Fan-Works and Original Works, how should they be Related?

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Soo, I’ve had this idea bouncing around my head for a bit, and I’m wondering if this is a proper use of Works… What if we related fan-works to what they’re fan works of?

Take, for instance, “Everything Glimmer” by Vylet Pony (ft. Chi-Chi & Namii)… It’s an original song about a character from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, but there’s not an obvious way to put this information in the database, besides maybe using folksonomy tags.

Continuing with My Little Example, I’d like to propose something like below (relationship type at the end of line):

  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (“master” work, including the TV show, movies, and spinoffs)

Could definitely use some work, (heheh), but I think it’s better than having fanworks spread across several different folksonomy tags, (mlp, my little pony, pony, and brony, and that’s just from Vylet’s page), if they’re even tagged at all.

Of course this could be applied to any kind of fanwork, not just this brony stuff, lol. I mean, there’s a ton of FNAF fan songs, and like, 90% of The Living Tombstone’s discography is original songs for various fandoms. Could even apply it to stuff like “Weird Al” Yankovic’s Star Wars themed parodies, (Yoda and The Saga Begins), or even those meme-y Minecraft and Fortnite parodies that are so popular these days. I could probably go on for a while, so I’ll just leave it at that for now…

Thank you for your time~

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For a song about a character:

As the character does not exist in MB, I would just write it in the work annotation.
If the character exists in MB as an artist, or if it would be useful to add it, I would link using the work-artist dedicated to relationship.

I generally agree that we should be able to link things like this together. I think this (currently not existing) relationship type would be appropriate for many kinds of fan works:

Unfortunately we are probably missing a lot more relationship types for this sort of “meta-work” to really be useful. We can link works together but it would also make a lot of sense to link characters, releases/release groups and other entities together.

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I was actually wondering about adding a way to link characters to a “Master/Meta Work” or whatever we might end up with. Didn’t add it to the original post because it was already getting wordy, lol

I personally don’t see much difference between “is Based On” vs. “Inspired By”, but just looking at that other thread, it seems several others might… lol Edit: I think I get it now. If you can use this relationship with any entity, “is Based On” doesn’t make grammatical sense anyways.

I suppose that’s an option… “Dedicated to” has always felt a bit more structured and formal than just, “This is a song about someone”, but that may just be me…

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I think that currently the best thing is to create a Series of releases that encompasses everything related to a show.
That’s what I’ve seen for anime, at least.
I’m not sure if one could link artists to Series, this would be ideal and achieve something similar

Can confirm, I have seen this done several times, and I’ve even made such a series.

However, this isn’t about a question about release group series, this is a discussion on connecting Works (the conceptual kind, like a song, soundtrack, movie, book, anime series, etc.) and fan-made music based on it, (quite likely in addition to said RG series).

Although, it might be worth looking into a work series, I don’t know…

Also, I think I get “Inspired by” now…

Quote, compressed for space

(…also because I wanted to try out this feature, lol)

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Video games might be a good example to start from, as there’s quite a lot already entered like this:

Note that the wider ‘brand’ is a series, then each game is work, and each track from their soundtracks is a part.

I think some of what you’re proposing to do as a work might be better handled as series (which is great for linking together heaps of stuff) but you’re the expert so go for what works best :+1:

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This sounds like a quite reasonable structure. But we are missing many relationship types to make this really comprehensive.

For example, it would often make sense to associate specific releases or release groups with a game (or TV show, or movie, or whatever). But there is not any way to link either a release or a release group to a work.

We could create a release (or release group) series for the associated entities, but that can’t be linked to a work either except with a nonsense “commissioned by” relation.

There is no appropriate relationship types to link characters to the work (or the “brand” series when that would also make sense for recurring characters).

I agree we are in desperate need of this relationship.
It could even be a relationship Artist-Series as in “This character comes from this videogame/show/movie” but I don’t know if this structure is the best approach for it.

We are using games/anime/shows series as a base so it makes sense to me that we need to be able to link artists to those.

