Like most Kpop fans know, for a while now, JYJ has not been able to promote freely in Korea due to their past issues with SM Entertainment. Broadcast stations and music distributors never offered a complete explanation as to why this is the case, but fans suspected all along that SM Entertainment was applying backdoor pressure.
The Fair Trade Commission or the FTC has been looking into the issue and has finally confirmed that the parties responsible for JYJ's lack of broadcast activities are SM Entertainment and 'Korean Federation of Pop Culture and Art Industry (KFPCAI)'.
Having confirmed the two's role in blocking JYJ's activities, the FTC issued a sanction today (July 24th KST) ordering SM Entertainment as well as KFPCAI to stop interfering with the group's activities.
According to the FTC, SM and KFPCAI issued out a statement asking broadcast and music insiders to restrict JYJ's broadcast activities and appearances during the release of JYJ's first album in 2010.
A FTC rep commented, "Despite JYJ's high album sales, their activities as a singer were restricted in Korea, and had to promote through areas where SM's influence was less like dramas, musicals, and advertisements."
SM also asked Warner Music Korea, the distributor of JYJ's 1st album in 2010, to stop the distribution of the group's album.
KFPCAI also helped SM by issuing out statements to Warner Music Korea, as well as 3 major broadcast stations and 6 music and cable stations, and 11 album retailers and 5 online music service sites, requesting that they restrict JYJ's broadcast appearances and music distribution.
In these statements, KFPCAI only included SM's side of the story and warned that the broadcast stations and music sites would be becoming implicated in the legal problems of JYJ and also pushing Hallyu and pop culture a step back, if they did not restrict JYJ's activities.
FTC commented, "SM, one of the big 3 agencies, and KFPCAI, which is composed of various organizations involved in the entertainment industry, applied incredible pressure on companies and as a result, JYJ experienced cancellations of music and variety programs, change in music ranking, and cancellations of documentaries and theater screenings."
The FTC has found SM and KFPCAI in violation of several policies and has ordered a sanction as well as corrective measures so that JYJ's activities will not be further restricted due to their past legal issues with SM Entertainment.
As part of the corrective measure, the KFPCAI will have to issue a statement to the 12 organizations and companies that make up the KFPCAI as well as 26 companies, including broadcast stations and music distribution sites, regarding the sanction they have been issued by the FTC.
A FTC rep commented, "This is a case in which we prohibited large-scale agencies from using their influence to pressure businesses to interfere in the promotional activities of celebrities whom they are in a dispute with."
With this sanction in place, hopefully we will soon see JYJ freely promote on various music and variety programs!