The policy is quite simple, MB isn't a repository for fan made images (or other 'homebrew' data).
Although this might seem shocking when you have some personal tagging standards that are shared by a lot of other people (but yet are still personal preferences), I'm sure you can imagine that there's a lot of different pictures and edits that individual users might want to make and upload. Perhaps I prefer black and white covers? Perhaps I want to crop it into a triangle? Why should I not be able to upload those as well? etc
I feel like we've already hit a certain middle ground by setting release group pictures, which is usually the most tagger friendly picture.
Perhaps we can make it a bit easier to tag using these pictures though? I think the functionality currently is just to use these if your specific release picture isn't available, but not sure.
I'm not against the idea of formatting images for your preferences, and even sharing them, but a concrete solution on how to integrate this would be nice. I don't really want to see fan pics just uploaded with the rest, and I don't think that's very practical for anyone else (including you?) either, especially if it's not the first picture anyway, and wont be automatically tagged with.
- Perhaps the option to upload images to the release group specifically, in a new 'edited' picture category?
- Perhaps even an 'auto square' crop setting for tagging, where it crops pictures automatically (this sounds pretty straightforward, though I'm sure it will miss the mark, as automation often does, but it would at least be consistent)?
- A way to link to a site like 'albumartexchange' or some other resource and tag with that?
If the digital image is exactly the same as the physical media, just better quality (eg the print source), I don't see how this is relevant to the discussion. It perfectly represents the in hand release, which a crop doesn't. If the digital image is even slightly different to the physical one, eg font size or placement is a few pixels off, you can remove it if you like.
To be fair I also think that sometimes a good scan should trump these pictures (because I'm fussy in that way), but I don't think it's outrageous that they don't, I see the rationale.
Looking forward to hearing constructive thoughts from you and others!