Starting from here, we will update the timeline from the start of the dispute between Kang Daniel and his company LM Entertainment, as reported by the media. Negative articles will mostly be hidden (+ Read Content). Original sources are included at the end of paragraphs, and the translations used are mainly from Soompi and Twitter user kdncafe.

Up until this point, the last time Daniel was seen in public was January 27, the last day of Wanna One’s concert. Daniel had no official schedules afterwards, and LM cancelled others. Following the fancafe level up period when 60k+ fans were rejected without any explanation, the fancafe was abandoned by staff, and antis were free to post without repercussions. Daniel was also restricted from regularly communicating with fans. It was then when news of the dispute first broke out.

What followed was an onslaught of one-sided news articles and negative media play. On March 19, Daniel filed an injunction against LM to suspend his contract. The court hearing regarding this was on April 24 at 3:30 PM (originally scheduled April 5 but was rescheduled after LM tried to transfer courts and delay). The main point was whether LM transferred Daniel’s exclusive contract rights without his consent to third parties. On May 10, the court ruled in favor of Daniel, and his contract with LM was suspended. Daniel received a full citation, meaning the judge sided with Daniel on every argument presented. Daniel’s lawyer said this was the first case that a joint business contract was discovered to be an unauthorized transfer of rights. Daniel is free to work without LM interfering. What remains is contract termination. Daniel’s team reportedly filed a contract termination lawsuit on March 21. After LM attempted to delay an objection court hearing by switching lawyers, LM’s objection to the decision was rejected July 11, marking the second time LM lost in court.

On September 27, it was reported that both sides ended their legal dispute and terminated the contract with CEMA as the mediator. The contract termination lawsuit and LM’s Seoul High Court appeal were withdrawn.

Understanding the Kang Daniel x B2M-MMO-LM Relationship

[Updated June 2019]

Other staff members are listed here.

In 2014, Kang Daniel became a trainee under B2M Entertainment (비투엠엔터테인먼트 / Artists: Lee Hyori, Davichi, Spica, Eric Nam). B2M was founded in 2010 by Gil Jonghwa (길종화), who had worked as a manager and in marketing at DSP Media. In July 2015, the company formed a strategic alliance with CJ E&M Music. But around 2016, the company went into management separation due to financial problems, which led to some B2M artists and trainees moving to MMO Entertainment, a subsidiary under CJ E&M Music (now Stone Music Entertainment) and others being co-managed by CJ E&M. The B2M staff became the MMO staff, and Gil Jonghwa became an executive producer at Stone Music Entertainment.

MMO Entertainment (엠엠오엔터테인먼트 / Artists: Son Hoyoung, Roy Kim, IN2IT) was established in 2014 by Song Donghoon (송동훈). It was registered in KOCCA (Korea Creative Content Agency) on December 19, 2016 by the current CEO, Jung Hyungjin (정형진), who is also the CEO of Stone Music Entertainment.

In 2017, Kang Daniel participated in the second season of Mnet’s Produce 101 as an MMO trainee. However, it was revealed by Daniel that the company was very lacking in facilities, as it was only a building with an underground practice room. It also struggled financially and hence could not afford dance or singing lessons. After the show ended and Daniel became the winner, he officially signed as an MMO artist. During Daniel’s time as a Wanna One member, the profit distribution was 25% CJ E&M, 25% YMC/Swing, and the remaining 50% went to individual agencies and the members. Profit division between the agency and the artist depended on the individual agency’s contract.

On January 31, 2019, it was announced that Kang Daniel and Yoon Jisung would move to LM Entertainment (엘엠엔터테인먼트), a newly created company with little known public information available other than being affiliated with Stone Music Entertainment. In the official Korea Management Federation (KMF) website, LM Entertainment’s co-director Noh Hyunjun (노현준), who is an executive director from B2M and MMO, is registered as the person in charge of managing Kang Daniel, Yoon Jisung, Davichi, Roy Kim and Eric Nam as part of LM Entertainment.[s]

(Note: When news first came out that Daniel would move to LM Entertainment, a couple of unreliable news outlets revealed that the company was founded by Shin Donggil (신동길), the former general manager of YMC Entertainment and also the founder of Swing Entertainment.[s] Shin Donggil was the person in charge of Wanna One’s activities from June 1, 2018 until January 27, 2019. However, no reputable news sites have confirmed Shin Donggil’s affiliation with LM.)

According to the KIS report and Saramin, a Korea-based human resources service, LM Entertainment was established January 30, 2018 by Gil Ingyu 길인규 as Gil MNE 길엠앤이 (name changed to LM on December 31, 2018) with 1 million won capital.[s] The company was registered as LM in KOCCA on February 7, 2019 by Yang Jongseon (양종선), who is speculated to be Gil Jonghwa’s wife and a manager from MMO Entertainment. The founder of B2M (Gil Jonghwa) is also registered in the KMF website as the staff in charge of managing Kang Daniel, Yoon Jisung, Davichi, Roy Kim and Eric Nam as part of LM Entertainment,[s] along with the previously mentioned staff members Noh Hyunjun (노현준) and Jung Chunyoung (정천영).[s] Jung Chunyoung is another staff member from B2M and MMO. On April 2, it was confirmed through a Dispatch article from LM Entertainment’s side that the company’s CEO is Gil Jonghwa.

MMO Entertainment

Main Business Address: Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea 146 Road 35 (Nonhyun-dong)
서울특별시 강남구 강남대로146길 35 (논현동)

Jurisdiction: Seoul Gangnam-gu Office

LM Entertainment

Previous Address: Mapo-gu, Seoul World Cup North Road 4 Gil 77 (Donggyo-dong)
서울특별시 마포구 월드컵북로4길 77 (동교동)

Previous Jurisdiction: Seoul Mapo-gu Office

Current Address Since May 13, 2019: Seoul, Gangnam-gu, Nonhyeon-ro 152 Road 34 (Sinsa-dong)
서울특별시 강남구 논현로152길 34 (신사동)

Jurisdiction: Seoul Gangnam-gu Office

We would like to also recommend checking this (this link doesn’t work anymore) Twitter thread by all_in_daniel_k, further explaining leaseholder rights of offices and a personal apartment between LM and MMO. This (this link doesn’t work anymore) is also a recommended thread about the relationship between LM and MMO. This is an explanation on LM, Lime Music and MMO. This (this link doesn’t work anymore) thread delves into how LM sold rights to third parties and violated the contract. This analysis explains how LM and Lime Music were established as a way to exploit Daniel.