Copyright question for releases - Label or Artist

Given the following release -
with “© 1992/℗ 1992 Bruce Springsteen” on the medium scan (outer area).


How to correctly add these as relationships in MusicBrainz ?

Discogs uses a “Label (publishing entity) associated with the artist Bruce-Springsteen)”, see for

  • Copyright ©
  • Phonographic Copyright ℗

Should we artificially create such a label too or should we use the following two relationships:

AND what about the following label Bruce Springsteen Music ?
Is this strictly for the concept of “Works” in MusicBrainz ?
The corresponding Discogs label says: Legal entitie that hold Bruce Springsteen ℗ © rights

Really confusing… thanks for enlightenment

In such a case, the artist itself can be used, there is no label names for these copyrights.

Copy Bruce Springsteen artist URL and go to the release relationship editor.

Add a Copyright relationship between the release and Bruce Springsteen (paste your URL in the relationship target field).
Set Begin and end date to 1992.

Select all recordings (there is a checkbox for that) and batch add a Phonographic copyright relationship to Bruce Springsteen artist.
Set Begin and end date to 1992.

Write an edit note citing the copyright line and linking to the package scan that shows this and submit. :wink:

If this or another release shows different (phonographic) copyrights, we can pile them all up (add them too).

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Done … So the ℗ relationship always goes to the recordings itself ?
Why is there this option in the AR-Editor for releases ?

I don’t know. I like them being at the same level as ISRC, in order to see them, whatever the release they are on, anytime.

good idea … thanks

I have seen releases which explicitly specify a copyright for the release itself (“Copyright this compilation …”). Also like with other relationships I guess this can be used if it is not entirely clear whether it applies to all the recordings or not.


But this is for © (copyright), at the release level indeed. And ℗ (phonographic copyright), at the recording level (this is just my choice).

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I still think recording-level ℗ (phonographic copyright) credits was a mistake, and it was intentionally left out of my introduction of copyright relationships to this database. There are plenty of releases where the release-level ℗ (phonographic copyright) credit differs from the tracks.

  • The release credit may be a single year, usually based on the release date of the specific release. In releases where track-level data is available (certain digital stores and streaming services), the track-level data can be proven to contain various values.
  • The release credit may be a comma-delimited list of all the years and organizations used in the tracks. In that case, it’s clearly wrong to put other tracks’ years and organizations into the wrong tracks.
  • The release credit may say “This compilation ℗ (phonographic copyright)…”, in which case it is clearly a release-level credit, not a track-level credit.
  • The release-level credit may use region-specific organizations that don’t apply to the track-level.

In these cases, indeed, there can be various distinct recording relationships and/or a release relationship set from this release packages. It’s more rare than the usual case with only one phonographic notice, but I obviously use them when I see them (on compilations indeed).

This is the standard case and I think it’s ok and beneficial to have all the local phonographic copyrights and all the successive new dates that sometimes they get with rereleases.

Just like it’s ok and beneficial that works gather all their ISWCs and local publishers along the world, various local royalty manager IDs (GEMA, SACEM, JASRAC, …).

Just like it’s ok and beneficial that recordings accumulate all their successive ISRCs…

I only add phonographic copyrights to the recordings if they are on singles or previously unreleased.

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