By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin
Fans of JYJ welcomed the decision of the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) to issue a corrective order against SM Entertainment and the Korean Federation of Pop Culture and Art Industry (KFPCAI) for interfering in the boy band's activities.
In a decision, the KFTC said SME and KFPCAI worked to impede JYJ's TV appearances and activities as a singer after the three members of the boy band sued SME in 2009 to annul their exclusive contracts with the entertainment agency.
|JYJ (Photo by www.newsen.com)|
The KFTC said when JYJ released their first album, "The Beginning," in October 2010, SME and KFPCAI sent letters under the KFPCAI name to 26 companies asking them not to allow JYJ to perform on TV programs and distribute and carry the album.
These 26 companies were Korea's three major TV stations KBS, SBS and MBC, six cable TV companies, 11 album distributors and five online music download sites.
The KFTC ruling stemmed from a petition filed by JYJ fans in February 2011, asking the commission to investigate the interference of SME and KFPCAI in JYJ's activities.
The petition was supported by about 86,000 fans from 118 countries. The number of petitioners grew to about 180,000.
Besides the KFPCAI letter, SME also filed an injunction with a Korean court in October 2010 to stop the release of "The Beginning," the first English album of Junsu, Yoochun and Jaejoong, saying that the exclusive contract case was still ongoing.
In October 2009, a Seoul court issued an injunction against SME that prohibited the latter from interfering in JYJ's activities and contracts.
KFPCAI is the umbrella organization of 12 organizations including the Korea Entertainment Producers Association (KEPA), which was organized by SME, and Corea Drama Production Association (CODATV).
In the ruling, the KFTC ordered KPFCAI to advise the 26 companies about its decision.
Last November, SME and JYJ came to an agreement to drop the lawsuits they filed against each other.
From 2010 until now, JYJ have not been able to promote in any of the music TV programs.
Fans are hoping that the KFTC ruling will pave way for JYJ to finally appear on music TV programs "Music Bank," "Inkigayo," "Music Core" and "M Countdown" to perform.
KFTC said its ruling serves as a warning regarding unfair practices in the entertainment industry.
JYJ and C-JeS Entertainment thanked the KFTC for ruling in their favor.
For its part, SME denied that it interfered with JYJ's activities and is studying a legal response to the KFTC ruling.
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