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16 August 2009 @ 05:29 pm
TOHOSOMNIA IS NOW OPEN!



Please note that this community will no longer be updated with news,
so please join tohosomnia  instead. ^^


In other forum news, as a celebration for our new forum, we're having a new and exciting forum game - INSOMNIAC RUSH!



Join here, and win a TOHOSHINKI TOKYO DOME DVD !

We'll see you in Tohosomnia! ;)

Cheers,
Somnia Staff
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15 August 2009 @ 04:49 am
ISCREAMSHINKI is moving! A new and improved forum TOHOSOMNIA will be opening on 15th August!
TOHOSOMNIA will still have all the fun and games, and even better board functions and forum activities.

In just a few days, TOHOSOMNIA will be open and we have another awesome activity waiting for you there too! And this time, the prize is going to be... All About DBSK Season III (Korean Version with English Subs). Don't misunderstand though - the first activity of TOHOSOMNIA will be hard. Very hard. -evil cackle-

We'll look forward to seeing all of you there, in the new and improved TOHOSOMNIA!


 
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13 August 2009 @ 04:11 pm


[Midsummer greetings]
Everyone, how are you?!
You're not suffering from the summer heat right?
I had fun participating in a-nation.
I'll do my best because of everyone's enthusiastic cheers.
Everyone, please keep in good health ^.^

-Junsu-

Read moreCollapse )

Source: [ameblo.jp/xiahyu-ri]
Translation credits: mandasoh@iscreamshinki.net
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13 August 2009 @ 04:07 pm


Hello, Cassiopeia.

SM TOWN LIVE '09 that was scheduled on August 16th, 2009 has been postponed indefinitely but in truth, it has been canceled. We believe that this has caused a lot of confusion amongst the domestic and international fans.

When three members of TVXQ filed for a exclusive contract suspension, many worried about whether the SM TOWN LIVE '09 would still held. At the time SM Entertainment stated that the concert would still be held regardless of the lawsuit filed by the three members. TVXQ also stated numerous times that they would perform to keep their promise with their fans. However, SM Entertainment announced that, 'Due to the situation regarding TVXQ's lawsuit, we will not be able to show fans the cooperation and bond between the singers in our agency.' They stated this as their reason and postponed the concert indefinitely a week before it was set to be held.

SM Entertainment has taken fans love for their artistes and used it against them by selling items based on quantity and not quality. Instead of selling unique items that are high in quality, they have been selling numerous items of which some are very similar to one another (i.e. three or four versions of the same CD). Also, SM Entertainment has ignored customer complaints about said way of business along with all other complaints regarding other areas and thus, ignored the right of the consumer. SM Entertainment is bound by law to be fully responsible towards consumers as sellers before as an agency, and when they do not take that responsibility, the consumer is allowed to refuse to buy items from the seller and is allowed to ask for compensation for irresponsibility of the seller.


Therefore,
REASONS + INFOCollapse )
Source: [DNBN]
Translation credits: jeeelim5@iscreamshinki.net
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Hey guys, I thought what with all the depressing news coming out these days, everyone might like a little pick-me-up smile.gif
I'm sure you've all heard of some of the many community service project TVXQ fan clubs do under the name of TVXQ or Cassiopeia, and here's a recent one.
Enjoy biggrin.gif


It's very confusing and iffy these days.
But that doesn't mean 'angel Cassies' should stop what they do best!!
Here is the review for our AVC Summer Community Service Camp!


Our staff came early~
They put up signs for AVC from Bojong Station to the place we were meeting, so that people would be able to find the place easily.
Good job Da-Eun and Byulhee!!^^


We stood in a line and everyone received a t-shirt, name tags, kimbap and water!!
There were a lot of people from outside of Seoul, so we thought we would be delayed a lot.
But everyone was very organized so we were so thankful!!


Before we set off, we divided into two groups and took group pictures~!
Ah~~ We all wore our Soul Mate t-shirts when we took the picture.
We blurred some of the faces of people who wanted it, including myself^^
Do we look excited~?


