TVXQ vs SM Hearing Set for Aug 21

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TVXQ representative from the Sejong law firm say that the first hearing on their dispute of contract terms with SM Entertainment (SM) will be held on August 21 2009 (Seoul, South Korea time).

Three of the five members of TVXQ (Jaejoong, Junsu and Yoochun) are fighting for improved contract terms and working conditions. They also want SM to release information about TVXQ’s income.

Late last month, TVXQ’s lawyers filed with the District Court for an “Exclusive Contract Validity Suspension” and a “Provisional Disposition Request”. They also filed an application to make SM preserve evidence and force them to turn over pertinent documentation to the lawyers representing the three members.

According to translated reports, the representative for TVXQ said, “We are preparing for the first hearing that will be soon… TVXQ’s stand and SME’s stand on this situation have not changed at all.”

When news broke of TVXQ’s dispute with SM, stock in the company immediately dropped about 10%, maybe more. The group is partially why the company is as profitable as it is.

Translated reports stated SM ignored attempts by TVXQ to take care of these matters privately and did not release information to them about their income.

In addition, TVXQ have said that despite the dispute with SM they don’t want to disband, and they are not seeking to leave SM for another company as far as we know.

As we have pointed out repeatedly at dongbanger.com, it’s important to note that DBSK aren’t interchangeable ‘pretty faces’.  Even though they are tall and gorgeous, it is far from their only attributes.

They are artists who write and read music. They have great a cappella vocal skills. They have studied music, music arrangement, music production, etc.

They all either play an instrument or are in the process of learning to play a 2nd instrument. They all speak fluent Japanese. 

They are known as Tohoshinki in Japan and is managed by AVEX. And AVEX certainly isn’t letting the grass grown under TVXQ’s feet while this dispute is ongoing.

Jaejoong and Yoochun have written a song, “Colors”, which has been chosen as Hello Kitty’s 35th anniversary song. Yoochun wrote a song, “Kiss the Baby Sky”, which was chosen for a popular Japanese show’s (“Zoon In”) weather corner.

They were chosen to sing the music for the new Menard’s Cosmetics ad. They were also chosen as the pitchmen for OrnaminC, a popular drink in Japan. They appeared in the tv commercial with Japanese actress Aya Ueto.

Just a couple of days ago, three more of their products in Japan have been certified Gold by the RIAJ. This is after they broke the record for being the first non-Japanese artists ever to have 6 #1 songs on the Oricon Weekly chart.

They recently performed before thousands of people at Tokyo Dome, one of the only Korean artists to ever do so.

Hundreds of thousands of fans buy tickets to watch them perform.

These are highly accomplished young men who cannot be relegated to the ‘eye candy’ category. Because of their hard work and loyalty, they are indispensable.

It’s about time SM comes to this realization.

SM Makes Unbelievable Money Claims

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After receiving a round of heavy criticism for their so-called slave contract with TVXQ (DBSK / Tohoshinki), SM is claiming they gave TVXQ 40% of the profits. Yeah, and I’m the Queen of England!

Almost no one believes that SM would give any of its artists 40% of the profits generated from the artist’s hard work.

Adding further insult to the intelligence of the millions of DBSK fans and the Japanese public, SM is reportedly claiming that for overseas promotions, Tohoshinki gets 70% of the profits while SM takes a paltry 30%.

If you believe that, I have a few acres of beautiful swamp land in Florida to sell you.

There is no way in hell SM would allow one of their prized possessions over in another country — months at a time — for only 30%. 

Then there’s the question as to what Avex, the company that handles Tohoshinki in Japan, is paying Tohoshinki. Some wonder if Avex’s figures in some way conflict with that SM is saying.

Another question public observers have raised is whether or not SM is telling the truth, or trying to make TVXQ look greedy. 

I wouldn’t be surprised if some netizens are wondering if SM is keeping a second set of books to make it seem like they’re paying TVXQ more than they actually are. All of these are unproven allegations at the moment.

SM is even trying to make excuses for why they made TVXQ sign a 13 year contract by saying they “secured” time for the guys to promote overseas:
“In Korea 3-4 years, in Japan 3-4 years, in China it was 3-4 years.”

The problem with that excuse is TVXQ has been working almost concurrently in all three countries since their debut almost 6 years ago. They constantly fly back and forth from Korea to Japan all the time for various activities.

