Kang Daniel’s Lawyer Explanation
On March 21st, Yulchon LLC, the legal representative of Kang Daniel’s case, submitted an application of an injunction against LM Entertainment for the suspension of Kang Daniel’s exclusive contract to the Seoul Central District Court.
Yeom Yong-pyo (Yulchon lawyer and head of sports entertainment conflict department), as a person in charge of this case, stated, “ Without the prior consent of Kang Daniel, LM Entertainment signed a joint business contract that sells Kang Daniel’s exclusive contract rights to third parties. The application for an injunction was submitted as [LM Entertainment] completely breached [the terms of] his contract.”
He went on, “The decision for an injunction is typically determined quickly in approximately one to two months, and if [the request] is accepted, Kang Daniel can immediately begin his independent activities in the entertainment industry.”
He also concluded that Kang Daniel feels bad that the incident has turned out to be a legal matter, and he also felt bad and sent deep apologies to his loyal fans. Kang Daniel also hoped that this matter will be resolved quickly.
Aside from Kang Daniel’s dispute, it is said that LM Entertainment has reportedly also tried to apply trademark of Kang Daniels’s labelmate’s name, Yoon Ji-sung. It is a rare occasion for an agency to try to trademark the name of their artist, for this can be seen as restricting their artist’s ability to promote fully. Because of this, LM Entertainment has met with another burst of rage from fans.
LM Entertainment’s Response
After being reported by Kang Daniel and his legal representatives of signing a joint business contract with third parties without Kang Daniel’s consent, five days later, LM Entertainment released a statement in response to the injunction request. LM Entertainment decidedly denied the allegations, making accusations that Kang Daniel’s side was making false claims.
LM Entertainment has denied all the claims by releasing this full statement on March 26th:
“1. Hello. This is lawyer Kim Mun-hee from the law firm Jipyong, representing Kang Daniel’s agency LM Entertainment.”
“I am relaying LM Entertainment’s official statement on the recent application for an injunction and subsequent suspension of the exclusive contract with Kang Daniel.”
“2. The exclusive contract between Kang Daniel and LM Entertainment is a standard exclusive contract provided by the Fair Trade Commission, and LM Entertainment has paid the signing bonus agreed to in the contract. Despite this, before his contract even went into effect, [Kang Daniel] sent us a notice through a representative vaguely saying that the contract was unfair, requesting that the contract is changed without giving us any specifics. Afterward, we had four negotiation meetings with CEO Won, who had declared himself a mediator, but we eventually received a notice from various lawyers with false truths, including a claim that [Kang Daniel] never received the signing bonus.”
“Moreover, this latest injunction from Kang Daniel’s side claims that LM Entertainment breached contract terms by signing over rights to a third party, but the contract in question is simply a contract in which LM Entertainment receives an investment from Kang Daniel’s old agency, MMO Entertainment, in order to best support Kang Daniel in his entertainment activities. LM Entertainment has never signed exclusive rights over to another party and holds all rights, including for album planning, fan meetings, concerts, and other performance contracts, merchandise businesses, casting, and management. LM Entertainment exclusively exercises these rights, with no participation from anyone.”
“3. LM Entertainment has refrained from taking any immediate action in the interest of reaching a mutual agreement and has sat down several times with the various representatives of Kang Daniel in order to dispel misunderstandings and in a continued effort to reach a point of compromise. However, Kang Daniel’s side has changed representatives as well as their stance on issues several times, eventually ignoring what was discussed in our meetings and filing for an injunction and termination of his contract.”
“The situation is such that LM Entertainment has no choice but to carefully review the contents of the injunction request and to take legal action.”
“4. LM Entertainment had been preparing so that Kang Daniel would immediately be able to jump into solo promotions once his contract went into effect, and we regret having to relay this kind of news to Kang Daniel’s fans and to the public.”
“Though we have no choice but to move forward with the legal dispute, LM Entertainment will, with an open mind, continue its efforts towards regaining trust and reaching a compromise with Kang Daniel as well as working on getting Kang Daniel back to his activities as soon as possible. Thank you.”
Along with LM Entertainment’s statement, it was also reported by news outlet Dispatch that Kang Daniel was requesting a luxurious villa in the neighborhood of Hannam, which then LM Entertainment fulfilled by paying 950 million won (around $836,300) for the housing deposit.