Bootleg digital releases

There are apparently releases in MB that were pirated from old LPs and offered for sale illegally. One editor has entered edits to remove them (edit #47534182, edit #47533912, edit #47533867, edit #47532266). I’m not sure if this is the correct course of action, since we do allow information on physical pirated releases. Should we store releases like this (albeit without purchase links) or just exclude them altogether?


Possibly my removal request was in error. I am not sure what the procedure is when an editor is using mb as a tool to sell their pirated wares. This includes creating duplicate artist pages, duplicate of, and duplicate release page with fake title at

These creations certainly don’t improve the reliability of mb. The primary reason the editor of these dupe/bootleg pages is to make money. Whatever the community decides…

All of the submissions by that editor should be scrutinized, including bogus label pages like (how does mb deal with bogus record labels?). And rest assured the editor is using more than one account, so banning the account associated with the pages I flagged will likely not end their ill practice.

Thank you for starting this thread HibiscusKazeneko.


The problem with digital bootlegs is that the barrier for entry is extremely low. Anyone can “publish” thousands of bootlegs. For bootlegged CDs you would need something like a pressing plant. I think we should be very selective in accepting bootlegs, including physical releases. A live bootleg of a concert that is not officially available is useful, or a bootlegged record released in a country where the original release is banned, and there may be a couple of other cases, but the rest can and probably should be removed.

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Regardless of what happens to these in MusicBrainz: have you contacted Bandcamp and/or the actual Casablanca sublabel of Universal Music Group (linked from Bandcamp) about this? If the former’s platform and the latter’s name are being used to profit off bootleg recordings, they’d probably be interested in putting an end to it.


If we mark them as bootlegs reliability should hopefully not take a hit.
Unfortunately without changing back to being able to downvote album additions (and somehow having more voters) I don’t see how MB can stop the additions.

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No, but we can still remove them, like all bad data. :slight_smile:

I wouldn’t remove a bootleg that is available on Bandcamp - that’s basically the equivalent of a record shop, it’s not like it’s a dodgy torrent somewhere. If these really are illegal, then they should be reported (and marked as bootlegs) but I’d probably keep them.


I notice a difference in the value to MusicBrainz being ascribed to possibly fraudulent re-labelled digital bootlegs and offensive CA.

The CA is defended as properly being in the range of MusicBrainz whereas possibly fraudulent re-labelled digital bootlegs are widely said on this thread to be outside the range of MB.

I am genuinely interested in the reasonings behind the negative views of possibly fraudulent re-labelled digital bootlegs.

This being the internet I will issue the precautionary, but tired, clarification and say, “I am not trying to change anything about how offensive CA is dealt with, or even arguing that “offensive CA” is a useful category”.

The issue is not just listing of bootleg mp3s. Bogus record labels, bogus artist pages and bogus releases (with fabricated titles) are inserted into the mb database.


What are you pointing at when you use the word “bogus”?

Do you mean where the performing artists are being denied their right to be acknowledged as the performers under their artist name without having agreed to forego that right?

I’ve found a release from a commercial publisher which may well be doing just that to a symphony orchestra and many other artists on the compilation.

I am against abusing artists in such a way. And think that such abusive releases should only go into the Musicbrainz database when the ethical issues are highlighted on that release’s page.

I can see that bogus labels, bogus artists and bogus releases can all function as part of the abuse of the real artists.

I’ll make a case that they should be named prominently as bogus rather than deleted. If others have good counter-arguments favouring deletion please share them.

Musicbrainz is an encyclopedia of recorded music. It is/is planned to be the largest reference in the world on the subject.
Whilst the abuse of artists by mis-identifying them is deplorable, to be discouraged, and to be “called out” on Musicbrainz, it is important to the range and the completeness of Musicbrainz that the details of such abusive practices in widely avaialble recorded music be captured for future encyclopedia users and musicologists.