In addition, TVXQ has been working for 4 years in Japan already. So does it mean their obligation is finished? No. SM can’t keep them from working in Japan under Avex as long as they are under contract there.

SM apparently released papers showing where TVXQ would have to sign each time they were getting a paycheck from SM.

The problem with that excuse is TVXQ wouldn’t have even received that amount of money if they didn’t sign for it. Also, what’s in dispute now are some unreasonable terms of the contract and their working conditions, not whether they got paid anything or not. TVXQ never said they didn’t receive any money at all.

Moreover, according to reports, TVXQ only receives about 0.4% – 1% per member for their album sales.

Fans all over the internet are dissecting SM’s claims and pulling up past articles to refute their public statements, particularly about what SM is alleging to have made in relation to what they claim to have paid TVXQ.

It’s safe to say that some fans are turning into unofficial accountants, placing figures side by side to try to make sense of what’s going on.

If SM doesn’t want to compromise because other artists may want their contracts revised, they need to understand how much they will be losing if they don’t find an acceptable solution to this problem.

Other artists could keep SM tied up in court for months or years for contract revisions and it would mean a massive loss in income for the company if they don’t choose to fix the problems themselves.

When a court has to make a company fix a problem, it almost always costs them more than if they would handle it themselves.  The company should understand that 80% of something is better than 100% of nothing. 

TVXQ were still underaged when they signed. So signing children to a 13 year contract should have never happened in the first place.  And continuing to pay those kids (grown men now) as if they just debuted yesterday is totally ridiculous as well.

The amount of money lost while SM is fighting with one of their biggest artists will greatly outweigh whatever small revisions TVXQ were asking for before this issue went to court.

Because SM didn’t compromise, now they will have to pay with time and money in legal fees, as well as possibly having court appointed accountants going through their books.

It is better that SM takes care of their artists and put this TVXQ dispute to rest as soon as possible. Every single day TVXQ is fighting for contract revisions is another day in Korea that the group isn’t generating as much money for SM as they could be. 

As this issue drags on, more and more TVXQ fans will start to ask questions about every word in the statements released from SM. The more conflicting information is revealed, the angrier the fans will get at SM because it will look like the company is lying or trying to cover-up any wrongdoing towards TVXQ.

We’ll keep you updated as more info is released.

Source Mat:
KBites
DBSKnights

No Conflict between TVXQ Members, SM Stock Drops

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Contrary to certain media reports out of South Korea, the members of DBSK (TVXQ / Tohoshinki) are not fighting with each other over the fact that three members have decided to seek a better contract with SM Entertainment (SM).

As you know, Junsu, Yoochun and Jaejoong are seeking to renegotiate unfair terms of their contract. SM, according to the guys, were ignoring their attempts to take care of this problem in private. Hence, the public filings.

This conflict between TVXQ and SM does NOT mean they will disband. They are not seeking to break up in any way.

According to translated reports:

“The members just have a difference in opinion on how to resolve the problem which is why only 3 of the members have joined in, but there is no problem amongst the members.”

Along with an Exclusive Contract Validity Suspension Request, the lawyer for the three guys, Lim Sang Hyuk, have filed a Provisional Disposition Request to get the exact amount of income DBSK generates for the company and their income.

Lim Sang Hyuk says the members have never been told the exact amount of their income by SM and want to continue to keep their promises to the fans.

From their attorney:

“All the members feel the same way about wanting to protect the promises they have made to their fans. The case this time is to remedy the injustice of the contract, to be given the right to prepare their music freely under the right conditions, and stand together again before all their fans.”

If keeping one of their most profitable artists happy isn’t incentive enough, another reason why SM should find an amicable solution is that their stock price tanked after DBSK filed their requests in District court.

Forbes.com reports that shares in SM fell sharply after the news of the conflict with DBSK. SM stock dropped 10.06%.

Daewoo Securities analyst Kim Chang-Kwon says, “For investors, it’s reasonable to worry over the news, since Tong Bang Shin Gi (DBSK) is one of the major sources of revenue for SM Entertainment.”

DBSK is one of the major sources of revenue for SM, so why SM would not be keeping these guys happy, healthy and wealthy is like shooting themselves in the foot.  Or, in this case, shooting themselves in the heart.

Any SM executive who doesn’t figure out how to keep DBSK happy should be forced to resign because everything TVXQ touches turns to gold both in Korea and, increasingly, in Japan.

