Is there a preference for legal or performance names in writing and performance credits?

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This has surely been discussed, but I am not entirely clear yet how to handle this. Here is my example:

Lyricist of the work is Manuela Kamosi, and the recording vocals are attributed to Ya Kid K. However, these are the legal name and performance name respectively of the same person. Same story goes for work composer Thomas de Quincy which is the performance alias of producer Jo Bogaert.

My questions are: 1) Does MB have a preference for legal or performance name? and 2) Does the same preference apply at the work and the recording level?



I use the preference of the printed credits and use the booklets.

Some artists use their legal name for credits, and in other cases (more and more rare nowadays), some artists use pen names for work credits.


And sometimes the artists credit themselves differently for the same things in different places, which makes it extra fun to figure out. But yes, generally what @jesus2099 says.

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Yes if there is no artist intent on the naming of the credits, in the original album and single, we are quite free to use the artist without credited as name.

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OK, thanks. That simplifies things. Out of curiosity: Doesn’t that incur the risk of scattering artist credits over several synonymous MB entities?


It certainly does. Something I’ve been trying to come up with a passable solution for, when tagging. But it’s not always simple.

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As long as it’s artist credits (instead of different artist entities), I don’t think that’s a big problem. For my own collection I have set up Picard to use standardised artist names

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Maybe it’s a matter of the genres I edit a lot, but I run into many cases where it’s not possible to just use ACs.

well, the other thing to consider is -
Writers credited on a recording are not the same thing as the writers credited to a work. This is especially true in “contemporary” music.

What I mean is - you open up a rights society (such as BMI or ASCAP) and you see a work was written by 7 people. But you look at the liner notes and see only 2 writers listed. In most cases (for contemporary music) the two writers will be band members.
Are we going to ignore the others because they weren’t listed on an album cover? Of course not.

So, if we aren’t going to ignore those other writers when we create a work, then we would need to also not ignore that the stage name credited on an album is not the same as the legal name credited on the actual work.

What are the roles of missing credits?
It’s unusual, do you have a particular example to show?

The primary purpose of the rights society databases is keeping track of how royalties are distributed. These databases are very useful but should not be considered authoritative for determining authorship of a work.

This is especially important to keep in mind in cases where the writers are dead or copyright has expired.


It is also quite common for a band to have two people actually write a track, but the Rights Society has a list of all the band members names as they are sharing the royalties equally for all of their music.

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No, not without searching.
As with many things, you may find it less since the switch to digital, as bytes allow endless possibilities. But you certainly found it more in the analog (vinyl) days where print media was limited to physical size and sometimes cost ‘per letter’.

I think it’s also common for the rights societies to include co-writers whose works were sampled, but those aren’t necessarily credited as such (or at all) on the release itself.

Please always show concrete examples.
There is no general answer to all cases, except the booklet (original album or single) is better, in general.

and most of that is a discussion for another topic.
but the point was - you see that a work is written by a legal name, not the artist name that gets printed on a recording’s sleeve or the press in magazine articles.

Yes, but that question has already been answered, even in the discussion the original poster linked to in the first post.

Rights societies can really screw things up.
One thing that I found a while ago was daft punk and Guy‐Manuel de Homem‐Christo.
There are 4 IPI numbers and 5 or 6 variations on his name as recorded in rights societies databases ie and others.

There can also be some inconsistencies that you occasionally get one album credited as the performer alias and the second album credited as the legal name.
I think this may have happened with moby and Richard Melville Hall.

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