Performance Names and Legal Names in regards to works


I’m utterly perplexed by the rules for “Legal” and “Performance” names.

I created the Artist “Prince Niles Rodgers” as an artist to be used for writing credits for works. ISWC credits as “Prince Niles Rodgers” and thus should be documented as so.
IPI 00045620792 is "Prince Niles Rodgers"
IPI 00052210040 exist for “Prince”.
As a writing credit the artist should not be merged. If a work is documented as legal name, use it. If is a performance name, use it. In this case both are “legal” names.

In the style notes it is stated “Alternative names, including any legal names and name variations, should generally be entered as aliases”. This makes sense for artists but makes no sense for writing credits for works which are an absolute to ISWC.
There are some cases where 2 IPI artist are used, but the majority are singular.
T-072.246.935-3 Niles Rodgers Prince only.
T-070.925.470-5 Niles Rodgers Prince & Prince in 2 results.

Another example.

COSTELLO ELVIS 00035801301

At the moment musicbrainz shows this correctly, until someone decides to merge this also. Writing credits under Elvis Costello should not be “aliased” as Declan McManus, which is the case at the moment.

I can understand having a statement of “generally” allows for flexibility but at the moment it is far too flexible. Allowing for “Bob” for “Roberts” makes sense but totally stripping names or using totally incorrect information does not. Using aliases also break the composer sort fields. The rules are too open in this case and lead to inconsistent data.


First of all, what counts are the credits printed in the original liner notes.

The royalty collector browsable databases (ISWCnet, JASRAC, SACEM, etc.) just need to know which physical person to send royalties to.
This way they would expand band names to each band members even if it does make much sense, composition and lyrics wise.
They would also list several names of the same person, sometimes.
They would also list real names instead of artist names or, even worse, instead of some pen names.
They would list Public Domain (D.P.) instead of artists, once the delay has expired.

All that is good for them, they are not artist intent driven, they have a different purpose as us.
But it’s NO GOOD for us. :slight_smile:

Now if some Prince songs are credited to real name in booklet*, we have to follow that, indeed, using Artist Credits system.
It’s not yet perfect, there are tickets to improve stuff — like not having to type this or that real name or pen name by hand when it’s already in the alias list (can’t find this discussion back yet) or like showing it on the works page (MBS-8423), etc.

* For what it’s worth, it’s not the case of the very few things I own (BATMAN LP credits PRINCE and both my tape and CD of DIAMONDS AND PEARLS credit Prince And The New Power Generation).


Why wouldn’t it? It’s the same person doing the thing under a different name. Unless there’s a very clear reason why the two are different artist personas that should be kept separate, defaulting to keeping all of the artist’s production together makes absolute sense to me.