanclubs of TVXQ.

    The Internet's groups for people with the same taste

    A fanclub's strongest cohesion comes from liking the same thing. Especially for society's underdogs who are open to the economic aspect of life, teenage girls, it is hard to find the sharing of one's affection without any competitiveness. The only competition amongst fans happens to be their faithfulness of their stars. In fan sites that work on a ranking system, many ask detailed questions about TVXQ for 'level ups'. There are even essay questions such as, 'The effect of a capella on TVXQ.'

    The made-up language and ceremonies that only the fans know have also solidified this fandom. Cassiopeia decides on the type of cheer they will use at a TVXQ concert through voting. There are thousands of words and phrases that only the fans understand. The word 'Ilko' refers to an adult who hides the fact that he/she is a TVXQ fan and acts like a regular person. But the biggest influence of the fandom can be found in the music market. Instead of downloading illegally, fans have opened up their wallets for CDs even if TVXQ releases three versions of the same album. At the same time, TVXQ has also become a victim of an excessive fandom. Because of them, the new 'personal life fan (A fan who follows them everywhere)' has emerged who follows the star's movements almost 24 hours every day.

    'Fan-Fic', putting sexual imagination to paper

    TVXQ is also at the top when it comes to Fan-Fiction, a characteristic of idol fandoms. Fan-fics refer to the romance novels written by fans that depict the idol stars engaging in homosexual relationships. Rather than going against their 소유욕 by having their 'oppas (older brothers)' taken by other girls, the fans have made the members gay in the stories. It can be seen as a branch off of Japan's 'Yaoi' culture. After TVXQ's debut, SM aroused the homosexual imagination aspect by linking the members as couples. Of course this does not mean that the members are actually gay, and they used this romantic imagination, that could be used for heterosexual situations, to relieve the built-up sexual tension that women in their teens and 20s have. Many of the fan-fic writers are up to par skill-wise to professional writers. The majority are free to read through the writer's homepage, but there are some that are sold for profit.

    An interesting fact is that there has been a sudden surge of fans in their 30s and 40s. This correlates to the increase of Auntie-Uncle fans that have appeared in society these days. They act as a protective guardian fandom as well as a fandom that has physical desires for people who are extremely younger than those fans are. Like adults who love teen romance such as 'Boys Over Flowers' or "Gossip Girls', they have an air of people who are physically attracted to and wanting idols who are way younger.

    The Idealization of 'Me'

    As most teens are limited from relationships because of their age, idols become a 'substitute lover' for them. At the same time, fans see idols as a part of themselves, feeling the success of the idols is their own success. Also, since teens live in a highly competitive society and do not have many successes of their own, they see TVXQ's success story with great awe (This is also why fans can be ruthless when it comes to tight competition with other groups.) If the members of TVXQ are not able to overcome this current situation, the devastating impact it will have on their fans is unimaginable.

    They even have unwavering Vocal Abilities

    The most important point of this TVXQ syndrome is their music. Even though they debuted as an idol group, they showed their vocal maturity and growth through their Japanese activities. Match the powerful dance skills trained through the SMP genre (SM's unique genre of song with powerful dancing), their stage presence, their ability to sing unwaveringly even after a powerful dance, and their good looks, and it's no wonder TVXQ started off the second Hallyu Wave. From dance to pop-ballads, the members have done them all and have used the members' star-qualities to their fullest potential. At live concerts, especially, has their music touched many hearts and that is why they are worthy of being called 'The Gods of the East' by their fans all over the world.

    Source: [JoongAng Sunday + DNBN]
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