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Some recent events in my life (both personal and business) have impressed upon me to go in a different direction for this month’s article. I will get back to the series I’ve been working on hopefully next month. Still, I want to share my opinions on integrity, honesty, and morality as it pertains to our industry.
Just after our last issue of Disc Jockey News, we discovered that a disc jockey service in Canada was stealing content (videos and articles that our company produced) from our marketing efforts.
One of our promotional videos was taken and put out as one of their own. It had pictures and video clips of my DJs, my equipment, and our voice-over talent, but at the very end of the video where we state who we are and our contact info, this thief edited in his own contact info. Then they also took an article that my productions manager Arnoldo wrote to explain to potential school clients the danger of hiring DJs based on their low price alone. The same exact article, but again this thief just slapped their name on it and presented it as their own.
I wish this were a one-time example of a low-life individual with a lack of conscience doing things that we are taught at an early age is wrong, but unfortunately, this problem is running rampant in our industry. Some DJs feel it's OK as long as they are in a different market, but some DJs don’t even find a problem doing it in their own backyard. We had another company (oddly enough we know this DJ) use content from our website even down to copying the bios of one of my DJs verbatim, and they are in in our direct market.
Now I know that some of you are appalled, I know I was, but again this is just a drop in the bucket for the lack of professionalism in our “profession”. DJs to me are an interesting bunch of people in general. Some of my best friends in this world do this for a profession! Unfortunately, I have also come across some of the most morally corrupt people calling this their profession.
Does your moral compass make you a better DJ? It’s my opinion that it does!
If you are reading this, I’m sure you can relate to my problems. I haven’t met a DJ yet that has been doing this for a while that doesn’t have a bunch of stories similar to mine. DJs that lie, steal (whether it be ideas, or music, or money), and generally exhibit business decorum that lacks any display of a conscience. Then some DJs try to do everything right and eventually get sucked in to the belief that the only way to compete is to also participate in the same practices.
Now if you haven’t already moved on to another article, you probably are wondering where I’m going with this rant. Glad you asked! It’s my belief that if you are reading this article, you are most likely a leader in your area. You are most likely doing things to the best of your ability right (most of the time anyway). We need to set the example for others by showing that we can be successful doing what is right!
Are you purchasing your music or downloading for free? Are you not paying taxes on what you are earning? Do you overbook and then look for someone else to cover your events? Are you copying content from other sources and passing them off as your own? That could be photos, video, or just text content. It could even be source code.
If you are, stop it! It’s wrong and if you are willing to take short cuts how can you tell your clients with a clean conscience that you won’t take shortcuts at their events too.
We wonder why so many people are concerned about sharing ideas at conventions on online. The article that the DJ stole, if he had contacted us and asked permission (and given the credit to us), we would have let him us it. In fact there are a couple other DJs that did ask to use it and we gave them the ok. It was great information and we understand that all of us are part of one big community. Helping each other get better should be something all of us strive to accomplish. Nothing good happens when we hurt our fellow DJs either directly or indirectly.
Did this DJ that stole our videos and article hurt us directly? No, but did they invest the time, money, and talent into creating unique content that depicts what they do? Did they hurt other DJs and our industry as a whole! Assume that someone hires them based on that video, can they delivery that product? Not unless we give them the parts list, play list, and have our DJs deliver that performance. If the client doesn’t get what they expected, do you think they will trust the next DJ they hire to give them what they promise? It devalues all of us, which is why some people think all DJs are the same.
If you have been reading my articles (and I hope someone is) for any time, you know that I’m an optimist and a cheerleader for our industry. I want each and every one of you to succeed and I want you to pay it forward. We need to rise up above these indiscretions and will our industry to be so much more then what it is currently. We are all responsible and we all need to take responsibility.
Thanks for being patient though my rant, I promise it won’t be something I do often. Next month I hope to discuss this crazy thing we call social networking. Until then, keep reaching for the stars because even if you fall short you might get the moon!

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