Label question imprint vs company


I just added some relationships to this release:

There are other edits there as well, feel free to comment as needed, but this is in relation to the use of “Flow Music” as the release label and the P and C credits.

Flow Music is the release label, verified by the logo appearing on the back cover to make it easy. Now, “Flow Music Inc” is the holder of the P and C for the release, also verified on the back cover. So do I need to create a separate label entity for the “Inc”? I reused the same entity as used for the label, just wanting to make sure that is correct.

I assume this means having more knowledge than I have on the label, meaning is Flow Music actually an imprint on its own, or is it integrated into the company. But I do not know this.


One of the weak spots in MB is around Label naming.

If some-else starts another label named “Flow Music, Reggaeton Ego”, you and they would both be right and we’d have duplicate labels.

With the Inc., I don’t know. Would be necessary if “Flow Music Inc.” release on another Label as well.


In this case, I am questioning its use as an imprint vs label. When MB asks for the “label” on the release page, it is really asking for the imprint, not the label… as I have understood it now. So when I apply such thing to a copyright, I am not using the imprint, but the label. Sometimes, they can be the same, and sometimes not. All imprints are labels, not not all labels are imprints.

So we have error using non-imprints as release labels, so I am looking to avoid using imprints as copyright holders… if that makes sense. I am using those terms very loosely, but I hope you see my intentions here.


I think I do.

(In part to see if others can come up with reasons why not but also because I currently think it would be better I’ll pretend to fervour and certainty in my following statement. )

You must make a separate entity for the Inc. - it is not the same as the label-imprint!

(Note to new users: Ordering other editors around is not how we usually do things here. If thwaller doesn’t see the humour I beg his forgiveness.)


I believe I am following you. But just in case, you are in fact saying that there should be a separate entity created for “Flow Music” and “Flow Music Inc”? I believe before I questioned it, that is what I did, but need to verify. I was just waiting on an actual answer before looking for any needed final changes.

I am trying to apply what I have learned thus far… When MB asks for “Label” on a release, what is really asked for is “imprint”. But, in some cases, there is no dedicated imprint, so a company of some type is used, as the imprint has not been separated from the company. So, I figure the way I do it (yes sarcasm intended) is that the logos on a physical release tell what to use there, and for digital releases, there is no label (imprint), because a digital release has no printed logo on the back cover.

So learning that, the non sarasm portion, the same logic I think may apply the other way. An imprint is not a company, just a brand, so a brand I assume would not be used as a copyright holder, but that would be a company. So this would imply that we need an entity for the imprint + entity for the company behind the imprint… assuming that what is used as ‘release label’ is of type imprint.


As I understand it, the logic behind “use imprint for release label” is intended to cover cases where the imprint and the parent company are clearly distinct. Columbia was once an independent company (both imprint and, potentially, copyright holder) but now the catalog is owned by Sony Music; Sony continues to release product under the Columbia name, which is now an imprint. So my reading is that the guideline simply says to use Columbia, not Sony Music Inc., as the release label in such cases.

The only argument I would make against mmirG’s rhetorical position is that having two similarly named label entities will be confusing to new editors, who may end up picking the wrong one (or simply throwing up their hands and not entering a label at all).


I an thinking that is all correct, or mostly correct, as well. This is not the place to discuss the release label directly, but it is related as the logic used there is a factor as this is the other side of it. I agree having two is confusing, all the label stuff is confusing due to the lack of definition and clarity. But I am hoping to fix that, at least partially.

For the release label, what should be asked for is the ‘imprint, or label if there is no imprint’… at least as I understand it. I have also the information that the type ‘publisher’ is to be applied to works only, not releases or recordings. So, assuming this is all good and fine, the distinction here is that the label entity of type imprint is different than one with another type, thus a distinction between the duplicate here, one is of type imprint and the other of type _____. But, then I question is that really the case or not?

How do I determine if the imprint is actually separate, or separate enough, from the company behind it? This is stuff here that I do not know. I know of the “record company”, which is also what is commonly shared for releases. But if that is an imprint, a company or an alien, no idea and personally I never cared, just as long as I know who is behind the release, and that has always satisfied any needs I have had… and I know how to identify it easily as it is made easy to do so.

So, how do determine this? Do I need a new entity or not? In this case, after checking, it appears I have used the same entity, copyright and imprint. So to the point of my query, how do I know if that is right, or if I need to create a new one as “the company behind the imprint”?


Also to address this, fmera often adds stuff (and some others too) to the label entities that say things like “not for release label use”, etc. This is a huge help, but I agree that more can and should be done. This might be a sep topic to start, what might be added to assist on this.


You just have to decide who you trust more, me or mmirG. :slightly_smiling_face:

Honestly, though, I think this is a judgement call; neither way is objectively wrong. I do agree that if you make a separate entity for the publisher, a ‘not for release’ disambiguation would be helpful.


LOL! I would not be that harsh… I agree on judgement call, thus looking for opinion here. The old me, meaning before one of the auto editors pounded this stuff in my head, would say just use the same one for both, as long as the name is right, so what. But now, I almost think it better to create a new one for it, but I would honestly be unsure of a type to assign to it. I did on another release create a new one, and added the ‘not for release label use’ to disambiguation, but as I say that, I am also against a messy database.

My issue, as a large portion of my life has been in technology in some way, is that data needs clear definition and structure, or the result will be a mess. Once you give someone set options or narrow things down further into details, you need to be prepared to have cases where the system fails, because it will fail. That is what I try to do in the forum here, point out a failure, or a possible or slight failure, and get a guideline set to resolve it. Unstructured data tends to be more complete, but is hard to use. Structured data creates failures and technical issues… so you need a median.

In this case, if I needed to pick one ‘right’ solution, I think adding a new entity is best. But, devil’s advocate on myself is … how do you know that the imprint is actually separate from the company as it relates to Flow Music? That is the deciding factor and the answer is not clear, making the information hard to enter as the guidelines as for definition unknown to me as the editor. So now we have you who would use the same, mmirG who I assume would create new, etc. The result is no consistency. Even me, I did one creating new and one (this one) using the same.

On a side note… I get it and am not complaining. I was involved in the creation of a few corporate ERP type databases, and it is a larger project that many people can imagine to define structures and attributes for data entities. So I understand, just trying to work in the system the best way for MB.


In favour of a new entity for Inc.:
I suggest that your question,
“how do you know that the imprint is actually separate from the company?” ,
is better flipped into,
“how do you know that the imprint is actually the same as the company?”

In general, when we aren’t confident on merging we keep entities separated.

(My take on MB is that sooner or later AI will be able to do as good a job as humans can - but only (at first) if we can tell the AI what to do.
I applaud, “That is what I try to do in the forum here, point out a failure, or a possible or slight failure, and get a guideline set to resolve it.”)


Although worded in a different way, that is exactly my question / point.

I am however unsure the extent of a role AI can play. Given the nature of binary logic and decision trees and such things, I think there is often too much fault, inconsistency, etc. If I were to write a script that would import metadata from iTunes files, for example, some of our label people would reject nearly all of the inputs for the release label… because what MB wants (the imprint) is not what is used as the “label” there. Then, move away from iTunes and who knows exactly what they use in the metadata, if the label is even there. But, AI could in fact help a lot by taking that iTunes data, properly mapped to its place in MB, and properly place it… as we still have editors using the iTunes listed P holder as the release label… only point with that (not blame) is that AI would know better after being told once.