First Hearing: TVXQ vs SM in Court

First Hearing DBSK TVXQ Tohoshinki dongbanger.com
Translated accounts of the first Court hearing between TVXQ (DBSK / Tohoshinki) and their management agency SM Entertainment (SM) are making their way around the net.

After filing court docs in District Court for improved contract terms, Jaejoong, Yoochun and Junsu had their first hearing August 21 2009 (Seoul South Korea time).

Both TVXQ and SM agreed that they don’t want a disbandment of the group at all. 

According to the way the reports were translated, three members of the group are asking for “a suspension of their contract due to unlawful clauses”. This would probably be in relation to the Exclusivity clause which bars the guys from being involved in any side businesses for their own personal income not controlled by SM.

DBSK’s lawyers said:

“TVXQ members are very upset about the entire situation, but hopes that the lawsuit will end well… 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.”

But already, SM appears to be trying to keep documentation and receipts from TVXQ’s lawyers by filing an appeal to the Preservation of Evidence motion.  According to translated reports from DNBN, SM is claiming it would be “fatal to SME” if they have to hand over documentation about DBSK’s income. They have GOT to be kidding.

From the reports:

SM: “Some of the receipts and other documentation used to calculate TVXQ’s income are the company’s secret information. Therefore, it could be fatal to SME if these forms of documentation were revealed to the media.”

Oh yeah, I bet it’s “the media” they’re trying to keep the information from.  Some observers of this situation are suspicious as to what SM really wants to keep hidden.  Were they telling the truth about what they claim to have paid the group? What other details could be revealed by forcing SM to hand over the receipts and materials concerning what they claim to have paid TVXQ vs how much money they made off of TVXQ?

However, both sides agree that they want a quick end to the dispute.

The Judge overseeing the case told each side:

“We think the best way to solve this dispute is for the two sides come to a mutual agreement, when we put the responsibility for biggest fan club in the world and the relationship with the other two members into consideration.

“If both side would like to set a settlement date that will not be open to the public, that can be arranged.”

The Court also asked each side not to attack each other through the media while this situation is ongoing.

The stances from both sides (TVXQ’s and SM’s) contradict rumors and speculation from online Kpop websites concerning the issue of disbandment.

When asked point blank about whether the three members were seeking to cancel their contract, their lawyer stated:

“It depends on how competent SM Entertainment will be to support TVXQ’s transition from an idol group to a more mature artist group… The opportunities are endless.”

That’s for sure!

SM is apparently hemorrhaging money, according to the company, because of the dispute with TVXQ.  Right after the group filed papers in court, SM’s stock price dropped over 10%.

The investors may be responding to the fact that the artists (including TVXQ, Super Junior, BoA and others) are responsible for generating the revenue for the company and are looking at SM in an unfavorable light at the moment. Thousands of people don’t come to arena concert to see 5 SM executives hop around on stage and try to sing, that’s for sure.

It has been reported that SM alleges to have a vision for TVXQ which could include introduction to the American Hollywood scene. That’s only if you can believe SM isn’t simply saying things like that to assuage or dangle a carrot in front of the eyes of the three members who have complaints about their contract.

SM has 3 weeks, until Sept 11, to hand over documentation and other materials related to the situation so that TVXQ’s lawyers can examine the material. 

As for SM’s appeal to continue to hide to keep secret their receipts and other paperwork, the Court already has a procedure, known as ‘In Camera’, where the documentation can be viewed by only the necessary parties. Thus, SM’s appeal seems to be without merit.

Meanwhile, a petition with over 120,000 signatures was submitted to the District Court against SM’s “unlawful contract” with TVXQ by fans and regular supporters of the group.

SM claims “there are no personal grudges against the members.” Uh huh. We shall see.

Stay tuned.

Source Mat:
[star news+DNBN]
[asiae+DNBN]
Translation credits: jeeelim5 @ tohosomnia.net

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