In March, famous K-pop producer Marz (MZMC) was embroiled in a high-profile copyrights war with SM Entertainment. For years, MZMC produced multiple hit songs for the entertainment company, including EXO‘s “Tempo”, Taeyeon‘s “Fine” and “Starlight” as well as NCT‘s “We Go Up”, “Candlelight”, “Cherry Bomb” and more.
While the issue died down in March regarding his tiff over EXO’s songs, it seems that the drama has started up again recently. The producer previously took to an Instagram live stream to clarify the difference between master rights and sync rights over songs. While SM Entertainment owns the master rights to most of the songs they buy off producers, sync rights are a whole different territory.
According to Marz, master rights give the company permission to perform the song in concerts and live venues, but it does not include the rights to distribute the song alongside visual representation, which falls under the sync rights category. An example of this would be, SM Entertainment would not be able to release his songs as part of live concert DVDs, special track videos or even VODs or online concerts. His full explanation in English can be seen in the following clip.
So EXO CAN sing MZNC songs, but SM CANT sell o present it in tv or in the media, sounds good for me…#EXO #mzmc #sm #Baekhyun #Chanyeol #Kai #Sehun #Suho #Chen #Xiumin #Kyungsoo #Lay pic.twitter.com/iTFmUjx94h
— 🍬캔디🍬 (@Erie_ss) June 19, 2020
The ongoing issues between SM Entertainment and MZMC have come to light again as NCT is gearing up to release their VODs for their Beyond Live live streamed concerts soon. Fans realize that a few of their favorites will be excluded indefinitely from the Beyond Live VODs due to this copyright war, as were some songs with previous VOD merchandise for EXO.
Some of their iconic songs for NCT include the following.
Fan favorites and title songs are also included in the mix, such as “Cherry Bomb”, one of NCT 127‘s representative tracks.
Given that concert DVDs and VODs are considered highly important merchandise for fans that were either unable to make it to the live concerts or want to relive the moment, the removal of such songs pose a problem to both the fans and the artists involved.
This fan summed up the situation best, perhaps.
It is not the first time SM Entertainment has been involved in disagreements with their producers. As SM Entertainment and MZMC attempt to solve their differences or put the issue to a close, fans are left waiting for updates with regards to the songs and performances they hold dear.