The AVC Cassies are listening very carefully to what the pastor has to say^^


During the sermon, we played the "I Love You" fame.
When we had to say 'Cassies' "Love" 'TVXQ',
everyone said it as loud as they would have said it at a concert!
Really heartwarming ^^Collapse )

Source: [Daum Star Zone]
Translation credits: jeeelim5@iscreamshinki.net
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Out of all the celebrities who have left their idol groups and set out independently, only a handful have succeeded. From the left, Eun Jiwon who is doing extremely well in a entertainment program, Lee Hyori who has succeeded as an actress as well as a singer, and Ok Juhyun who now performs in musicals.


Top idol group TVXQ's exclusive contract dispute with their agency SM Entertainment has triggered voices that call for a change of how young idol stars are treated and trained. Although there have been dance groups who received the passionate support of teens in the past, the 'Idol system' in which agencies train and raise their stars is quite recent as it started in the 1990s.


Where are the first generation idols now?

Many of singers who were in the first generation idol groups, such as H.O.T. SechsKies, Fin.K.L. and S.E.S., have left their original agencies and are currently participating in solo activities. However, they have not been able to achieve the success they achieved when they were still part of idol groups. Lee Hyori, who was labeled a 'Sexy Icon' in 2000, has been testing the waters of acting, singing and shooting commercials and has been greatly successful in all three areas. Eun Jiwon stands out as he has gained much love from all age groups for his appearance in a popular TV entertainment program. In the case of Ok Juhyun and Bada, they have been using their amazing vocal abilities to succeed in musicals and the K-pop industry.

In the case of popular group GOD, who came after the first generation idol groups, the members have all gone solo with acting and singing but they have not been able to make as big an impact as they did when they were together.

In the case of long-running group Shinhwa, their activities have halted due to the enlistment of various members to complete their military service, but the others are busy with their solo activities.


After breaking off, they must train their abilities to be self-sustainable

The life of an idol group is very short and many say the longest an idol group will probably go is five years. This dispute TVXQ has with SM Entertainment may turn out like H.O.T.'s dispute with the agency, with the group naturally disbanding when the contract expires. However, it is not easy for a star to succeed on his own after he leaves his agency.

These days, many agencies teach each idol group member many talents to make them 'multi-entertainers.' However, this is not enough to be self-sustainable later on. A representative of A Agency said, "Compared to the first generation idols, idols these days are better at everything from composing and writing lyrics to playing instruments, to acting. However, there is a limit to all of these things," and "Agencies should try to nurture the singer's creativity level."

Singer B, former member of an idol group, said, "When you become a trainee at an agency, they only teach you what they want you to know. So when you leave the agency and try to go solo, you don't have all the abilities to do so because they didn't teach you enough," and "Idol group members can only survive afterwards if they've properly prepared their own unique talents."

Music Critic Lim Jinmo said, "What is embarrassing about the current TVXQ dispute is that people are focusing only on the money aspect with no thought of any issues dealing with their music," and "Agencies shouldn't just focus on the income, they should be actively interested about the education that builds character and the development of individual talents if they want to maintain good relations with their celebrities."


Source: [munhwa+DNBN]
Translation credits: jeeelim5@iscreamshinki.net
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Samhwa Networks stated that their contract with SM regarding a joint-drama production has been finalized on the 12th.The title of the drama is 'Paradise Ranch' and their will be 20 episodes in total, each 70 minutes long. The main characters will be played by Choikang Changmin and Lee Yeonhui and shooting will begin later this month and end late November.

Source: [money today + DNBN]
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Even though three of the five members of TVXQ are in a dispute with their agency, the group's Japanese activities will continue as planned.

TVXQ's Japanese agency Avex stated on their official website on the 6th that, "We will continue to fully support TVXQ's activities in Japan. Please give TVXQ attention and love."

On the statement, Avex also added that, "Both sides have told us they do not want TVXQ to disband. We took this statement as saying that SM Entertainment and the three members wish to continue with their planned activities in Japan."

TVXQ is currently participating in 'A-Nation 09', a music festival held by the singers in Avex Entertainment and the group already performed in Kumamoto on the 1st and Ehime on the 8th. All five of them will be performing on stage at Tokyo (22~23rd) and Osaka (29~30th).

