[Trans] JP News’ coverage on why Korean celebrities file lawsuits against their companies

“Korean Celebrities Only Know How to Ask After ‘Money’”

[New Daily] Feb. 2, 2011 10:11am

“Even if a sunbae (aka senior) songwriter sells the copyright of his hubae’s (aka junior) song, the hubae is unable to object and is reduced to swallowing his own tears. There are hierarchical relationships in Korea that would be unimaginable in Japan.” (a Japanese record label representative)

On the 2nd, JP news reported, “a Japanese weekly magazine attributed the reason for conflicts between Kpop idols and their management companies, such as those involving Dong Bang Shin Ki and Kara, to Korea’s peculiar ‘Family discourse’.” Influential Japanese weekly magazine Shukanbyun for its Feb. 3 edition interviewed Kpop expert and radio DJ Furuya Masayuki, a music representative who worked with Kara, a Japanese entertainment reporter, a Japanese record label representative, etc. and released a comprehensive, investigative piece on why ‘the Korean entertainment scene has no other option but to run into conflicts.

“In Korea a unique family discourse is applied to the entertainment industry. Because of this the relationship between entertainers and their management companies are not seen as business relations but as familial. SM Entertainment refers to its signed artists collectively as ‘SM Town’ and YG Entertainment does the same with ‘YG Family’; both companies have actively developed this image. Because the entire company is portrayed as a family, the CEO, who takes on the role of the father, cannot be disobeyed. Although the average person might think that before filing a lawsuit it’s possible to work things out through dialogue, but signed artists in these companies have no choice but to respond ‘as you wish’ to the father-figure who reminds them ‘I got your back.’ Furuya Masayuki, who was also an MC at one of Kara’s Japanese events said, “the very act of filing a lawsuit in this context is to signal a desire to open dialogue, because there’s no way otherwise” to the magazine.

According to the coverage by JP News, this magazine not only referred to Korea’s peculiar family discourse but also pointed to Korea’s peculiar idol fostering method as a source of the problem. The system resorts to ‘slave contracts’ because the management company absorbs expenses for housing, meals, lessons, transportation and education in the duration between [a trainee’s] acceptance via audition and up to his or her debut, following an incubation model, and is compelled to regain those costs. “For every 100 accepted trainees only 5 go on to become stars. Those 5 have no choice but to be held responsible for and earn back the training costs incurred by all 100. In the case of Dong Bang Shin Ki, their 13-year long-term contract earned it the title of ‘slave contract’, but the contract length is so long because it is uncertain how much they will make in how much time after becoming stars.” (a Korean sports reporter)

“Yet, if the contract length is shortened, in order to make up investment costs in a shorter amount of time [management companies] push excessive schedules on to their singers. Such overexposure is a poor strategy as viewers get fed up, which only makes the career lifespan of the entertainer even shorter.” (a Japanese entertainment reporter)

The magazine also pointed out the excessively contradictory methods of calculating [earnings] in the Korean entertainment industry. Mr. Yamada, Chairman of the Asia Authors’ Association, recalls “I once presented a Korean singer with [his/her] earnings from royalties for that month, but upon seeing the amount [the singer] asked, ‘how many years’ worth is this?’ at which I couldn’t hide my shock,” and heavily criticized the state of copyright compensation in Korea’s entertainment industry, which, with barely a foundation, is at an absurd level of development. Furthermore, the magazine introduced a representative of a Japanese record and entertainment company who criticised Korean entertainers, “Korean entertainers only know how to say money, money.” But it’s because issues surrounding money aren’t clean/transparent in Korea that they come to Japan and display such sensitive reactions to issues related to their contract or money.

The weekly concluded, “in consequence, the reason why Korean entertainers expand abroad is because it’s impossible to survive in the domestic market. Korea’s CD market has shrunk so much that it’s difficult to find a proper record store in the country and illegal downloading is rampant, making it impossible to retrieve royalties. Since people can get into televised music programmes by simply standing in line, even at solo concerts tickets don’t get sold. Given this context, the claim that Kara ‘in Japan makes 10 times what they earn in Korea’ and so ‘Kara are traitors for money’ is unfortunate/misguided.” And with this, JP News ended its coverage.

