We recently reported on SM’s latest attempt on taking down the JYJ trio in their endeavors in releasing their first global release album. In brief, SM filed a court injunction under the allegations that the trio’s SM contract was still effective; thus, they would be in an illegal dual contract if they have signed an exclusive contract with CJeS Entertainment, who currently manages the trio.
In light of this, the Korean Federation of Pop Culture and Arts Industry (KFPCAI) released a notice to all broadcasting companies, label companies and online music distribution companies asking them to refrain from aiding JYJ in any way for the above reason.
JYJ reps recently responded to these allegations, stating that “JYJ have not signed an exclusive contract with CJeS contrary to what SM and the KFPCAI are insisting,” and “CJeS is merely in charge of management that provides a route for domestic activities.”
To put it simply, JYJ has taken a relatively unconventional path in managing their activities. Instead of signing themselves to one exclusive company (i.e. SM, JYP, YG, etc) the members are adopting a more “American” method of employing different agencies to help them with certain aspects of their career. CJeS Entertainment manages their activites. Prain is their publicist. Warner Music distributes their albums. It seems that this idea of multi-agency management has gone over SM’s heads, leading them to believe that JYJ had signed an exclusive contract with CJeS and is, therefore, exclusively working with them in all aspects of their career.
According to Prain, “A misunderstanding may have occurred because the concept of an ‘agency’ is still unfamiliar to most people in Korea. When the overseas showcase events are done, we will officially respond to SM and the KFPCAI’s claims with sufficient evidence and documents.” Prain believes that there is now no legal basis for SM’s injunction, stating that the issue of JYJ’s status as independent artists has “already undergone extensive legal review” and that “by law, there is nothing that should cause a problem for JYJ.”
Ultimately, Prain states that the basis for SM’s legal actions are baseless and that they “have confirmed that by law, SM Entertainment has no real reason to file an album sales prohibition injunction against JYJ’s activities.”
But wait – there’s more!
Despite the clarification offered by JYJ and Prain, it appears that SM will be attacking the trio from multiple fronts. SM officials recently sent a certification of contents to the Warner Music Korea headquarters in America (yes, America), calling for Warner Music to take responsibility for the situation.
Many entertainment industry representatives believe that SM’s claims still hold no logical legal standing, despite the added support of the KFPCAI. Instead, they speculate that SM’s actions have become a “thorn” in SM’s side – not only because of the conflict itself, but because the trio has been able to maintain high ranks on online music charts despite not having made any television appearances since October 12th. Oh, and a record-breaking 520,000-unit album preorder probably made SM a little peeved, too.
It appears that the SM-Jaechunsu JYJ legal trifle is heating up again after a half-year ceasefire. But at this point, should SM’s claims even be a cause for concern? When will SM throw in the towel?