I actually quite like that. I was just earlier today thinking about putting together a works series like this, good to know this kinda thing has been done before.

Actually, if we’re working with a series, couldn’t we make a release group series or three and add them as subseries? I’ve already done that kind of thing in the K-ON! release group series, (bottom of the page). Granted, that’s a subseries of a release group series, but I think it works the same way… I guess we might also be missing the Characters connection and even the Writer credit, (if applicable) in going with a Series over a Work…

Either way, back to my original question, how might we then link Fan-works to the Works Series?


Just to make sure, when you mean Fan-works do you mean something like this?

A doujin album with fan arranges from an official series

In particular, I was initially thinking about original or mostly original songs based on another work (game, movie, TV show, whatever). Some specific examples:

However, this could also probably apply to many other things, like parodies (as mentioned earlier) and maybe Doujin works. I’m not too familiar with doujin, but reading through this thread, it reminds me a little bit of parts of the brony music scene back in the day…

Edit to prevent double-posting: An idea that I thought of that I’m not quite happy with, we could add fanworks to a subseries of the main series (like the one aerozol mentioned). Since the works could maybe be considered a catalogue or collection of similar works. It feels a bit odd to do it this way, but then again, a lot of MusicBrainz is a bit odd…

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I thought about this too, but I don’t know the subject matter enough…

Is it that strange to do it that way though? ‘Work’ is an equally confusing term for a lot of people so it’s potentially just as good (a.k.a. bad :grin:). Series are easy to add and as long as someone can follow the thread of [release] > [related fan stuff] > [parent entity] without too much trouble it seems like a job well done? Just some thoughts.

I feel like a Series would not be appropriate for this, as they’re not made in a serial fashion (ie., the individual entries are not made to be related to each other, even if they may be related to the same thing). A Collection seems like a more appropriate thing here, though obviously less “official” in it not being an entity.

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I’m not sure collections are useful outside of personal use, as it’s so tucked away on the release pages. If the idea is to display to any user a web of linked data to browse through when they visit one release.

But if it doesn’t have to be that visible or formal I have been using tags to relate some fan/related works as I come across them, v. easy and quick:


I fully agree, but collections could be a decent stopgap until we get a better relationship type for this or a better series or something… That way we can collect works to be tagged properly later, once there is a proper way. I may actually start a few such collections myself…

Tags can work decently, as long as there’s some agreement as to which tags to use. Silent Hill and Jet Set Radio are pretty good examples, but I’ve run into issues with multiple and inconsistent tags, especially if you’ve got to deal with fandom names too.

In my MLP example in my original post, for instance, we’ve got:

  • my little pony - the name of the show (technically not even the full name, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic)
  • mlp - an acronym for the show’s name
  • mlp:fim - another acronym for the show’s name, only used once in the DB though
  • brony - the name of the fandom
  • pony - a common name for music and other works from the fandom (as in “pony” music)

I suppose some of the tags in my example have slightly different meanings, with the latter two being more fan-oriented, and the last one could be tagged totally unrelated. Like, maybe someone wants to tag anything related to ponies (but not the brony kind), such as I Have a Pony or PONY (a Japanese label), or something.

Although, I can definitely see some acronym-ism happening with Five Nights at Freddy’s/FNAF, and many other series, especially those with longer titles, (although nothing’s been tagged fnaf or five nights at freddy’s as of yet). Might also have to deal with different scripts too, if we’re talking an international fandom. For what it’s worth, I personally try to steer clear of acronyms, as they can be ambiguous at best.


I like tags because they’re super simple and user friendly, but if you want to be able to control or vote on what’s added to your ‘grouping’ then I think tags are off the table. If that’s the case your options are probably series or collections :thinking:

There is still this:
You can still vote tags down on some undesirable items and they won’t be shown to you any more, unless you click show also down-voted tags, or something.

You could also create collaborative collections

I guess what would be needed is an new open collection type, where anyone could edit it, without the list of collaborators.