I've long had a problem DJs who trade libraries. It's a common thing- new DJs are starting out, they're looking to build a library. Another DJ "helps out" by giving them their hard-drive full of music. DJs who admire each others music will swap gigs of music at a time. Even I used to accept a mixed-CD as a gift, and not re-download the music.
The longer I've been aware of it, though, the more uncomfortable I've become with this practice. There are several blatant problems with it. First off, you're stealing. What if the artist is dead? Well, the record company isn't, and if it's remastered, those guys probably aren't. And then off course there's the possibility of an estate of the deceased, possibly doing something nice for the world of music. Additionally, when you pay for blues and jazz, you create an economic statement of "Blues and Jazz will sell! Support them!" Second off, you're stealing- and selling those stolen goods for money or admission to a dance. You're asking to get paid to play stolen music. Even from a DJ-quality point of view, will you really get familiar with a 20gig library that they got over a 2-week period? I know a lot of DJs who don't have good notes, bpms, etc, because they're overwhelmed by their massive libraries. There's nothing like the joy of nurturing your library- getting an album or two at a time, and making notes, learning the songs, and then adding more. Yes, it takes time, work, and money. Life is hard. Try bing a composer/arranger/studiomusician/remasteringtechnician/etc.
But at least it's honest work- both building a real collection, and being an artist.
I came across a composer's blog recently (link below- read it!), and while I've said this privately in the past, I'm saying it publicly now: I'm not ok with pirate DJs. I'm totally ok with helping out new DJs- rather than copies of the music, give them lists of musicians/songs/albums to look up! Teach a DJ training class! I'm calling on DJs to re-acquire paid-for versions of their songs, and quit wholesale swapping of music. Think of this as an opportunity to build a collection from scratch, and manage your library as you go, instead of getting overwhelmed. And I'm calling on organizers to support DJs who care about their music, and the music industry, and shy away from pirate DJs.
Here's the link, in case you want to read a better argument:
Because music, musicians, jazz, and blues matter,