South Korean Supreme Court upheld a ruling on Friday that long-term contracts between entertainers and their agencies are unfair and therefore invalid.
The verdict is expected to put the brakes on entertainment agencies’ long-established practice of controlling its stars for as long as possible with slave-like contracts, which sometimes could spread to more than a decade.
Woo Sung-hyun, member of boy band U-Kiss, filed a suit in 2008 challenging his 10-year-long contract – which could be extended under certain circumstances – with his former (not U-Kiss’) agency . The court has now ruled in his favour.
Three members of mega pop group TVXQ also filed a lawsuit in 2009 seeking to invalidate their contract with SM Entertainment. The legal proceeding is still underway, but the trio is having the upper hand now.