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J.Y.J versus Avex and SM: Who’s at fault?


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#1 korniceman3000

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 10:41 AM

http://www.allkpop.c...-whos-at-fault/

J.Y.J versus Avex and SM: Who’s at fault?
by kensai on October 4, 2010 at 4:17 am

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“We can’t shake off the thought that Avex was using the three of us as tools to make more profits instead of treating us as artists.” – J.Y.J

With that single sentence, millions of fans around the world were incited into a frenzy about how the evil, greedy workings of Avex were preventing their beloved J.Y.J from continuing promotions.

Now if that scenario sounds familiar, it should, as it’s eerily similar to the one played out with SM Entertainment a little over a year ago.

Both times that J.Y.J came under fire from their companies, fans quickly came to their rescue and defended their actions in overwhelming numbers, proving that the international K-pop community is well anchored on the side of the idol trio.

Despite the seemingly unanimous disdain for SM’s and Avex’s respective roles in this controversy, I have to step back from all the emotional reactions, and reflect on whether the two companies actually deserve these horrifying depictions.

After all, it’s easy for fans to paint their idols as martyrs in the cut-throat world of the music business, but it’s just as easy for them to lose their rational thought process.

The biggest argument against the companies, particularly SM, is that they stuck TVXQ with “unfair” 13-year contracts, that they worked TVXQ to exhaustion without adequate compensation, and that the companies didn’t listen to contract requests.

I suppose to the layman, those things do sound ridiculous, but by and large, I think it depends on the vantage point.

In my opinion, it’s important to remember that these companies invest hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars, as well as precious time, to develop and train these idol groups. As a result, in order to secure a return, they must come up with contracts that assure their potential profit margin. Consequently, a lengthy contract and a large share of the group’s profitability are what they need to take in order to guarantee a return for themselves and their shareholders.

Everybody focuses on the underdog stories, but remember that the company still has to eat all the costs of training and promoting even if the group bombs; their risk is always significantly higher, so why shouldn’t their rewards also be high when they have a hit? And it’s not like these companies only shell out the money for trainees: even for successful groups, the companies pay for everything. Plane fare, meals, hotels, car rentals, promotions, recording, writers, producers, drivers – whatever the group needs, they’re paying for it.

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When it was announced that Avex would continue to sell J.Y.J products after they dropped the trio, it just reinforced to fans that Avex was doing this because they are money hungry, or “stealing profit”.

Again though, it’s not as if J.Y.J are just about the music. After all, they originally wanted to renegotiate their contracts after they filed the original lawsuit against SM, so in essence, they were just looking for the best deal, like any company would.

While the story of the admirable trio who stood up for themselves against the big, bad, evil corporation is a good tale, I’m not sure the disparity in perception deserves to be as wide as it is.

It’s also absurd to me how fans believe that their favorite singers would be successful without these companies. After all, who would they be if not for the companies that trained and recruited them? The Korean music market is extremely saturated, and indie artists don’t find the same financial success that they would in a more expansive music culture like America. Without SM, and to a lesser extent, Avex, who would TVXQ and J.Y.J be? Anybody at all? Probably not, and that goes without saying for a great majority of idols.

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A consistent reaction from J.Y.J to the legal proceedings and dropped promotions is an attempt to rake in sympathy from their fans. The key for them is to spin the situation into a woeful story in which it always appears that a greedy company is forcing the poor, innocent talents to do things that they don’t want to to do. They want everybody to believe that their only goal in life is to please the fans and to make music for the art of it. For example, J.Y.J demanded 2.5 million dollars from the lawsuit, even though they said they were worth 10 million. Why the lesser amount? Again, it’s to create the perception that although they were demanding a lot of money, they weren’t being greedy, because they only demanded 25% of what they thought they deserved.

So why do they utilize this spin? Because it works.

While both sides are partially at fault for this mess, there has been overwhelming blame placed at the feet of SM Entertainment and Avex.

The cold, hard reality though, is that people do seek to gain financial profitability. Companies are not run by heartless machines hell-bent on destroying the dreams of young idols; they are run by motives of self-interest, both for themselves and their shareholders.

Additionally, idols are not ‘perfect angels’, despite what fans may believe. Like the corporations, but on a small scale, they do have their own interests, their own success, and their own money at heart. J.Y.J, despite the image they attempt to play up, are also humans who desire monetary returns for their work. Again, there’s nothing wrong with that, but both sides are essentially trying to accomplish similar goals, so why the vastly different reactions?

