New fictitious artist "TKKG Junior"?

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There is a discussion in edit 62880508 about whether we should create a new Fictitious Artist “TKKG Junior” for the series of German childrens’ audiobooks of the same name, a spinoff from the “TKKG” series.

Quoting briefly from that discussion (more info is there) and summarising:

  • At the moment there is no consistent scheme for artist credits, because the series is written by different authors, following the style of an original creator.
  • The authors do not perform on the actual audiobooks
  • Given the nature of the audiobooks and series, this seems like a plausible case for a Fictitious Artist, and is closely comparable for the case for the similar series “Die drei ???” where a Fictitious Artist is also used

Do any more experienced editors have any opinions or advice on this?

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Why not use the normal style for audiobooks and simply add a proper series for TKKG Junior?

Is the ficticious Artist going to be used to deny the moral rights of writers and performers to be acknowledged correctly in the database?

Some clarification first: “TKKG Junior” is a series of audio dramas not audio books, so the rule to credit “Writer performed by Narrator” does not apply.

And this is where the whole trouble starts: All volumes have “Frank Gustavus” credited as the writer of the dialogue script, but some of them are based on real books written by different authors. The MB editors of a similar case, the audio drama series “Die drei ???” (200+ volumes, 10+ different book authors, 2 dialogue script writers) have chosen the approach to create a fictitious artist to solve this problem (years ago). Both series do not mention any artist on the cover or back, there is only a small hint in the booklet.

Many other (German) audio drama series handle this the same way, as you can see on the Fictitious Artist page. As you can see, I’m not happy with the way audio dramas are currently treated by MB, a guideline for audio drama artist credits would help. And we have not even started discussing how the rest of the artists should be credited: Voice actors, directors, musicians etc.

@mfmeulenbelt There is already a series TKKG Junior, but the question is who should be credited as the artist if you have a look at the list of credits from the booklet I provided in the linked edit? Is it correct to credit Stefan Wolf for new audio dramas 12 years after his death because they are based on his characters?

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I don’t see why not. We also credit composers who have been dead for centuries.

The main consideration is how we can assign the most meaningful artist for a certain release (I don’t know if that would be the performers or the writers in this case). Special purpose artists of fictitious artists are usually not very informative, they mainly exist because we don’t have enough information to assign a proper artist in some cases.

I don’t have time to really look into these cases, so I’ll keep it general: if an audio drama is an adaptation of a book, it makes sense to me to credit both the original author and the adaptor, and maybe even performers too.

This seems like artist intent.

I’m in favour of fictitious artists if it’s in line with intent, practical, makes the data (releases) findable and identifiable, and we can still add all the readers/authors/participants using relationships or include them in the artist field somewhere.

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There is also this lengthy thread about audio drama style:

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The main consideration is how we can assign the most meaningful artist for a certain release (I don’t know if that would be the performers or the writers in this case)

The writer(s), I would say. When there are a multitude of performers (in these cases 10+), putting that in the Artist field is surely not a good idea. They can of course be assigned using relationships; see this for example.

The key issue that leads to this question for me is that, in these “branded series” cases, as @kellnerd points out, the writers are not even mentioned on the front/back covers; it’s the name of the series that is given prominence, hence this discussion.

if an audio drama is an adaptation of a book, it makes sense to me to credit both the original author and the adaptor

Seems like good advice. The advice in this thread is appreciated; whilst I’m not sure we’ve reached a conclusion, so far I’m leaning towards keeping things largely as-is; that is, the Artist being the author/adaptor (Frank Gustavus), with a join phrase if necessary for some relevant person if different (e.g. “nach der Buchvorlage von Kirsten Vogel”). And possibly adding a credit for Stefan Wolf via the join phrase “nach Motiven von” (based on the concept from), although I’m far from sure whether it’s right/necessary to add the (slightly distant) Stefan Wolf credit, when he is not credited at all on the original CD inlay.
We have a couple of inconsistencies in the series so far, although easily fixed.

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Some clarification first: “TKKG Junior” is a series of audio dramas not audio books, so the rule to credit “ Writer performed by Narrator ” does not apply.