– Reporter Ohn Jongrim-

Source: kr.news.yahoo.com

Translated by: Jimmie of TheJYJFiles

Shared by: TheJYJFiles

Please do not add/remove credits

37 thoughts on “[Trans] JP News’ coverage on why Korean celebrities file lawsuits against their companies

  1. Pingback: (NEWS) 110202 JP News’ coverage on why Korean celebrities file lawsuits against their companies « jyj3

  2. WOW!! at least the Japanese magazine doesn’t have a gag order from their entertainment companies!! i’ve gotten alot more respect for the Japanese!! now hopefully the Japanese fans of JYJ will be able to see truthful articles and not just the EVIL rumors!! ^_~

    thank U for sharing that article with us!! ^_~ thank U Jimmie for the translation!! ^_~


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  4. at the first sight ……i reallllllly misjudge this aricle but after reading the whole package,,,,i found it quite positive esp with our {JYJ case .}
    as usual thx jimmie for your hard work… rlly proud to have sum1 along with others ….really proud of u to be part of JYJfam,ceci,jimmie,jyj111,springbeezes& all admins…thank u soooo much,for doing this to our boys…^^

  5. Again… i find this site more reliable than others…
    I thank you Jimmie for posting/sharing this. I do hope more people in Japan become aware of the validity of JYJ’s lawsuit.

    I have sent you guys a question through your email & I hope you can find time and respond to it.
    Thanks again!

  6. it only shows that everyone is watching what is happening in the Music Industry.. Waiting what is to be unwrapped, everyone is speaking up now. And the good thing is, even this foreign people see how unfair it is for the artist.. “using the word FAMILY” is just something..

  7. this is getting more and more exposure and ultimately the truth will unwarped itself. I hope lots and lots of Bigeast will read this. Please read this.

  8. Pingback: JYJ Files: ‘Korean celebrities only know how to ask after ‘money’ « Soju and other inanities

  9. So…all this time my money went to SNSD or SUJU???? Hmmmm…… I don’t like SNSD, but i paid their cosmetic surgeries I guess. *sigh* another ugly truth. Poor our guys……. It’s so unfair, but thank you for sharing this. I will more support JYJ and all thay do because now I know where my money go. JYJ Hwaiting……

      • yes…. SNSD, also myb having the same prob who noes ( they maybe suffer like TVXQ n plus they are girls(violated in term of sexiness, have to wear striking outfits everytime n every show ) so please do not bash any artist)…. basically all our money go to SM CEO’S @ STAKEHOLDER (BOA, N KANGTA) kekekeke
        JYJ hwaiting…

      • I doubt they are close, SM “family” made it clear that anyone who thinks differently, is ungrateful and greedy. So much for their friendship.

        Thank you, Jimmie, for translating so many articles for international fan community, you’re truly a gem and priceless for us.

      • And snsd have never been and will never be violated. Remember, one of them is a close relative to LSM, a niece. I believe in terms of treatment they are in the best position within SM because no one wants to make a big guy angry.

    • SNSD and SuJu have been successful enough to cover their own expenses…and the expenses of the others whose names we will never know. It’s not the people who debut that the successful groups are paying for, its the ones that don’t. All of the SMTown “family” are in the same situation.

      I do have a comment about women in the industry – I think they do have it tougher. They have to maintain unhealthy body weights and muscle mass, they have to perform in costumes that damage their health, and they have even less freedom in their behaviour. Yes, the entertainment industry is like that all over the world, but elsewhere you can quit when you’ve had enough.

  10. I would just to thank you guys for translating articles and doing your part to pursue what you guys think are right…I just want to shout a big FIGHTING to all the translators, admins, and writers of this site…I know that there has been a lot of negative views from fandom about all the JYJ centered blogs and it is extremely frustrating to see how much hate is going around…I hope you guys never get tired of what you are doing and keep providing all of these information…I am so tired of the immaturity and nonsense going on but I hope that people make informed decisions because I seriously worry for the people that just go with what they feel without some knowledge…once again FIGHTING!!! and GANBATTE!!!

