Thanks, I hadn’t come across [STYLE-473]. I’d summarize the text that I added like this:
Credit recordings to the original artist unless the tracklist explicitly credits the song to the remixer. Add a remixer relationship. If the remixer’s name is in the track title (as it often is), leave it there.
Credit releases to the remixer if they were created and released without any involvement from the original artist.
So yeah, I think that your assessment is correct. I’m happy to steer clear of the (also-contentious) bootleg status and just enter these “unofficial remixes” as official releases by the remixer, since I think that they belong in the remixer’s discography rather than the original artist’s.
This guideline is honestly unusable as it is right now, since it does not explicitly mention how to credit the original artist. There’s one example where Secret Chiefs 3 is added to the album title, but it does not tell you when you’re supposed to do it or how you’re supposed to do it. What are you going to put in the release title if you add something that’s listed as “Artist - Title (Remixer remix)” on SoundCloud?
I’m honestly pretty disappointed with this guideline, crediting the original artist consistently and setting it to bootleg makes much more sense than adding these as official releases despite them being unsanctioned. Now there’s an huge backlog that will pretty much have to be entirely reformatted, very few existing releases match this. Just do a quick advanced search for bootleg remixes and you will clearly see that this is not the norm.
To clarify, it sounds like the part that you object to is this sentence:
A release that was created without any participation from the credited artist (e.g. a remix or mashup album that was created without the knowledge of the original artist(s)) should be credited to the artist who created and released it (the remix or mashup artist) instead of to the original artist.
I think that the guidelines as currently written do describe how to credit the original artist, but only at the tracklist and recording levels. It seems like your objection is that the original artist wouldn’t be credited at the release level for an unauthorized remix or mashup album (or maybe more commonly, single) – is that correct?
This feels like it comes down to needing a stronger definition of what a release’s “artist” field is supposed to hold. My intuition is that it would usually be the artist who released the release: when I look at an artist’s list of releases, e.g. https://musicbrainz.org/artist/b76645c5-78b0-4e4c-8f95-003f40013a45/releases, I expect to see things that the artist released (and possibly also unauthorized releases that still feature basically unmodified performances by the artist, like albums released by pirate labels or fan tapings of live shows).
I think that things get weird in an online world if the only guidance is “always enter the release artist as credited on the release”. If I create an awful remix of a Garth Brooks song and upload it to a random SoundCloud account with its artist name set to “Garth Brooks” and its title set to (I Deeply Regret) My Past Hostile Actions Against Sellers of Used CDs, I wouldn’t expect that to show up as a single on Garth Brooks’s list of releases (as funny as that would be).
Crediting unauthorized releases (not counting bootlegs in the Wikipedia sense) to whoever actually released them rather than to the original artist is one way to avoid weird situations like the example I gave, but if there’s a better approach that I didn’t think of, I’d love to hear about it.
Always credit the release as it was originally credited, do not obfuscate any information. If a remix was credited like “Artist - Track (Remixer remix)”, it should be credited to the artist.
Unofficial remixes should be regarded as bootlegs.
Alert the community to a discussion in some way (blog post) before creating a new official guideline page, hold polls etc. This is my main gripe - a minority of the community participated in this thread, and the result is a guideline that would probably require editing 80% (generously low number) of bootleg remix releases currently entered in MBz. I can accept this guideline (in revised form with more detail) if consensus is shown, but this thread has not shown attention from the majority of active editors. In short, I think the appropriate action is to withdraw the guideline from the official ones for now and alert more people here. I only noticed this discussion when I saw that a new guideline was seemingly silently added.
Yes, there’s a case where the title is altered, but there’s nothing in the guidelines. At a bare minimum, it needs to say exactly when and how the original artist should be credited in the release title. It doesn’t, so I have absolutely no idea how to add anything.
It won’t, they’re hidden by default. However, this creates a pretty interesting case. If you follow this guideline and credit the track artist to the original artist with the release artist being different and setting this to official, it will be listed among official various artist releases. This gives it identical status to a various artist compilation artist licensed from the artist. I think you can see the problem yourself.
A release that was created without any participation from the credited artist (e.g. a remix or mashup album that was created without the knowledge of the original artist(s)) should also follow the credited artist as usual. If the artist credit includes the original artist(s), setting the release status to bootleg is required. If an unauthorized remix with artist credits including the original artist(s) is part of a release consisting of mostly original works, the official release status can be set with an annotation explaining what tracks are unauthorized.