After that event, YoungWoong Jaejoong and Micky Yoochun will be releasing a single on the 30th of next month. The title song of this single is 'COLORS Melody and Harmony' that they first showcased at their Tokyo Dome performances on the 4th and 5th. They will also be participating in the music event 'BOY POP FACTORY 09' on the 20th to sing their duet song.

Also, on the 7th of September, they are scheduled to appear on the NHK Hall stage in Tokyo, Shibuya for NHK's most notable music program 'Music Japan'. And after that, they are set to collaborate with popular group M-flo for their 10th anniversary album which will be release on September 16th. They will be singing a duet piece, 'Been So Long'.

'COLORS Melody and Harmony' which YoungWoong Jaejoong and Micky Yoochun wrote the lyrics for and arranged, was chosen to be the image song for the 35th anniversary of Hello Kitty and will be used as background music in all Sanrio shops across Japan starting from September.

Avex will also begin selling the '2010 TVXQ Official Calendar' to TVXQ's Official Japanese Fanclub Bigeast on the 19th. However, it is uncertain whether there will be any activities after September in which all five members will all be attending.

Source: [yeonhap news + Yuaerubi]
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*Note from your translator: Hey guys smile.gif I know this is a really really long article and I spent a lot of time, energy and brain cells on this thing. Therefore, I did a quick spell check, but I don't know if I got rid of all the errors. If there are any, just kindly point them out and I'll fix them as soon as I can smile.gif Don't be afraid to point out mistakes, I don't bite wink.gif*




SM was rejected for the rights of TVXQ's name in 2004 but they submitted another four applications on 2009.08.05


SM Entertainment is now attempting to secure TVXQ's name, a little too late. On the 5th of this month, SM sent an application for the exclusive rights to the name 'TVXQ' four times to the Korean License Information Center. Amidst the dispute SM has with some of the members of TVXQ, this application for the trademark is bound to cause controversy. Many will want to know, is SM's bid to be the sole owner of the name 'TVXQ' to 'secure' their rights for their business, or to 'shackle' the group?

On the day before, SM also applied for the exclusive rights to 60 other names such as 'Girls' Generation', 'Soshi', 'Sonyuhshidae', '小女時代', 'Super Junior' 'Suju'. The agency has applied for the rights of 64 names in a short span of only two days. In these 64 names, hundreds of calendars, cosmetics, glasses, lenses, furniture, bags, and beds have been included in the sub categories.

The application for a trademark is to stop third parties from getting money by unlawfully using the names of certain products. It also gives the person with the exclusive rights the ability to make supplementary businesses using the name. Therefore, the act of a group asking for the exclusive rights is usually seen in a positive right for the group would be asking for the rights to themselves. However, when an entertainment agency asks for the rights completely disregarding the celebrity in question, it can be seen as an act to shackle the celebrity from performing in the future.

Hwang Sukpil, a lawyer who specializes in the entertainment business, said, "Applying for the rights to a trademark is to protect the rights of that celebrity," and "But there is always a chance that this application can turn into a struggle to secure that name. It can be used to corner the agency's celebrity so that they can't do anything. Most of the time, agencies get the exclusive rights to celebrities without the celebrity even knowing about it."

Of course, just because one applies for the rights, does not mean they get them 100% of the time. Regarding 'Dong Bang Shin Ki', SM's application was rejected in 2004. Nonetheless, it seems SM is trying to get the rights again because of the dispute between them and TVXQ. We have investigated the reasons behind agencies' attempts to get the exclusive rights. What is waiting to be uncovered?


Agencies' Applications for Trademarks

To a star, their name is like brand that distinguishes them. This applies to when they use pseudonyms as well as when they use their own names. This is because when the public hears a celebrity's name, the image and the popularity of that celebrity comes to their minds. This occurs more amongst idol groups where many members form one team. Because the group's name is the image that represents all the members, there have been many instances of agencies applying for the exclusive rights.

In the case of singers, the application applies to their songs and performances. Since most of their income comes from album sales and concerts, these areas must obviously be protected by the law. For instance, if Seotaiji applied for the exclusive rights for their albums and concerts, they have protected themselves from having any third parties putting out albums or giving concerts under the name 'Seotaiji'.

