So its a sort of confusing story and I think I got the facts (or at least what the Korean media has posted) correctly but there may be changes to the story as the lawsuit goes on.
Let's start at the beginning:
- Madtown debuted under J.Tune (same label as MBLAQ) in 2014.
- In 2016, J.Tune ended and its only remaining group, Madtown, was suddenly without a company.
- The rights to their songs as well as the ability to use/control the group was sold to GNI (random company) for 300 million won (roughly $265,000)
Here's where the trouble starts:
- GNI got various investors, as any company does, but they promised an insane amount of payback (investors get a cut of the profit, but GNI was saying investors would get 50% of their invest $$$ back per year which is just...not very possible)
- Then in early 2017 the CEO is arrested for fraud
- The investors sued him (obviously) and in order to pay them back GNI sold EVERYTHING. Their buildings, their cars, etc.
Everything except Madtown.
So now Madtown is sitting there with basically no company but a contract with them that is set until 2021. They can either buy themselves (is this not beginning to sound a lot like slavery tbh?) for 300 million won, or they can sue and try to get their lives back.
They have not been paid since March 2017 and even then, with the little promo they did, they probably weren't making anything. Most events that they did came from out of their own pocket (including Jota renting a car himself and picking up his makeup artist and driving together to his schedule)