Can the girl group Fifty Fifty tie the conflict over their exclusive contract with their agency Attraction with a happy ending and set the stage for the resumption of their activities?
The 50th Civil Division (C) of the Seoul Central District Court made a decision on July 7 regarding the lawsuit filed by four Fifty Fifty members against Attraction for a temporary injunction to suspend the validity of the exclusive contract. Mediation is the process of resolving a lawsuit through mutual understanding between the parties. It also goes through the process of reaching an agreement between the two sides through the mediation deadline.
The lawsuit has since escalated into a major situation in the K-pop scene after the law firm that Fifty Fifty Law Firm (Yoo) Barne, who previously represented Fifty Fifty, announced on June 31 that “the four members filed an application for a temporary injunction to suspend the validity of their exclusive contract on June 4 in the Seoul Central District Court, and the trial is currently ongoing.”
On June 1, Attraction announced the suspension of its activities by announcing the surgical treatment due to the member’s deteriorating health, and claimed that “during the relevant period, an external force was identified that approached the artists and lured them to violate their exclusive contract with us.” At that time, Attraction sent a proof of contents to Warner Music Korea on June 6, claiming that “external forces attempted to rob members,” and named three people, including Ahn Sung-il, the CEO of Dougieverse and the composer who produced ‘Cupid’, as the mastermind behind the extortion of members, and filed a complaint with the Gangnam Police Station in Seoul on charges of dereliction of duty and obstruction of business.
However, the law firm that represented the members, Barne, announced its separation from Attract and said, “This request for a preliminary injunction is based on Attraction’s breach of contract and the destruction of the relationship of trust. The legal representative sent a letter pointing out various problems and demanding corrections, but Attraction continues to tarnish the reputation of its members through continuous media coverage without making any effort to explain the demands.” In particular, “Despite their young age, the members have tried to think and act independently. After discussing the matter with the parents, we came to the issue with the assistance of our legal representative,” he said, adding, “Nevertheless, the members were deeply disappointed and frustrated when they saw that the ATTRACT did not give a clear explanation of the breach of contract, did not listen to the voices of the members, saying that it was an ‘attempt to extort by external forces,’ and arbitrarily disclosed the reason for the member’s surgery without consulting the parties.”
The legal representative said, “The members raised the issue of various circumstances in which the agent did not fulfill its contractual obligations, such as the non-transparent settlement and the appearance of unilaterally enforcing the activities even though the company disclosed its health condition,” adding, “We would like to clarify that this is a decision made by the four members in unison without any external intervention.”
Even on the first day of the hearing of the temporary injunction to suspend the validity of the exclusive contract, the defense lawyer pointed out violations such as the omission of (Attraction’s) settlement-related revenue items, neglect of physical and mental management, and lack of material resources for entertainment management, saying, “Regarding the settlement work of Attraction, the debtor sent a settlement letter saying that there was no violation after the application for the injunction. However, it was described in detail differently from the previous settlement statement, and it was listed as Star Cruient. Star Cruient is a company that belongs to the members when they were trainees, and this part was suspected because the income items related to sales were missing when they were deposited, and then the settlement statement was submitted yesterday.”
On the other hand, Attraction’s lawyer refuted Fifty’s allegations of non-fulfillment of settlement obligations, saying that “there are serious misunderstandings or distorted explanations” and said, “The members signed a contract with Starcruient, and then established a separate Attraction to continue the members’ exclusive contract. The creditor agreed. The company has become a business transfer.” He then protested that “the CEO’s appointment luck regarding the transaction structure was overly imaginary,” and added, “The sales amount coming into Starcruient was not a deliberate omission, but the tally was delayed due to a time difference, and it was omitted due to the mistake of the outsourcing company. There is no reason for the claim of settlement obligations.”
This Fifty Fifty incident gave rise to a lot of behind-the-scenes speculations, and it seemed to continue the atmosphere of still missing the unfortunate golden time. The members who announced the termination of the contract remained silent, and even if the lawsuit was answered, there were some self-help reactions that it was actually a sad ending. Even if a dramatic agreement is reached, criminal charges between Attract and Dougieverse are also proceeding unseen as the team will have to go through a lengthy reorganization before it can resume and rebound.
Fifty The Fifty situation, as we have seen with other idol contract issues, seemed to boil down to a “money issue” in the grand scheme of things. During the interrogation, the lawyer for the Fifty Fifty members referred to the “9 billion Interpark advance payment distribution contract” and claimed that there was something suspicious in the flow of funds, and also pointed out the circumstances under which the request for settlement data showed insufficient data in hindsight, but said, “Pointing out the settlement problem through this case does not mean that we are simply asking for money. It means that the relationship of trust as an agency has reached the point where it is impossible to maintain an exclusive contract, and it means that the agency’s competence is insufficient.” Fifty To the public, Fifty Fifty’s pointing out the settlement issue seemed to be an addition to the misconception (or nonsense) that it was “not even NewJeans”.
On the other hand, this incident has also caused quite a bit of controversy over copyright issues. Dougie Bus CEO Ahn Sung-il, who was identified by CEO Jeon Hong-joon as an external force, emerged as a key issue surrounding the process of completing ‘Cupid’, forgery of signs, and changes in copyright shares, but Dougiebus’ position came out stronger on the controversy, calling it a “grave falsehood.”
To put it simply, Dougiebus’ stance on this allegation is, “I have full control over the finished song ‘Cupid,’ so what’s the problem?” Was. “‘Cupid’ was not a song with Fifty Fifty in mind in the first place,” he said, pointing out that the premise of the allegations itself is wrong.
Dougievers argued that there was nothing wrong with us buying the original “Cupid” and copyrighting the finished song, and that there was no reason to include the names of the Swedish composers. The addition of the phrase “like an unauthorized dougiebus” was eye-catching.
Again, this may not be wrong, but in the realm of so-called moral liability, there is still the question of whether Dougieverse, which is suspected of triggering a conflict between Fifty Fifty members and Attraction, can be free from liability (for copyright issues). As a result, the huge difference in position with the Attract on the process by which the conflict led to the announcement of the termination of the contract is likely to be a point in assessing the merits of this incident in the future.
Fifty It will be interesting to see how Fifty will end up in this injunction lawsuit.