One problem with this “name and shame” approach is that if errors are made then lawsuits might follow.
Maybe that commercial publisher I mention above does have the legal and ethical right to change the names of the artists on the compilation?
If MB publishes erroneous accusations of “bogus and abusive” then what? Or even if the accusations are correct can MB be dragged into costly legal dispute with a deep-pocketed music publisher?

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I pointed out the duplicate release and artist pages at the top of this discussion, Keeping the fabricated Moulin Rouge (BeeGees trib band) artist page has some utility? if kept then I think it is better to lock it so more fabricated releases are not inserted within. Does anyone know who is Railroad Records? (a fabricated RL title for selling bootleg digital rips)
Ripping mp3s and inserting a fab listing @mb/dg does not make a “release”…

I think if the “releases” are widely enough distributed then yes it does have utility as it is a (abusive) packaging of widely enough distributed recorded music and as such falls within the remit of Musicbrainz.


I think first we need to define what a release is…Anything on BT is widely distributed, specially since it can be had for free. BUT in general where it came from is known: nobody tries to fabricate a record label, a bogus artist or album title and try to pass them around on BT. Scans of the album shows meta data excatly as was published.
The creator of the fabricated records at mb (that I brought to the community’s attention) is trying to legitimize her rips by fabricating metadata about the band/release/record label, Because She Wants To Sell Them.
In fact an ExactCopy on BT is valid because all the metadata is real, and there is no need to register them here (is there?), and indeed widely distributed.

My beef with the target of this discussion is fabricated data that she is trowing into mb.


What are the current guidelines on what releases and recordings are eligible for inclusion onto the MB database?
Do these “ripoff releases” meet that level?
If they meet the current requirements then do you think changing the current requirements around inclusion is the way to proceed?
What changes do you suggest?

I’ll argue against one possible change now: I think including releases on MBdb to increase sales can be entirely legitimate.

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The fact that releases may breach copyright does not mean the release should not be added.
This policy seems to be used in other databases such as for iswc where they will issue an is for songs that do not have permission to use samples from another song for example. This allows the rights organizations to collect royalties while the courts decide who owns the work.

Notability and proof that the release exists is the standard we tend to use.


A search of MB Documentation and MB wiki gives one return for “notability” and that example concerns WP standards.
This suggests that some other term is being used on MB. Anyone got a link to where requirements for inclusion into MusicBrainz db are listed?

I think what we have on is pretty much what we have (at least for Releases):

While we welcome bootlegs, we discourage adding home-made compilations or mixtapes. These kinds of releases are not widely available and any information about them is typically only useful to the individual who created them. Releases such as these are usually removed from our database.


Surely if her metadata is explicitly marked as fabricated (eg a bootleg) on MB, it helps de-legitimize it if someone searches for it/ is linked here?

If this person wasn’t currently actively adding these releases I would say get rid of them, but since they’ll just add them again and we don’t have many voters I think this would be more effective.

note: I am usually very pro leaving bootlegs around, but they usually have some kind of interesting metadata, different tracklist, aren’t available otherwise, different cover, but this just seems like someone selling rips…

May I suggest a trip to &
Does anyone notice anything odd about the releases and label? Are the releases in the Miscellaneous section truly by Columbia? (2016??) Anything odd about the release arts?
Please also. view the counterpart at
Indeed marking such fabrications as homemade rip$$ may be the best option
If George Stewart had real releases, the real stuff should be included here and at dg, with the real meta data, real album covers etc etc…

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My objection to this is only that it wouldn’t be clear to naive encyclopedia users.
“Unauthorised copy of Release A that abuses the actual artists, Mrs & Mr Smith, by not crediting them.”, seems clearer.

" Mark as bootleg".
Personally I don’t see, " bootleg" as indicating inferiority - other naive users might also rather interpret the categorisation to mean, “less commercially tainted and possibly a more interesting insight into the performer’s live sound” - not to say this is accurate, just that marking it as “bootleg” doesn’t seem strong enough.

(Is an unauthorised digitalisation of the music on an LP even properly called a bootleg?
It seems more of a “re-engineering”. The original recordings are authorised for release so aren’t bootleg.)

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