SM Entertainment had said they were filing suit to stop Kris and Luhan from doing activities in China and were threatening companies who worked with them. That was greeted with a collective ‘molon labe‘ from Chinese netizens, and now it turns out that what SME actually filed in court was just copyright infringement against Luhan.
Okay, so this actually isn’t surprising, because I had heard rumblings before that all this mess was just about a Luhan copyright issue with one of his endorsers and NOT about their activities. The thing that makes SME look bad is that they tried to run with threats and all that, but in the end, it’s basically just one copyright claim with one endorser and they’re not actually doing anything about activities.
Luhan’s side then piles on to what the court revealed with their explanation.
1. The exclusive contract dispute between Luhan and SM Entertainment is agreed upon to be under the Korean Court’s jurisdiction. SM’s claim was “Luhan engaging in artist activities within Chinese borders” as grounds to file a lawsuit in Shanghai Court, however, according to the terms based on the exclusive contract, the Chinese court has no jurisdiction rights to the contract dispute, the Shanghai Court also has no jurisdiction rights. Through initial investigation, SM is filing a lawsuit against Luhan and the related company for copyright infringement, not for the above mentioned reasons. SM’s statement to the media is misleading.
2. SM clearly knew the reasons for the “exclusive contract” dispute but still stated in their statement “for no appropriate reason, no regards to contract, trust and ethics, leaving EXO for personal benefits,” you can see this statement causes confusion and harms luhan with malicious intent.
So yeah, SME essentially lied to the Korean press as a PR stunt, which we all should’ve known from the start cause none of it made sense, legally speaking. Like I said before, until we have evidence that Kris/Luhan did not file for a temporary injunction (doubtful), as far as I can tell, they aren’t doing anything illegal with their activities.
I don’t understand what SME is doing at this point. I mean, I haven’t seen this covered by Korean outlets yet, so I guess that’s the whole point … but is that really the war you want to win given the market sizes? I dunno.