Legal trouble for BTS after Korean Ministry of Culture launches investigation amid chart-rigging allegations

21 May,2024 06:25 PM IST |  Mumbai  | 

Korean Creative Content Agency (KOCCA) has formally launched an investigation and may seek assistance from courts or legal advisers.

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South Korean boy band BTS, which has been making headlines after its agency HYBE encountered controversy over chart manipulation, known as 'sajaegi', the Korean Creative Content Agency (KOCCA) has formally launched an investigation to reach the bottom of things. The agency will act under the Korean Ministry of Culture following complaints that have been afloat since 2017.

In 2017, an individual named Lee allegedly blackmailed HYBE over "expedient marketing strategies" during the promotion of BTS' album. At that time, the court ruled that Lee had engaged in a "sajaegi marketing deal" with BigHit Entertainment.

As per reports, KOCCA may seek assistance from courts or legal advisers if needed. It might also solicit information from music streaming services. The committee will then conclude its review and file a report with the Ministry.

An insider on the case said, "The term ‘music chart manipulation' itself is misleading. Whether it's physical albums or digital music, this is clearly music chart manipulation. Whether KOCCA and its subordinate agencies will conduct a proper investigation into music chart manipulation remains questionable, given their close ties with music streaming platforms."

Meanwhile, HYBE has strongly denied the allegations. In a statement, BIGHIT Music stated, "Allegations of chart manipulation, marketing manipulation, concept plagiarism, connections to a cult, and other such claims that tarnish BTS' reputation are false. We have repeatedly clarified that there is no such activity."

BTS ARMY is ablaze following the South Korean government's decision to order an investigation. The ARMY has also started trending "South Korea apologize to BTS" on social media.

The seven-member team is currently on break as a group owing to their mandatory military service for the country. The members will gradually reunite as they all complete their service by 2025.

Jin, the eldest member of the group will be the first to discharge as he was the first to enlist. Suga is fulfilling his social service duties due to a shoulder injury, while the other members are fulfilling their military service obligations.

J-hope is expected to finish his service in mid-October this year. Before his enlistment, he dropped his solo album 'Jack in the Box', featuring tracks such as 'Arson', 'More', and '=' (Equal Sign). Additionally, he released a documentary 'Hope on the Street', and the album for the same.

RM, Jimin, Jungkook, and V's discharge date is set for June 10, 2025.

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