DBSK Dispute, causing stir in music industry ; "Not Someone Else's Business"
As DBSK dispute continues downhill, the music industry has begun supervising their own. The possibility of a 2nd or 3rd DBSK dispute is causing a crisis in the music industry.
Seeing the members they once created and nurtured to be top Asian singers, now fighting with their company is a bitter sight to see for the middle management executives. However, as Xiah Junsu and other members have revealed the unjust contract conditions, some are saying that this is the time to self-exam and improve. How is the contract conditions for groups other than DBSK.
Super Junior, Girl's Generation, longest contract is 13 years
Other idol groups in SM entertainment is being targeted first. It was reported that for Super Junior, Girl's Generation, and Shinee, contracts are different for each members but the contract periods are anywhere from 5 years to 13 years.
Because some members of Super Junior and Girl's Generation have different debut years, their contract is individual.
Before Kangin became a member of Super Junior, he was a VJ for a entertainment news program. Before the release of Girl's generation album in 2007, member Sooyoung made debut in a duo 'Route Oh" in 2002 under SM Japan so she signed a contract before the other members. Because the contracts are individual, earning distributions and schedule conditions are different for each member.
One Super Junior member spoke with IS on the phone stating, "even if I want to move to another company, the remaining terms of the contract and penalty for breaching the contract is far beyond than people imagine. Because we have a lot of members in our team, we have to divide our earnings into 1/13, so we do not make much money. Up until recently, SM tried to make it our responsibility to pay for our stylist but a senior member took courage and corrected it. There are feelings in the company that if you do something that the company doesn't like, it is only your loss so even if we have complaints, we can't express it well."
It was reported that they had a meeting with each other after the DBSK dispute became a controversy.
Music producers state "they don't even know the situations"
Another artist under SM Entertainment stated with affliction, "DBSK sunbae's dispute is bitter to watch because it seems it our future is being shown. Trurthfully, there are too many things on my mind that I can't concentrate when I'm performing on stage or doing other broadcasting schedules."
For one group of singers under an entertainment company, although earning distributions are clear and there is strong confidence between the company, they signed a contract period for almost 10 years and are anxious that this might spark something in their way.
Jang Yoon jung and Park Hyun Bin also signed 10 year contract with their company and although Jewelry members have different contracts, members have been working under the same company for over 8 years. They stated that the problem is mutual distrust, not the contract period.
As the long period contracts are arising as a problem, music industry producers respond that they don't even know what the situation is like. They stated that as singers debut younger and younger, it is becoming normal to start training elementary school kids and if companies continued to meet the demands of its artists, the company would not be able to survive. One entertainment company president stated, "I am paying attention to how the provisional disposition will be ruled. I feel like singers do not consider the company's perspective and are only considering these situations once they have become famous. I hope this will be an opportunity to eliminate troubles between singers and companies."
Yunho And Changmin's Absence In This Case
The fact that U-Know Yunho and Choikang Changmin do not follow their 3 members to apply injunction application against SM Entertainment to suspend the exclusive contract effect has been drawing a lot of attention.
This is concerning the fact that usual popular group has term of record sale gain distribution averagely 4~5% per member which means if there’s an disadvantageous policy in the contract, that will affect relatively the entire group.
Results confirm that the two members did not participate in court because they have different perspective look of the distributing profits issue with remaining three members.
In addition, the parent of these two also seem to be 100% satisfied with SM terms and conditions since after Choikang Changmin and Yunho debuted in a very young age, they already earned nearly 1.5 billion revenue over five years and that’s more than enough.
When the 3 members Junsu, Jaejoong, and Yoochun went to the agency for the first time in last June, the parents of Changmin and Yunho were in agreement to coordinate for the legal disputes. However, at that moment the two members parents concerned that this case would led to the destroy of TVXQ image as “Asia Star”, therefore they stood aback.
Another reason being said about Yunho and Changmin to take different position is because they care more to their parents’ financial problems and a perspective that their future potential growth will be safer under SM.
“Changmin and Yunho become Asia top stars because SM recognized them out of many people at the first place and also SM efforts in developing them is one of the big factor, non arguably. They made their desicion considering long term activities as main priority.”
Meanwhile, the absence of Changmin and Yunho in the case has risen some radical criticism from some fans, "Changmin and Yunho are absent from the case, it’s like a betrayal to Junsu, Jaejoong, and Yoochun.”