Many of the applications for the exclusive rights for singers applies to albums and concerts. However, there have been instances where the singer or the agency applies for other areas. On the 4th, SM Entertainment filed an application for Girls' Generation and Super Junior regarding, not their albums and concerts, but bags, wallets, beds, etc that have nothing to do with the singers' activities.


The products SM is asking exclusive rights for include tickets, calendars, stamps etc.


The Meaning of A Trademark Application

It can be said that the application for exclusive rights to names is not simply to protect the rights of the celebrities from third parties. It can be also seen as an act of the agency to protect the rights to other businesses regarding the names in the future. It can be as an act of saving the name so the agency can put it on cameras or cosmetics which they would sell to the fans later.

Attorney Hwang Sungpil said, "The rights to a trademark is the right to expand the name's products. For example, if the exclusive rights for drama or movie titles were taken, the person who has those rights would be able to earn a lot of money from products related to the drama or movie titles." Therefore, an agency's application for rights can be seen as preparation to branch out their image later using that celebrity's name.

The majority of applications for singers is done by the agencies. There are times when the agency asks for joint-rights with the singers, but if they ask for exclusive rights, they open themselves up to more financial opportunities. Most of these opportunities have nothing to do with the skills and talents of the celebrity.
MORECollapse )

What are the Real Motives Behind the Agency's Application?

Of course there have been many instances where the applications for the rights to celebrities' names have been rejected. According to the Trademark Law Clause 7.1.6, "Brands that already include a part of an already famous name or nic-name cannot be given exclusive rights. However, the application can be accepted only if the person applying has received permission from the already famous person."

For instance, 'Dong Bang Shin Ki' can be seen as an already famous name. Therefore, without the permission of each individual members, it will close to impossible for SM to receive exclusive rights to the name. In fact, SM applied for the rights for the Chinese character version of 'TVXQ' (東方神起) in 2004 but was rejected. Nonetheless, SM has applied for the rights once more.

One agency's representative said, "When one gets the rights to a name, the income one can get off that name is massive. The reason they are trying again, even though they've been rejected before, is because they know this," and "An agency's attempts to broaden the business markets other than music of a singer can be seen as the agency's attempt to reap in supplementary benefits from the singer even after the contract has ended as they already have the rights to the singer's name."


Some of the names that SM succeeded in receiving the exclusive rights to.


"Protecting Rights and Abusing Power, What is the Solution?"

The application for exclusive rights to a name goes by a 'first come, first serve' system. The first person to apply will get the rights even with they are not the ones who's name is being applied for. If the agency gets the rights to a group's music and concerts before they debut and become famous, this can cause problems regarding the team's name when the contract ends and moves agencies.

Therefore, it can be said that the agency has the upper hand in such a situation. If the group wants to continue working under their group name, they have no choice but to work under the agency that holds the rights. In reference to such an unfortunate situation, Attorney Hwang Sungpil advised, "To stop disputes regarding rights in the future, it would be wise for singers and agencies to have joint-rights to names."

Other than the Chinese character version of the members names and 'Tong Vfang Xien Qi HERO MAX Xiah U-Know Micky', no other forms of TVXQ's names have been passed through the application course. Therefore, if the members leave SM, they will still be able to perform under the name 'Dong Bang Shin Ki'. This also applies to each of the members' individual names.

However, if the application SM handed in the 5th is approved, the story changes entirely. Attorney Hwang Sungpil said, "Depending on how someone uses the exclusive rights, they can be a helper or a hindrance. Therefore, celebrities must always be very cautious when it comes to their rights."</div>


Source: [sports seoul + DBSKnights]
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TVXQ, a Korean pop boy band, have sued S.M. Entertainment. [JoongAng Ilbo]

After three of the five members of the Korean pop band Dong Bang Shin Gi, a k a TVXQ, took legal action against the group’s management agency, S.M. Entertainment, on July 31, claiming an unfair contract, officials began examining how other top groups are being managed.

What they’ve found was sometimes startling. Yuna, a member of a band called Girls’ Generation that is under the same agency, is in a 13-year contract similar to the ones claimed by the three TVXQ complainants.

A member of Super Junior, a 13-member pop band managed by S.M., cannot leave the company for between five and 13 years.

