By Judge Mental | December 16, 2009
A couple years ago on a conference call, I brought up an idea to form an organization to serve as an advocacy group for the DJ industry on a range of public policy and rights issues. Turns out several other people had similar ideas and interests. One of them was very vocal and had a great gift of selling ideas. I choose to partner with this individual to start an organization called the International DJ Trade Association. We started out brainstorming great ideas, but as time went on, it seemed that my partner was more interested in making money than advocating for DJs. I should have known this could be the case from the start since this person was not a DJ and could not relate to my passion for the profession.
While the rogue business partner of mine went about devising ways to make money from DJs and the rest of the industry, I insisted on getting business handled first. Things like corporate filings, trademarks, bank accounts, etc. As time passed, I continued to handle business with the other members of the board that we assembled. For a year we wasted many conference calls trying to wrangle our rogue co-founder back into the realm of establishing an organization rather than the next get-money scheme. Several times board members came out of pocket to establish corporate elements. I paid for the trademark out of my pocket (which I registered in my name since no corporate documents had been finalized), another member paid for web graphic design, others paid for items for new members and postage.
As I kept trying to see the best in this individual and kept denying the fact that they would probably never align themselves with the original purpose of the organization, things began falling apart. Finally, when this individual took money out of the bank account to make a quick hustle selling hats with the logo on it, I awoke from my denial. When they broke their promise to return the money, I knew that this was the end of the International DJ Trade Association.
The moral of the story: No matter how genuine your intentions, if you choose the wrong allies in your efforts, your intentions will turn into a big FAIL. Now this individual is using the logo that is legally registered in my name, paid for out of my pocket, and designed by my hand to promote everything under the sun and is rarely (if ever) representing efforts to support DJs.
This particular effort to organize and support DJs, in my heart, has been the biggest DJ backfire of the decade and I apologize to anyone who saw this logo as a ray of organizational hope – only to see it backfire into another music promotions company.
Although I may never be able to redeem the integrity I hoped to establish with the IDJ logo and the initial organization, I still have my integrity and will continue to support and advocate for the profession of the DJ.