I expect the response to this article to be negative, mainly because it takes the opposite stance of what most fans of K-pop want to hear. After all, this isn’t a stance specifically about J.Y.J, it’s really about all artists (especially idol groups) and the reality of their situations.

I know people will cry out in anger about bias and other commonly made excuses, but the point of this entire article is to get people to even consider both sides, and that both sides can make mistakes. Because presently? Fans are treating both the companies and the idols as if they are non-human entities fighting a war of good and evil – but the reality is that they are both a collection of humans looking out for themselves.

The word of idols is not the word of God. They are not flawless, and their intentions are not always pure. In that same vein, all companies are not evil machines hell-bent on preventing your favorite artists from becoming rich and successful. I’m not asking fans to side with SM and start becoming antis, I’m just asking for rational thought. I’m asking to remember that J.Y.J and other idols are also human, something that I think a lot of fans lose sight of.

What are your thoughts on the issue? Tell me in the comments.

Note: This article does not reflect the opinions of allkpop, only of the author.
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#2 miwako

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 07:35 PM

You know I was probably always on the fence about this issue and to be honest I knew that something like this would happen to DBSK around the time of their 5th album. Why? Because Korean companies do have very strict contracts and after 5+ years of making no money artists will get sick of it. So, I wasn't surprised about them splitting from their company. (It was bound to happen anyway....)

And I think the author of this article has a very good point. When most fans see their favorite idols, it's as if they believe that they are all perfect beings that can do no harm (in other hands they think of them as demi gods lol)
But like the author said, they are normal people too and are not as helpless as some may believe. And I mean I guess some people don't know but Korean companies dish out TONS of cash for these artists. I mean even just an appearance on a music show is expensive and they can't exactly train these artists and produce their albums for free. These companies have to make a profit somehow.

Yes, the contract may seem ridiculous and a little unfair but I really think that when these artists sign these contracts that they should really know what they are getting themselves into. Perhaps people weren't aware about the ridiculousness of the korean entertainment industry before but NOW I can't see how they DONT know these things.

I really think that DBSK's best bet would be to find another big company because without one they will not make it on their own.
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#3 BoA_rocks_in_english

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 08:59 PM

Honestly I wish they would just go away, I fail to see what makes them appeal to anyone. If anything they blend in with every other boy band in Asia, in my opinion. Only one that I can tolerate is the one who sang with Zhang Li Yin. If it wasn't for SM/Avex they wouldn't have gone anywhere,

Edited by BoA_rocks_in_english, 05 October 2010 - 09:00 PM.


#4 korniceman3000

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 11:17 AM

You guys should read the comments... You would not believe some of the delusional rants and tirades against the author LOL!!! Some of them are strictly beyond reason...

#5 studmuffin

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 07:34 AM

SM is evil. Avex is SM's cuty(of sorts), therefore they dropped JYJ to get back in SM's pants.

For the actual break up of DBSK*- I blame "JYJ"




*Yeah, so "officially" they're only on "hiatus", but how can anyone honestly say that they truly believe they'll be back? I know I can't. For those of you who can, good for you. But you're incredibly naive and delusional. It's sickening.

#6 miwako

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 07:35 PM

You guys should read the comments... You would not believe some of the delusional rants and tirades against the author LOL!!! Some of them are strictly beyond reason...


wow so I just went on allkpop to read some of the comments and then my eyes almost fell out of my head and my hair began to hurt.

#7 O'Chibi

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 05:23 AM

The logic of blinded hardcore fans is amazing.

News about the Korean Federation of Pop Culture and Art Industry sending official letters to broadcasting stations in order to halt JYJ activities were just posted online.
And the fans are already going crazy about SM Entertainment.

I don't get why the average fan always thinks that she/he knows more about the right things to do than professionnals working in the music industry or for a state organisation/federation.
Some fans are so angry that they think SME is behind every event that blocks or slow down JYJ promotions.
If they were that powerful and influential, they would be a government or some kind of secret worldwide organisation lmao :/


I totally agree with that writer from Allkpop. It's easier to make SME looks bad but, as far as I know, no one knows what really happened between JYJ and SME.

So, why are people judging both sides while they are not aware of all facts?
My answer would be: to reassure themselves about the fact that they could have given a lot of love to three bad guys.
I guess people just can't accept that the side they chose is at fault or did something wrong.
(I am not saying that JYJ did someting wrong, I am just stating that it could be a possibility, which fans can't seem to consider)
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#8 m_hero

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 07:40 AM

i love jaejoong the most in dbsk but for dbsk's breakup, i would blame jyj and i certainly disagree on what jyj is doing with the lawsuit and all...we have to admit that the contract might seems a bit unfair but if that's how the industry work then they will just have to deal with it. i would say that is the price of fame that they have to pay. however, i disagree when sme tries to put a halt on jyj's activity because it seems like they hold a grudge against those 3. and that prolly not the best move to make as of now. it's heartbreaking to see the end of DBSK this way. i have to say that they are the best kpop boyband after shinhwa's era. they could have at least stick together as 5 and move to different company or even make a company of their own but not to split into 2 groups. now i really miss them but to lie to myself and believe that they'll be back as 5, i would say that i was not born just yesterday.