This has the benefit of not requiring editing of most existing releases. It will still not show up in the artists discography except for a few various artists-only scenarios. It also should cover most edge-cases and be clear how to follow.
For the actual bootleg or official issue: there was a discussion in [STYLE-473] Decide how "unofficial" remix "singles" should be entered - MetaBrainz JIRA with comments dripping in for years, which showed clearly only that nobody had a clear idea how to do it. Since I’m the person in charge of taking the final decision, and personally having them as bootlegs hidden from both the original artist page and the remixer page seems just like the worst of both worlds, I decided to go with the suggestion here and see how it works. If the community decides that part of the guideline is not working, we can always amend it further, but I’d like to give it a chance first.
Replying to this section of your moved post here since it’s about this guideline specifically. As I said, I want to see what problems this causes or does not cause first. If we find out it’s actually problematic in more ways than “a bunch of existing data needs correcting”, then I’ll happily open a second discussion to amend this further. For what it is worth, this guideline has seen more discussion than many (a lot of relatively small changes, and this is a relatively small change, are mostly done as “someone proposes it, @reosarevok says that seems sensible, guideline gets changed”).
Having bootlegs look like legitimate artist releases, or cluttering up artist discography pages, has never sat right with me. It’s also abusable by artists (getting attention via artists with big audiences).
That search for remix bootlegs as currently credited is a great example. I want to pick some examples, but the thought of any of them being on the OG artist pages irks me
Not explicitly, but Secret Chiefs 3: The Kid MarsCat Remixes is linked as an example and is set to official despite being described as unauthorized in the guideline. I do agree that this should also be stated more clearly.
Some (like you) think it’s clutter, and some people would like to find unauthorized remixes of an artist they like. It’s probably technically doable to modify your userscript to hide bootlegs with the secondary type for remixes but show the rest, in case you want to see live bootlegs or whatever.
According to their Bandcamp, that release is a grey area. They call it “semi-official”. I think ‘unsanctioned’ is probably the right term, as used in the guidelines. But maybe the example should be swapped out for one that’s more clearly a bootleg? Or maybe it’s a good example exactly because it’s kinda sanctioned, but the release still has nothing to do with the original artist? @derat might have thoughts
Apart from that the guideline says “Remixes and mashups should generally follow the normal guidelines, with the below exceptions.” Since there’s no exceptions stated re. bootleg status I think it should be clear? (apart from that example being tricky)
If it’s indeed correct to credit the release to Kid MarsCat, then “official” seems like the appropriate status. She released it herself on Bandcamp and it’s included in her discography at kidmarscat.bandcamp.com. That feels official to me.
I interpret the “semi-official” in her album text as referring to the remixes themselves rather than to the release. The original artist praised the remixes in a Facebook post, so they clearly think they’re cool, but I wouldn’t say that makes the release “semi-official” (regardless of to whom it’s credited).
I’d be very supportive of a simpler example. This one seems overly confusing, since both Kid MarsCat and Secret Chiefs 3 use multiple aliases when releasing music.
My problem with distinguishing between “official” and “unofficial” remixes is that you generally can’t tell if something is authorized, leading to basically 99% of remix tracks getting marked as “bootleg” and hidden from discography pages.
Official remixes are usually released by the same record label as the original artist or released by the remixed artist themselves. It can be a bit tricky to figure out with internet based releases, but usually, this shouldn’t be that hard.
I also don’t really like the idea of differentiating between unofficial remixes and official remixes with the Bootleg status. there’s a fair amount of gray area (especially in the areas I’ve worked in), and it would hide all unofficial remixes from both the remixed and remixers page. as someone said above, the worst of both worlds.
also, if it were simply a matter of “there’s a lot to fix now”, that would be the case whichever way we go. many of the remix albums I’ve been adding and seeing added by others would have to be checked and updated. granted, I may have missed some unofficial remixes listed as bootlegs, since they’re pretty well hidden sometimes…
Right, I think I’ve gotten the semantics mixed up here. I made it confusing by using the word ‘bootleg’, which has been avoided nicely in the guidelines (“…without any participation from the credited artist…”
My issue was with seeing releases without participation from the credited artist in that artists main discography.
I do think that someone releasing their own remix probably isn’t really a ‘bootleg’… we don’t set releases with unauthorized samples etc to bootleg do we?
But I’m not very active in this area so I will leave it to the rest of you to hash out if the guidelines need clarification in this respect. Just wanted to apologise for the confusion