The relationship between the management company and the artists under it is always a matter of concern for Kpop fans. In addition to the investment in “home chickens” during their activities, the treatment attitude of each company when the idols’ contracts expire and decide to leave is also one of the points evaluated by netizens.
Agencies Who Have Conflicts With Their Former Idols
Most of the idols who leave are no longer connected with the old company. In particular, trademark copyright is always one of the “headache” issues for artists and many conflicts have occurred around it.
BEAST is one of the most regrettable cases for Kpop fans. At the time of the end of the contract, Cube Entertainment (BEAST’s management company) quickly registered the trademark for the name “BEAST” with 3 products including “digital music, songs”, ” advertising” and “performance events” with a deadline until 2026.
This caused the group to leave but “lost everything”, having to take a new name, HIGHLIGHT to continue their activities.
Although they still receive the support of a large number of fans, this is still a disadvantage because if they want to use music products composed when they were still called BEAST, the group will have to pay royalties for Cube and at the same time.
After all, the popularity of HIGHLIGHT can’t be as bold as BEAST.
Having the same fate as HIGHLIGHT, artists who have left SM also have to struggle because the copyright of the group’s name belongs to the company.
To reunite on a TV show stage after 17 years, the first generation boy group from SM was forced to use the name “High-five of Teenagers” instead of the stage name HOT because this name already belongs to SM.
Three former DBSK members Jaejoong, Yoochun, and Junsu also had to work under the new name JYJ when in the midst of litigation, SM quickly registered for exclusive rights to the DBSK trademark and other names of the group such as TVXQ. THSK without letting idols leave the company can be used.
Recently, fans are also extremely regretful when GFRIEND after disbanding will not be able to continue using the group’s name because Source Music has registered the ownership rights since March 2015, after about 2 months since GFRIEND’s debut .
Although they were luckier than other groups when after many rounds of disputes, the T-ara girls won and continued to use the group’s name when they left the company.
But the legal battle for the named copyright with MBK Entertainment was also extremely long and took a lot of time and effort of the members.
Agencies Who Treated Their Former Idols Well
However, there are also lucky idols who don’t have to get into legal conflicts with the company when they leave.
Although they often receive complaints when they don’t really pay due attention to the idols working under their management, YG surprises with the way they treat “old people”.
YG has implicitly allowed 2NE1 to reunite on the Coachella 2022 stage . The group was able to use the joint song as well as the group’s name without being involved in a dispute about the idol’s trademark copyright infringement, because YG responded that ” will not take any legal action” against 2NE1 .
In particular, for each artist after leaving the company, YG gives back their own YouTube channels such as CL, PSY, EPIK HIGH, SE7EN and Lee Hi.
Even YG’s artists still come and visit regularly contact with juniors, showing a good relationship between them and the company even though they have left the company.
Artists leaving the company still interact with juniors, Dara dances to I Love You with Seunghoon (WINNER)
Recently, GOT7 was surprised when it was the first group to leave JYP with the whole lineup, and also owned all of their copyrights and trademarks.
All copyrights including songs, works produced, recorded, distributed and performed… were transferred to 7 members on 12/5/2022.
It is known that, thanks to the change of Korean property law and the research efforts of leader Jay B, GOT7 has received the brand name copyright of the group.
At the same time, regarding this issue, JYP also showed a gentle attitude, accepting to return the name GOT7 to the members, not leading to lawsuits or disputes.
In addition, most of the artists who worked at JYP after leaving the company have positive comments. JYP has never been in a situation of being sued by an artist, and more importantly, many people still maintain a relationship with President Park Jin Young.