Source Music Wins Lawsuit against Former GFRIEND Member
Hyo Kyung Kim, May 2, 2016, 7:53 a.m.
A former member of the girl group GFRIEND has been ordered to pay more than $10,000 in damages to Source Music. Source Music had filed a lawsuit against trainee 'A'. She had signed a short-term training contract with Source Music in October 2013 and had received vocal and dance training. However, in April 2014, she told the label that she wanted to rest and wanted to stop, and stopped coming to training. Source Music claimed that 'A' had agreed to submit the documents for contract cancellation as well as pay the fees. The contract that she signed stated that if she had broken the contract, she had to pay twice the amount that Source Music invested in her. However, 'A' took no action to pay the amount, and Source Music filed the suit in August 2014.
GFRIEND is a six-member South Korean girl group formed by Source Music in 2015. The group consists of Sowon, Yerin, Eunha, Yuju, SinB and Umji. They made their debut with the EP Season of Glass on January 15, 2015. GFriend is the winner of several 2015 female rookie awards and has garnered a lot of momentum since their debut, despite coming from a small company. In 2016, they made a comeback with their third EP Snowflake and won first on many music shows with the title song "Rough".
During the suit, Source Music demanded a total of 55.7 million KRW (~49k USD), with 12.47 million KRW (~11k USD) as double the amount invested, and 43.22 million KRW (~38k USD) that included the additional girl group training and dorming fees from the team debut being pushed back 5 months. 'A' tried to protest that Source Music imposed impossible weight loss on her and excluded her from training saying her looks were problematic, but the court did not accept her defense, reasoning that 'A' did not come to training and therefore broke the contract, meaning she had to pay the double amount.
However, the court did not accept that it was 'A's fault that G-Friend's debut was pushed back 5 months, reasoning, "G-Friend was originally planned to be a 7 member group, but another trainee other than 'A' left, making the group 5 members until another member was added for it to be 6. From this, it can't be said that it was only 'A's fault that the debut was delayed." The court ordered 'A' to pay the original contract breaking fee of 12.47 million KRW.