Thanks for the clarification; this is an important distinction that I’d not made clear.

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Is it correct to credit Stefan Wolf for new audio dramas 12 years after his death because they are based on his characters?

I don’t see why not. We also credit composers who have been dead for centuries.

I think the point here is that Stefan Wolf wrote neither the book nor audio adaptation, so it’s a bit of a stretch for him to be the Artist (specifically). For this case of being the designer of a “concept”, wouldn’t an appropriate Relationship be better? (I don’t think a suitable one exists today; perhaps it would be an addition to the Artist-Release Group relationship list, e.g. “based on a concept by”)

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I’m OK with this.
But only if the non-literal use of the relevant field is documented explicitly in MB documentation.
If this documentation is in place then this nonstandard use would be consistent with the other major documented nonstandard use - classical music:Composer as trackartist.

Without the MB documentation the moral rights of Artists to be identified are not being met.

If the audio drama is read from a script by A from a book by B using characters by C, then I think C (or a relevant work entity by C) belongs on a work relationship, not in an artist credit on the release.

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Good summary. Thanks.

If it’s artist intent, and it’s on the cover, I don’t believe it is non standard.

As far as I’m aware it would be more non-standard for us to come up with something new, even if it was ‘better’. At least in terms of the title and artist fields.

I think relationships, where we are not as limited as the artist field, are where the moral right of all the artists involved to be identified should be met :slight_smile:

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I’m not clear where “Artist intent” for these Releases is seen to be sourced from.

But if that can be demonstrated then I agree with you.

front cover

back cover

Please have a look at the artwork of this volume: While the series title TKKG Junior is very prominently featured on the front and on the back, you have to look very closely to find any credited person on the back. Funnily enough it is Stefan Wolf who is mentioned there @Zastai, and not Frank Gustavus the writer of the story and the dialogue script…

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Generalising from that cover has me thinking that trying to force audiodrama Releases metadata into Audiobook metadata guidelines is a suboptimal approach.

The apparently chaptered series may have fluid authors/script-writers , a fluid voice actor team, fluid directors, and the characters may each have multiple creators who make no extra contribution to any Release.

Is this a separate genre in which the concept of “main Artists” is barely relevant and a hinderance to cataloging?

If so we need new guidelines for this genre which seems to need a new approach to cataloguing.

Edit: The following is not a call to stop audiodramas, radioplays, audiobooks, being included in MusicBrainz.
However: The needs of cataloging these Audiodramas seem more like what cataloguing a TV childrens’ cartoon drama series might demand, rather than what MusicBrainz relationships easily provides.

Can we find (or imagine) a TV cartoon series that has each episode’s audio-track sold seperately as a stand-alone Release, to have this clearly visible?

Indeed; I believe it merits a separate set of guidelines.

Exactly. A great summary of why we started this discussion in the first place.

Quite possibly. Hence the original suggestion to use a Fictitious Artist (which seems to be the conclusion reached by other editors cataloguing similar series).
In that case, some clear guidelines would be helpful to define the best/accepted way (via Relationships, or another means) to give credit as appropriate (in particular to writers/adaptors)

Edit: We do, however, need to consider that this particular type of series is almost certainly a subset of audio dramas; it won’t apply to all audio dramas. There are undoubtedly audio dramas that should be treated in a similar way to the “traditional” audiobook style, metadata-wise (with a clear credited Author etc.) - albeit that with a cast of several, the performers shouldn’t go in the Artist field (“read by…”).

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For standalone audio dramas you can simply credit the writer as release and track artist, but there are also some franchises written by multiple authors where the series title outshines everything. This means that many listeners don’t even know or care about the writer of a specific volume and will search just for the series title on MB.
Especially the German label Europa (which we are discussing) has a long tradition of publishing audio drama series with dozens of volumes. In many cases a fictitious artist is used for their series on MB to prevent confusion and keep the release groups together under a single artist.

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What about using https://musicbrainz.org/artist/a0ef7e1d-44ff-4039-9435-7d5fefdeecc9 and put the performers as relationships?