JYJ Sues Over Benefit Blockage

Representatives of the Korean pop trio JYJ have filed lawsuits in Japan against entertainment company Avex for interfering with concerts organized by the group to raise money for victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

JYJ consists of the three members of the K-pop boy band TVXQ who left the group because of differences with their Korean management, SM Entertainment, in the fall of 2009.

Since the split with SM, JYJ has released an album, held concerts outside of Korea and acted in dramas and musicals.

However, they have effectively been shut out of Korean television, the most important promotional outlet for pop music.

Early in 2010, they signed an exclusive management deal with Avex with regard to the group’s activities in Japan.

However, several months later, Avex “suspended” the group’s activities, saying they should refrain from performing in Japan while the lawsuit against SM Entertainment was still in court. Nevertheless, Avex has continued to make money off the trio’s DVDs and licensing deals.

JYJ had contracted with the Japan concert organizer Zak Corporation to play the charity concerts in Japan, but later the venues that had been booked canceled the contracts. “Avex allegedly pressured” the venues to drop the shows, according to the Korea Herald.

Consequently, JYJ’s own Korean agency C-JeS Entertainment and Zak filed two provisional dispositions against Avex with the Tokyo District Court.

Avex did not deny that they may have pressured the venues.

In a statement, the company said it holds the “exclusive rights for JYJ’s activities in Japan and have taken action against infringement rightfully and properly.”

In addition, Avex said it has received threats over the matter.