  11. So true, those who still believe in this whole “SM Family”, “SM Love” crap are being very naïve. I’ve always thought this whole “happy family”/”SM family” shit was only a big marketting lie/scheme in order to allow sm to show a warm and welcoming image to the public. Plus, you can’t obviously be friends with so many people, I’m sure some of them can’t stand each other/are only acquaitences but are just acting in front of the fans and the cameras. Even in a REAL family there are some people you like more than others and sometimes some you don’t go along with. Fans who believe that ALL the SM’s artists love each other and are friends need to wake up (and I could say it’s the same for other companies too). I’m not saying none of them are friends, because some of them obviously are, but SM is a business, not some kind of philantropic organization. SM’s aim is to make money out of their artists, not to give them love. And when all the artists are like “SM is my home and my family and Lee Soo Man is like a father to me” I’m like…WHAT ? Do you really want me to believe that ? Come on, LSM is a business man, not a saint. It sounds like some kind of paternalistic policy with LSM as the kind and loving father (seriously it’s almost like a cult of the personnality…creepy). I won’t say SM is evil cuz well, they only want to make money and their artists are just products (Isak admitted it herself) but nobody will make me believe that SM is love and that all is pink and fluffy. Futhermore, when we know that there is even a clause of confidentiality in the contract stating that what happens in SM should stay in SM and that if an artist dares speak out he should face the consequences it doesn’t seem like reality is that idylic to me…
    Come on, this is business we’re talking about. These big companies are here to make business, not charity. Their aim is to make money out of their artists, not to give them love. The whole “family” thing is just a marketting strategy. SM (or any other companies) is not the artists’s home, LSM and the executive directors are not their parents, they are business men. They are not creating idol groups because they feel love towards their trainees but because they know these teens will eventually earn them more money than they invested in them. Or else they won’t be doing business but open some kind of philantropic association. There is no betrayal simply because artists don’t owe their companies. Sure, without companies some artists wouldn’t be as famous as they are now but without artists where would the companies be ? Nowhere. Companies don’t train teens/children for the teens/children’s benefits but for their OWN benefits.

    I would also like to share this extract from an interview which I found rather interesting and revealing :

    “091004, Isak on the korean idol world :

    “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.” “

    • WOW i love what u just said.

      “There is no betrayal simply because artists don’t owe their companies.”

      I mean, I don’t think JYJ betrayed SME, b/c JYJ didn’t owe SME.
      Owe SME/Lee Soo Man for his mentorship? That is the least to say. (Frankly, i can’t think of anything else…)
      If, mentorship/teachings/lessons/advice/instructions/etc., mean sh*t, then YES, JYJ owed SME/Lee Soo Man for teaching them (JYJ) sh*t.
      (I can’t really think of any other word other than sh*t right now)
      Hope everyone is understanding JYJ’s position in this lawsuit, if not a whole lot, then a little bit more now…
      The truth is starting to unravel and be heard… it’s fate. AKTF!!

  12. Can I ask for clarification on the date (2004 or 2009?) and where you saw this interview? Ida is one of the artists I keep a close eye on. I think she has been badly mismanaged by SME and keep hoping that she will strike out on her own.

      • You’re very welcome. I’m just glad my mind can still function after spending the weekend getting ready for, having guests over for the Super Bowl, and then having to get up and go to work! 🙂
        It just saddens me everytime I run across first-hand accounts of the treatment these young people are experiencing. All of this because of the greed of mostly power-hungry men. I’m on the upper age range of the ahjumma scale. 🙂 There isn’t too much that surprises me anymore. But I also hate injustice to the weakest among us – children/youth & old people. I am going to be very patient for the day when madam Karma ‘The B***H pays a visit to these bloodsuckers.

      • Lest people think it’s not possible for them to see ‘payback’ – think ENRON in America! Oh, how the mighty can fall!

  13. O.M.G. I really appreciate journalists who made the investigation over this. The article really opens my eyes. I pray this conflict can be solved soon and fairly.

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