On December 14 KST, Korean lawmaker Ha Tae Kyung introduced the ‘FIFTY FIFTY Act,’ a revised bill aimed at safeguarding the rights of small and medium-sized agencies within the dynamic K-pop industry. The primary focus of this legislation is to establish a fair-trade order within the popular culture and arts sector, with a specific emphasis on providing equitable government support to smaller entities operating in this industry.
The proposed amendment recognizes the existing gaps in current laws and systems, particularly the predominant emphasis on protecting singers under agencies. It addresses pressing issues such as “singer poaching” and “tampering,” wherein third parties engage in illegal and unfair practices to influence the contractual arrangements of entertainers under an agency. The overarching goal of the bill is to rectify these legal shortcomings and extend protective mechanisms to agencies facing external threats.
The introduction of the ‘FIFTY FIFTY Act’ gains significance in light of the global success achieved by the K-pop group FIFTY FIFTY, which made its debut in November of the previous year and gained further recognition with the release of the hit song “Cupid” this year. The track’s remarkable success included securing the 17th position on the US Billboard ‘Hot 100’ chart.
However, the necessity for legal safeguards became apparent when ATTRAKT revealed on June 23 of this year that external forces attempted to poach members of FIFTY FIFTY. Subsequent revelations on June 27 disclosed that The Givers, the project manager, deleted project-related materials during the transition process. This led to the filing of a complaint against The Givers CEO Ahn Seong Il and three others, accusing them of obstructing business and clandestinely purchasing the copyrights of “Cupid.”
Lawmaker Ha emphasized the growing international prominence of K-pop and stressed the essential need for balanced development between artists and agencies to further invigorate the industry. The overarching objective is to promote the sustainable development of the K-pop industry by extending protection not only to artists but also to the rights and interests of agencies.
Expressing gratitude for the proposed bill, ATTRAKT CEO Jun Hong Jun highlighted its significance in safeguarding agencies against prevalent unfair external interventions like poaching or tampering within the entertainment industry. He expressed hope that the ‘FIFTY FIFTY Act’ will establish a fair competitive environment, ensuring that the hard work and efforts of small and medium-sized businesses do not go in vain. The proposed legislation, if enacted, is poised to reshape the landscape of the K-pop industry, fostering a more equitable and secure environment for all stakeholders involved.