Yet, until now, there’s no report that states Changmin and Yunho will likely follow the step of the rest three members.
The close associates of the two members said, “Their separated position is chosen by the members themselves, but it’s been misinterpretation that there’s fight among the members. Please try to understand more in Changmin and Yunho’s perspective.”
In addition, the silence act held by TVXQ’s agency in Japan, AVEX through this case also has been being questioned by many parties. Not only SM who refused to show the exact amount of TVXQ’s income, but the Japan agency seems to act the same. It’s noted that from all these times, TVXQ members have been working diligently to serve both parties without even knowing what kind of contract they are under.
DBSK Dispute is a structural problem.
The Korean League of Singers revealed, on the 5th, that this instance showed structural problems with both SM Entertainment and DBSK members. The secretary-general of the league went on air on radio program, "Open World Today, Lee Suk Woo" and stated that "if this situation is not solved properly, similar situations will happen repeatedly. Contract periods, earning divisions, and other unfair contract conditions must be corrected."
Lim Sang Hyun lawyer, the official lawyer for the 3 members, revealed that each member received 200,000,000 Won for their work. On the contrary, SM responded that they paid the members 11 billion won.
On this, secretary general Kim stated, "if SM did,in fact, pay 11 billion won to the members, it is still necessary to consider if it was a rational payment, if the distribution was right, and if it is an acceptable amount of payment compared to the profits made by the company. SM and DBSK is just one case; the current earning distribution structure makes it possible for the ratio of earnings to be 100 to 0 for the artist. (100 company: 0 artist). Whether it is setting minimum or maximum earning distributions, there needs to be a separate regulation for the future." The three members asserted that their contract with SM is 13 years but in reality, is a contract for life, but SM refuted that the contract complies with the recommendations for a standard contract, which was presented by the Fair Trade Commission in July.
Secretary General Kim added, "if contract periods exceed 10 years, this period is applicable to their entire musical career. In April, it was judged that the contract period can be a clause to void contract because it severely restricts an artist's moral influence as well as economic freedom. Secretary General Kim added that if a group as popular as DBSK are in such situations, the reality for nameless celebrities and trainees must be investigated. Further, he stated that this situation will have influence on mainstream music industry for the first half of the year and this opportunity should be used to examine the way the music industry functions.
In order to avoid relapse of the situation, he stated as a solution, "first of all, the ideal contract released by Fair Trade Commissions must be upheld by the music industry. The league of singers is considering plans which includes a center to aid for accusing companies for harm done or even developing a specific subordinate contract which will be attached to the official contract.
Law suit is only a law suit. Five members continue to move together.
After participating in A-Nation on the 1st, it was revealed that the 5 members of DBSK remained at their house together during their stay in Korea. A staff of DBSK revealed on the 5th that the members stayed at their Chungdam Dong house together.
The three members who filed for a provisional disposition on their contract met with their lawyer and revealed their positions on the 3rd. In this situation, it may seem likely that their relationship with the two members may become unconformable but they remained at their house, showing the team's unity.
For a while, their previously scheduled events will remain the same. The DBSK members will take part in the '2009 Fireworks Festival' and left together to Japan on the 5th. The staff revealed, "as far as I know, the members left on the 5th on the first flight to Japan. They will also take part in 'SM Town live 09' as planned."
Meanwhile, the members who are filing for the lawsuit, Youngwoong Jaejoong and Micky Yoochun is planning to participate in M-Flo's album, as well as releasing a single, attracting attention of fans. According to DBSK's official Japan website, the two members will take part in M-Flo's album, celebrating their 10th anniversary, by singing "Been so long" on the album.
Also, the duet song 'Colors Melody and Harmony' which was performed last month on the 4th and the 5th for the Tokyo Dome performance, will be released as a single on September 30th. In addition, they are planning to perform a duet song at "Boy pop factory 09" on the 20th.
The opposition of DBSK disbandment is getting stronger. On July 31st, 'DBSK Disbandment Opposition' petition began on Daum Agora and have gotten 23066 signatures so far.
It is widely know that DBSK's official fan club Cassiopeia has over 800,000 members. These fans are considering plans to hold a candelight protest in front of SM in opposition to DBSK disbandment. In response to this, SM stated that there has not been any particular actions by the fans yet.