K-Pop Idol Group Files Lawsuit Against Record Label To Have Their Contracts Terminated

It has been a tumultuous year for K-pop industry, with yet another case of K-pop idols squaring up against their record label with a contract nullification lawsuit.

Cover image via TS Entertainment

On 26 November, All Six Members Of Korean Boyband B.A.P. Have Decided To File A Contract Nullification Lawsuit Against Their Management TS Entertainment

Pointing Out The Unfair Conditions In The Contract, B.A.P Stated That The Contract Is Too One-Sided In Favour Of The Record Company In Addition To Not Providing For The Members' Civil Rights And Right To Privacy

The members, who signed their contracts back in March 2011, stated that the terms of the contract were simply too advantageous for the company and disadvantageous for the members. The contract holds them to the company for more than 7 years, and began not on the date the contract was signed but when their first album was released.

The members also stated that the share of profit is far too partial to the company, and the terms of termination of the contracts are also too unfair for the members. In addition, the terms dictated by the Fair Trade Commission weren’t included, such as laws put in place to protect the civil rights, explicit consent and right to personal privacy of entertainers from their companies.


In October last year, B.A.P. has also been having trouble with their schedules and health problems. TS Entertainment reported that B.A.P.’s South American tour would be cancelled just weeks before the actual event, citing health issues of the members.


It Was Also Alleged That TS Entertainment Had Raked In 10 Billion Won (US$9 million) Of Revenue Since B.A.P.'s Debut In 2011. However, The Members Only Received Less Than 18 Million Won (US$16,000) Each Despite Continuous Promotional Activities Spanning 11 Albums Over The Past Three Years.

B.A.P at KCON 2012

Image via Peter Kaminski

In the first half of 2014 alone, B.A.P has released their first full-length album, First Sensibility, and their third Japanese single, “No Mercy,” in April before kicking off their first world tour B.A.P. Live on Earth 2014 Continent Tour, which included 23 stops across Asia, United States, Australia, and Europe.

While on tour, the group also released their fourth single, B.A.P. Unplugged, in June and a fourth Japanese Single, “Excuse Me,” on August 11th, as well as a DVD set for their first Japanese tour that took place in late 2013 after their first domestic tour earlier last year.


A Few Hours After The News Broke Out, TS Entertainment Released An Official Statement Saying That They Only Found Out About The Lawsuit Through Reports And Denied Claims Of "Unfair Terms" In The Alleged "Slave Contracts"

“TS Entertainment has always worked to aid B.A.P in diversifying their activities and have put our all into working towards a mutual goal. B.A.P has minimized all official schedules, as was stated on October 28th through their official channel, and it was through a mutual understanding and with all parties’ consent.

We were in the midst of discussing future plans regarding the agreement of artists when we heard about the lawsuit through reports. We are still confirming the details, but ‘unfair terms’ and ‘slave contracts’ mentioned in several of the reports are not true. We never treated our artists unfairly. We are trying to find the truth behind this supposed lawsuit as fast as possible in order to act officially.”


Why This Is A Big Deal: Since Their Debut In 2011, B.A.P. Have Emerged As One Of South Korea's Key Exports In The International Arena. The Group's Popularity Does Not Only Extend All Over The Asian Region, But Also In The United States, South America And Australia

B.A.P. live at the Best Buy Theater.

Image via TS Entertainment / Billboard

Meanwhile, Fans Have Taken To Social Media To Express Their Feelings And Opinions About B.A.P.'s Sudden Move. #ForeverWithBAP and B.A.P. Were Trending Topics On Twitter, With Most Containing Messages Of Support For The Group

Some Have Also Taken The Opportunity To Criticise TS Entertainment For Their "Cruel" Treatment And Unfair Compensation Towards The Band Members Despite All Their Hard Work

B.A.P. Are Not The First To Collectively File A Lawsuit Against Their Management Companies. JYJ, Formerly Of TVXQ And SM Entertainment, As Well As Block B (Stardom Entertainment) Have Done The Same In 2009 And 2013 Respectively.

Image via poco.cn

In July 2009, former TVXQ members Jaejoong, Yoochun, and Junsu (JYJ) filed a lawsuit in an attempt to separate from their exclusive contract which bound them to the quintet and SM Entertainment. The dispute was contentious and on-going, with repercussions ranging from television broadcast bans to performance bans at certain venues.

Image via seoulbeats.com

In January 2013, Block B filed a lawsuit against their agency, Stardom. Block B delivered strong allegations against Stardom including claims that their wages were unpaid for over a year. In the lawsuit, the group also claimed that the CEO of Stardom had taken approximately $66,000 U.S. dollars from the member’s parents. In Block B’s case, the court ruled in favor of Stardom Entertainment.


Less Than Two Months Ago, EXO-M's Luhan Also Filed The Same Lawsuit Against SM Entertainment, Following In Former Bandmate Kris' Footsteps. Read All About It HERE:

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