[Comprehensive] EXO-CBX Press Conference: Allegedly Doing EXO Activities With Zero Pay, Prepared To Take Legal Action If SM Does Not Abide By The Terms And More

Published Categorized as Kpop
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This will be a comprehensive summary look at the EXO-CBX Press Conference!

The legal representative of EXO-CBX (Chen, Baekhyun, Xiumin) pointed out that if SM had no intention of honoring the 5.5% music distribution fee they promised, it could amount to fraud.

On the 10th of June, a press conference for INB100, the agency representing EXO-CBX (Chen, Baekhyun, Xiumin), was held at the Shilla Hotel in Jung-gu, Seoul.

Present at the conference were ONE HUNDRED’s Cha Ga Won, INB100 CEO Kim Dong-jun, and attorney Lee Jae-hak from Law Firm Lin. The conference was initially announced to address “the unfair treatment by SM Entertainment.”

The press conference was conducted in the following order: Attorney Lee Jae-hak’s statement and evidence presentation, ONE HUNDRED’s Cha Ga Won’s statement, and final remarks by current INB100 CEO Kim Dong-jun.

The distribution fee amount not being whats agreed upon

Attorney Lee Jae-hak began by saying, “Issues regarding SM’s exclusive contract were reported on June 1 with the notice of contract termination. Since the first report, we have issued four statements pointing out the unfairness in the re-contracting process and detailed the legal issues. Although SM promised to provide accounting data, they ultimately did not provide it.”

Lee Jae-hak continued, “When this issue became prominent and fans criticized, SM’s COO Lee Sung-soo proposed settlement conditions. He promised that INB100, the company the artists would establish, would distribute content through Kakao designated by SM, and the distribution fee would be set at 5.5%.”

He added, “Even though the draft agreement specified a 5.5% distribution fee, COO Lee Sung-soo said it was difficult to include in the agreement as SM was not the distributor but assured verbally. However, this promise was not kept.”

Lee Jae-hak asserted, “SM has failed to honor the promised 5.5% fee to INB100 and is unreasonably demanding 10% of the revenue from the artists’ solo album activities and personal concerts. Therefore, we demand that SM stops the 10% revenue demand, given that they first violated last year’s agreement.”

Furthermore, he pointed out, “If SM proposed this without the intention to pay the distribution fee to stop the artists’ legal actions, it constitutes fraud. Therefore, we will cancel the agreement due to SM’s breach of duty and consider criminal charges regarding the agreement process and file a complaint with the Fair Trade Commission.”

SM alleged failure to provide accounting data

Attorney Lee stated, “Providing accounting data is a right stipulated in the exclusive contract. Last year, SM suggested allowing us to view the data but refused to provide it. Legally, they must provide the data when paying the settlement amount. Artists have the right to review the settlement data and raise objections within 30 days of receiving it.”

He criticized SM’s claim that “artists should come and view the data,” saying, “This is just a pretense. There is a significant difference between providing and viewing data in terms of protecting the right to know and property rights. How can we verify the validity of the settlement data through simple viewing?”

Not receiving renewal contract amount despite promoting with EXO

The lawyer also revealed, “The three artists did not receive any signing bonuses and are currently active as EXO members to protect EXO and their fans. Our artists envisioned a constructive future, planning to lead their activities and production under the new label INB100, using the names Baekhyun, Chen, Xiumin, or EXO-CBX. Thus, they decided not to pursue the accounting records with SM for their future prospects.”

“This decision was made to maintain the team EXO and to reciprocate the fans’ support. At the time, we thought that since negotiations with SM were concluded, the new future would unfold without issues. However, even though the agreement included a 5.5% distribution fee for music starting from February 2024 when INB100 was established, SM did not fulfill this condition,” he claimed.

He added, “INB100 and the artists are willing to negotiate and pay for the use of EXO group and unit-related trademarks and content assets owned by SM.”

Why Baekhyun re-signed during his military service

Regarding Baekhyun’s re-signing process, Lee Jae-hak explained, “The issue started in late 2022 when SM demanded a signature on a re-contract to extend the exclusive contract by five years upon its expiration.”

He continued, “Our artist had been under contract with SM for 12 to 13 years, with one year remaining on the contract. Artist Byun Baekhyun requested eight times for the contract terms to be revised but was not accepted. SM pressured and coaxed him, saying, ‘Baekhyun, if you sign, other members will get more money.’ Despite the unfair terms, he signed the re-contract out of a desire to protect his fans.”

Lee Jae-hak emphasized, “Baekhyun and the artists believed SM’s verbal promise and withdrew legal disputes, including a Fair Trade Commission complaint. They also gave up a significant contract amount upon re-signing at the end of 2022. Artist Byun Baekhyun hoped to protect the rights of other artists and felt rewarded when he heard that his actions improved contract conditions for his juniors.”

Regarding SM’s non-compliance, Lee Jae-hak said, “On April 5, 2024, we sent a notification to SM stating that the condition guarantee was violated and the 10% revenue demand was unreasonable. To date, over two months later, there has been no response.”

Addressing connections to Big Planet Made

Chairman Cha Ga Won addressed allegations of tampering with INB100 by Big Planet Made, saying, “It is absolutely not tampering. Baekhyun was in a difficult situation, and CEO Shin Dong-hyun, as a senior in the entertainment industry, gave advice as a friend. Baekhyun then established and ran INB100 alone until recently.”

He emphasized, “My relationship with artist Baekhyun is that of a very close sister, and MC Mong has a very close senior-junior relationship with Baekhyun. It’s hard to describe the relationship with CBX, but Baekhyun, CEO Shin Dong-hyun, and I are like family.”

Reiterating that the situation is not tampering, Chairman Cha Ga Won said, “I was not in the process of acquiring Big Planet Made at the time. Baekhyun and I had no relation to former Big Planet Made CEO Park Jang-geun.”

Attorney Lee Jae-hak refuted SM’s claim that a third party attempted to intervene in double contracting, stating, “The artists did not attempt to sign or consider any other exclusive contracts until the situation was resolved.”

He concluded, “The artists are adults who can think and take responsibility for their decisions independently. They listened to opinions from their acquaintances, including Chairman Chaga-won and CEO Shin Dong-hyun. SM’s interpretation of this as third-party involvement is absolutely not true.”

Source: (A), (B)

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