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

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.


If you want to send someone to a collection - e.g. you’re linking people to your collection of MLP fan works - then I think they’re great.

If the idea is to contribute to a public database where anyone visits one release, and then sees what they’re linked to and can explore related releases, then I think collections doesn’t achieve that. ‘Other collections’ is literally the least visible thing on the release page, and that’s saying something :stuck_out_tongue:

(note: I’m not saying we should make collections more visible, just that they might not be appropriate for the task)

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I guess by now this is a lot bigger a question than just how to relate fan works to original works. We also don’t really have a way at the moment to say even “this is part of the Star Wars franchise” or anything like that. I’m honestly not sure there’s a good way to do that other than just tagging that won’t require a new entity type, though, and I’m not sure such an entity type makes sense right now.

I’d love to have some sort of transmedia franchise entity that can link to both MusicBrainz and BookBrainz though…


FYI, some editors are already using Series to store franchises that aren’t exactly serial in nature. Should those be removed?

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The automatic series chronological order is still quite relevant, though, no?


Have done this similarly using parody and character as namespaces taking inspiration from imageboards and other tagging based sites:

If the vote count on a tag drops below 1 it will be hidden for everyone else too. Right now there is no way bypass it (except using advanced search) and show all tagged items regardless of vote count.


Thank y’all for all your replies!

That’s my idea exactly! I suppose tags can work for now though, I’ll just be sure to be consistent with my tagging… :wink:

That would be quite nice. It looks like someone’s already opened a ticket for (part of) that:

…although, for this, I might personally prefer:

I actually really like how imageboard tagging works, and it seems like it could be quite flexible. For example, in addition to franchise and fandom, you could also tag themes, mood, stylistic elements, and much more, depending on how flexible we make it.

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I like that but I also like the tidy organization that VGMDB uses for franchises, and the color coding for releases seems quite useful too. It could prove useful if the idea ever gets implemented

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Related ticket:

resurrecting this topic as it’s still on my mind, and I’ve got a new situation

so there’s this fanfiction, Fallout: Equestria… it’s in MusicBrainz as there’s multiple audiobooks and audio dramas (yet to be added). there’s also many derivative works based on this fanfic, including songs. many of the songs by the group The Wasteland Wailers, for example.

since both entities are within the scope of MusicBrainz, how should they be related? simply a “based on” relationship? should they only be related if the song is directly based off events, locations, or characters in the story, or would a song based on the world be related too?

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