KAA and Piracy

Howdy karaoke peeps. There was a recent incident in this group where a KJ who didn't know another KJ posted things on the first KJ's thread claiming they were a pirate and asked me to remove the original post due to this alleged piracy. I just wanted to set some things straight here.

This group is ALL about karaoke. Advertising shows, posting links to you singing, technical issues, karaoke news articles, spreading contest info, etc. Yes, karaoke piracy is karaoke related and is fair game to discuss. However, what happened in this case was that that a KJ posted a show (KJ1) and a KJ in a different state (KJ2) that admittedly did not even know KJ1, posted on that thread accusing them of piracy.

That is not acceptable.

Furthermore, KJ2 suggested that I....as the KAA webmaster and owner of this group......should ONLY post karaoke shows that are not run by pirated KJ's.

Not going to happen.

I do this for the SINGERS not the KJ's, although connecting singers with shows helps everyone of course. Anyone who has actually known me since the early days of KAA knows this about me already and if you don't know me all you needed to do is read my "History" page to know why I started this and continue to do it.

Let's get down to it though...

First of all, I think that karaoke piracy sucks. I agree it has largely ruined the industry, driven KJ rates down and lowered the bar to entry to the point where any yahoo that can afford the cheesiest PA on Craigslist can "become a KJ" for a few hundred dollars, when 20 years ago it would have cost someone tens of tousands for the same setup. It has driven out of business about 90% of the karaoke manufacturers and left us only a skeleton crew on "Team USA" when it comes to karaoke makers. In fact I know of only two US-based companies at all that are still making new karaoke tracks these days.

Yes, piracy sucks.

That being said, I am not the karaoke police. It is not my responsibility to check KJ's for legality when I add a show to my directory any more than it's my responsiblity to check to see if the venue has any health department violations. I don't do background checks on the people pouring your drinks either. I don't confirm that they paid their ASCAP fees, have any outstanding zoning violations, haven't paid their liquor distributor or that they have proper handrails in the bathroom stalls either. Hell, the bar owner could be a total a-hole too. I'm not checking for you. Vote with your feet and don't go if the venue doesn't fit your standards!

I'm just me. I am a karaoke show directory, not a precinct.

Think of me as the Yelp of karaoke shows. Does anyone think that Yelp checks to see if that dry cleaning business hires slave labor before they get listed? Piracy sucks, but I am not the police nor any form of law enforcement.

Also, please don't ask me to remove shows from my directory that still exists. Yes, unless I know you well enough to just accept your word on it (very few people), I always confirm it myself. KJ's come and go. Even before piracy it's always been that way. Trying to get me to remove a show because YOU don't host it anymore isn't going to work, sorry. I'm not the show-stealer police either. Furthermore,  I don't need your permission to advertise a karaoke show. Even the venue can't force me to remove a valid show. It's public information and I can list it all I want just as a reporter can write a story about someone's house burning down or kitten stuck in a tree.

So......in summary. I care about piracy. I think it sucks. However, I have no interest in being the karaoke police. Please don't ask me to be. Solving that "issue" is the responsibility of those who have skin in the game and make money from karaoke. That is YOU, the KJ's and YOU, the manufacturers. I have been doing what I do for YOU the people almost 20 years and have never made a dime. Don't expect me to do the heavy lifting for you. My sole intent is to connect people with karaoke information. I hope to that end, I do it well. I don't think there is anyone else who has spent more time and effort than I have to do this, especially for the crappy pay I have gotten......;)

I am not going to call out anyone by name here. I will notify those involved that I created this. If they choose to out themselves that is their option. They may join the fray without identifying themselves as an involved party or say nothing at all.

What say the rest of you?

(Please comment in the Facebook post for this article)

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