TVXQ isn’t just huge in Korea, they also have an ever-growing following in Japan; Japan is the 2nd largest music industry in the world.

For example, Jaejoong does a little joke with a cute soy sauce toy he brings with him on certain tv shows. It’s popular in Japan and is based around the famous “shoyukoto” gag.

As a result, a Shoyukoto voice strap item was released for fans to buy and it is already completely sold out at the only place in Japan it’s allowed to be sold.

That’s just a small example of their influence.

And in case execs at SM haven’t been paying attention, and as we’ve pointed out before, it’s important to note that DBSK aren’t interchangeable ‘pretty faces’.  Even though they are tall and gorgeous, it is far from their only attribute.

They are artists who write and read music. They have great a cappella vocal skills. They have studied music, music arrangement, music production, etc.

They all either play an instrument or are in the process of learning to play a 2nd instrument. They all speak fluent Japanese.

Hundreds of thousands of fans buy tickets to watch them perform.

These are highly accomplished young men who cannot be relegated to the ‘eye candy’ category. Because of their hard work and loyaly, they are indispensable.

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Source Mat:
http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2009/08/02/afx6730285.html
[edaily (jp version)]
Translation credits: mandasoh@iscreamshinki.net
Shared by: iscreamshinki.net

DBSK Fighting SM for Better Contract Terms?

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What’s going on with Dong Bang Shin Ki (DBSK/TVXQ/Tohoshinki)? Are they really in a split with their current entertainment company over a terribly unfair contract?

What the fans have managed to put together from reports about the situation so far is that Jaejoong, Junsu and Yoochun are seeking to negotiate a resolution to some kind of disagreement between themselves and SM Entertainment (SM).

According to translated reports from their attorney, their massive earnings are split 8:2 (80% to 20%) with the huge number of profits going to SM. Then apparently the guys would have to split their 20%, 5 ways between each other.

In addition, there are conflicting reports about what TVXQ members are seeking. Some translated reports say DBSK don’t want to disband and aren’t seeking to necessary leave SM. They simply want to be able to freely engage in independent ventures some reports say.

Other reports state TVXQ want to change the terms of the current contract alltogether.

TVXQ is under contract — sometimes called a ‘slave contract’ — with SM.  According to translated reports, if the issues aren’t resolved, the three are prepared to file a lawsuit.

Its true that DBSK (Tohoshinki / TVXQ) are on fire with their continued rise in Japan and unmeasured support in other countries like the U.S. (this site, for one).

I think it’s important that SM know the fans’ loyalties sit with TVXQ. So if SM doesn’t play this right — for one of the biggest artists they’ve ever had in their history — it could be disastrous for their company and reputation.

Tohoshinki, as they are known in Japan, is a combination of a goldmine, a diamond mine and an oil field all wrapped up into 5 gorgeous young men. You would think SM would keep them well paid and very happy.

From all accounts, the members work like there’s no tomorrow. They only get a break once a year and are continuously working in two separate countries.

SM released a statement in response to this situation confirming that Junsu, Yoochun and Jaejoong made “an application for provisional disposition” in district court. SM claims to be completely surprised by the action.

Both Changmin and Yunho have planned to do dramas this fall and there’s even conflicting reports as to whether those two are also part of the dispute.

According to allkpop.com, all members are united, loyal to each other and are prepared to do what they have to do to support one another.

In the mix somewhere is the fact that Junsu, Yoochun and Jaejoong have been involved in opening CreBeau, a cosmetics and facial care line which is making headway in China and scheduled to go international.

CreBeau is one of those ‘independent ventures’ which was started with the help of Junsu, Yoochun and Jaejoong.

However, international fans are skeptical as to whether SM is trying to make the dispute about the cosmetic line instead of the wretched terms of TVXQ’s contracts. Many fans are suggesting that SM should have learned their lesson with past fights between their company and groups like H.O.T. and Shinhwa.

It’s important to note that DBSK aren’t just ‘pretty faces’. They are artists who write and read music. They have great a cappella vocal skills. They have studied music, musical arrangement, musical production, etc.

They all either play an instrument or are in the process of learning to play a 2nd instrument. They all speak fluent Japanese.

These are highly accomplished young men who cannot be relegated to the ‘eye candy’ category. Because of their hard work and loyaly, they are indispensable.

Let me put it another way: Do you really think the sea of red in the picture below showed up to see 5 middle aged SM executives sing and dance? Hell no.

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