2 questions about style: crediting the artist by legal name? And copyright on release groups?

Two questions:

  1. In which cases should we credit artists by legal name rather than artist name?
    Edit #109521001 - MusicBrainz
    Here someone points out that a legal relationship should be done using a legal name. But one could argue an artist name is also a legal name. And the same user added copyright to the release but used the artist name for that, should copyright also be the artist legal name?
    What are the rules here and where are these stated in the style guide?

  2. When adding copyright and or phonographic right, should these be added to the work and the release and the realse group of a single? Wherew should they be added and why, and what do the style guides say about this?

Thank you! Just trying to be accurate.


Writing credits are generally as on the original release. Especially relevant to people who have multiple identities.

Some editors add details direct from the ISRC payments database, but this can be misleading as that is about who is legally paid for a recording and not always who actually wrote it.

I’ve always understood that artist intent trumps payment\legal intent.

i.e. Song “Sign Your Name” - MusicBrainz was written by Terence Trent D’Arby even thought the cheques now go to Sananda Maitreya as he has now changed his name.

Copyright is usually something that ends up on the Release. Some put Phonographic Copyright at Release level, others put this at Recording level.

It won’t go at Release Group level as ownership and reissue right change on albums.


Writing credits should reflect booklets (where applicable), not rights societies.