K-pop is one of the most explosive and exciting genres of the past few years, but it now appears that some of its superstars have been getting stiffed. Enter DFSB Kollective, a leading K-Pop agency that is now suing CJ E&M on massive copyright infringement claims, with bizarre price-dumping and artist exploitation schemes potentially at play.
CJ’s US-based arm, CJ E&M America, is also on the defendant list, with DFSB represented by Browne George Ross LLP.
The action surrounds CJ’s Mnet.com, accused of offering extremely cut-rate K-Pop downloads at prices at 10-cents or below. Mnet is easily accessible to K-pop fans worldwide, and accused of facilitating that access, all of which totally undercut efforts by companies like DFSB to sell songs are full-priced stickers of 99-cent and $1.29 on platforms like iTunes.
The case has been filed in US District Court for the Central District of California, with $50 million of infringement claims at stake according to court paperwork. CJ’s move to dismiss was rejected, with a full-blown jury trial commencing March 1st.
The cut-rate would make sense for CJ, especially if it spurred network and hardware purchases. That’s evident in ads like these, which offers a glimpse at what a bad Steve Jobs impersonation looks like in Korea.
The Korea Herald first reported on the court filings.