#9 hinachan

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 02:59 AM

Though I don't worship (or, in some cases, even know) these artists, I'm on their side. Whatever the labels invest in these people, a 13-year contract is insane...how many artists remain popular after that many years? Someone like BoA is fortunate to have such a long career; it doesn't happen for just anybody.

Money notwithstanding, there's no excuse for working artists like slaves. BoA works hard, mostly of her own volition--but that's not wise, either. She has fainted and gotten sick on more than one occasion, due to overwork.

It's irrational of fans to say that these stars would be famous without the labels' help. However, the notion that the cash that labels invest in these groups justifies unfair contracts and unreasonable workloads is equally irrational.

All over the world, labels invest money in artists, but you don't see the kind of exploitation that you do in Asia. Similarly, workers in China are underpaid and overworked--not because so much money is invested in workers, but because the corporations are just greedy bastards.

More artists and fans need to go public with complaints about this kind of treatment, and back up their words by hitting them in the wallet where it counts. If people would stop buying CD's and downloads for just ONE day, the sudden drop in revenue would teach these execs who's really in charge.

We are.

That's a message greedy companies of all kinds, in all countries, need to have sent to them. Sadly, people tend to be too apathetic to use their power to hit them in the wallet where it counts. :lol:

wow so I just went on allkpop to read some of the comments and then my eyes almost fell out of my head and my hair began to hurt.

^ ROTFLMAO, I think this is the best comment I've ever read in my life. :(

Edited by hinachan, 14 October 2010 - 03:06 AM.


#10 Mashimaro-san

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 06:37 PM

This should be fact:

DBSK/TVXQ/JYJ started all of this - they signed the damned contract.

It's a mess really.

@hina-chan

I understand you with your human rights, or whatever.

But really, the music industry is all about making money - that's why it's called an INDUSTRY.

I can't help but put the blame on JYJ/TVXQ.

They could have just easily avoided this mess if they didn't sign the contract.

You signed a contract, you have to keep your promise.

The court will never side with TVXQ/JYJ, since they signed the damned contract themselves.

They should have been wise enough.

No one's above the law, and no matter how "hurt" JYJ/TVXQ or these fans are, you really think a judge can "make an exception" ?

Putting TVXQ above the law and allowing them to break away from a contract they signed themselves?

Get real.

TVXQ/JYJ had a choice: sign the 13 year contract and work their butt off or just not sign it, possibly find a different label.

Also Avex Trax did the only legal thing they could do in this situation which is to drop them.

An agency like Avex Trax can't get involved in this legal mess. Avex isn't a cuty of SM.

It's simply legal restrictions, and you can't blame anyone but either the law or TVXQ/DBSK.

Edited by Mashimaro-san, 15 October 2010 - 06:54 PM.


#11 Yabisi

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 07:50 PM

DBSK/TVXQ/JYJ started all of this - they signed the damned contract.

But really, the music industry is all about making money - that's why it's called an INDUSTRY.

I can't help but put the blame on JYJ/TVXQ.

They could have just easily avoided this mess if they didn't sign the contract.

You signed a contract, you have to keep your promise.

The court will never side with TVXQ/JYJ, since they signed the damned contract themselves.

Though I'm not for 13 or w.e. year contracts cause that's way too much, the DBSK boys obviously knew how long the contract would be for, or else they wouldn't have signed it. Why are they complaining about it now?? They broke a contract, they immediately got into a new one without settling the problem with Sment, and now they're going to put out an album like it's no big deal...that's pretty messed up to me.

Sment & Avex are just doing their job and trying to get paid for it.

When are they going to the court to settle this?

#12 kenneth_ken81

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 11:50 PM

afterall...it's all about M.O.N.E.Y.....

what if the company offered them a big fat contract...they would just keep quiet and continue to be "slave" as claimed by them...

when somebody is famous...their egos are filling up their heads...that's the desire of them

#13 WeLuvUBoA-kiddo

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 12:37 AM

Wow, I love this author. Point is very clear and i most definitely agree with his opinion. Rationality before rabid emotions and fan girlness/boyness.




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