“Even though I want to transfer to another management agency, it is not easy because of the long contract period and a large penalty I would have to pay,” the member said during a phone interview with the daily newspaper Ilgan Sports. “Since each member receives 1/13 of total profit earned from the band’s record sales, individual income is not that high.”

Members of the Wonder Girls, a five-member girl band under JYP Entertainment, have signed an exclusive 7-year contract.

Members of pop groups Big Bang and SS501 are locked into 5-year contracts by YG Entertainment and DSP Entertainment, respectively.

During its investigation into 20 management companies starting in April, the Fair Trade Commission has found unfair contract clauses for 230 entertainers managed by 19 agencies.

Included in such clauses are ones mandating that entertainers have to report their whereabouts to the manager at all times, contractors are not allowed to get any job in the entertainment industry after terminating contracts and contractors cannot retire without authorization from the manager.

Following the investigation, large agencies have completed either renewing or revising contracts and small and medium companies are in the process of doing so. So far, most legal disputes have been between agencies and actors and actresses rather than singers. “The reason why controversies over unfair contracts among singers have not surfaced is that within Korean pop music, there still exists a custom of running the business by verbal agreement rather than strict contract clauses,” said an executive official from an agency who asked not to be named. “Many new singers think that it is hard to become a star if they file complaints against their companies. I believe there are a lot of entertainers suffering from unfair contracts.”

The official also said that members of idol pop bands are mostly teenagers when they sign contracts and have to serve two to three year apprenticeships. They have no choice but to accept unfair contracts because they will not have a chance to debut if they fail to satisfy managers during their training period.

Many experts say disputes between agencies and entertainers occur because agencies try to make up for initial investment costs they expend in promoting idol groups. Also, some budding stars fail to make it despite the investment, leaving the agencies holding the bag. Agencies complained that it is difficult to run the company when contracts are revised after an entertainer becomes popular because of various investment costs.

Others see things differently. “If Korean management agencies keep on taking the lion’s share of profits earned by their entertainers, more legal disputes like TVXQ are bound to happen,” said Lim Jin-mo, a music critic.

Experts say the only way to limit onerous contracts is to adopt new rules and regulations. Along with these steps, some suggest that the patriarchal system that lets agencies treat their entertainers as chattel needs to be modernized.

As conflicts related to unfair contracts have flared in recent years, the Fair Trade Commission began a contract-by-contract probe into the issue and has requested revisions. Some improvements have been enacted. And the commission introduced a system of using “standard contracts” for entertainers last month and strongly recommended that the entertainment industry to use it.

However, there are exceptions in the revised contracts letting an agency sign long-term contracts for special reasons, such as a long period of overseas activity. Korea Entertainment Producers’ Association has come out against the new system, saying that it does not reflect the reality of Korean pop music.

Perhaps the Achilles’ heel of the proposed contract is that it is merely a recommendation that has no enforcement teeth. Japanese fans of TVXQ and many experts there deride Korean entertainment management. They said it is impossible to sign a contract that lasts for more than 10 years in Japan.

But there are differences in the entertainment culture of the two countries. In Japan, where the scale the entertainment industry is much larger than in Korea, a few big agencies are firmly in control of the industry. New entertainers renew their contracts every two or three years and get paid monthly. In the United States, one entertainer is sometimes managed by two separate companies, a management agency which supports overall activities, and an agent overseeing an entertainer’s products and contracts.

“The entertainment industries in the United States and Japan have developed after going through a lot of trial and error. It is impossible and not right for Korea to immediately follow their example,” said Hong Sung-kee, president of Korea Entertainment Law Society.

Some say culture is more important than changes in written rules and laws. In a culture that refers to an agency as an entertainer’s benefactor while treating a singer as a betrayer when he or she complains, it is difficult to develop a reasonable contract. “Even though more Korean entertainers are becoming popular on the global stage, the system of managing them has not changed,” said Lee Dong-yeon, professor of Korean Traditional Arts at Korea National University of Arts.

“A new management system and culture have to be developed so that new entertainers can also get legal advice when signing contracts,” he said.

By Yang Sung-hee, Lee Young-hee [smartpower@joongang.co.kr]

Source: [JoongAng Daily]
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