Possible "legal name" relationship rephrasing [STYLE-2328]

In STYLE-2328 @yindesu suggests renaming “legal name” to “performance name of”, in the current “performs as” relationship, since:

On one side, “performs as (from 1999 until 2001)” makes sense. On the other side, “legal name (from 1999 until 2021)” does not.

That does seem like a fair criticism, and I don’t feel “performance name of” is a bad option:

Richard D. James (British electronic musician)'s page would still show “performs as: Aphex Twin (UK electronic musician and DJ)”
Aphex Twin (UK electronic musician and DJ)'s page would show “performance name of: Richard D. James (British electronic musician)” rather than the current “legal name: Richard D. James (British electronic musician)”

This seems like it would also make the current usage where, if we do not know the legal name (because the artist hides it, for example), we link other performance names to the most common one look a bit more legitimate.

I would then also consider rewording the guideline from:

Take care to always link from the legal name of a person to his/her performance name, and do not create links between different performance names of the same person.

to something like:

If known, always link from the legal name of a person to their performance name, and do not create links between different performance names of the same person. If the legal name is not currently known, pick one performance name (ideally the most prominent) and link all other performance names to it (but not between themselves).

Does anyone think this is a bad idea and/or could cause problems I’m not seeing?


This seems like it may also remove a potential source of confusion where “legal name” relationships and “legal name” aliases are displayed nearly identically on artist overview pages: as far as I can tell, the only difference is that the former case displays the name as a hyperlink while the latter case doesn’t.

With this change, a relationship would appear as “Performance name of: Richard D. James”, while I suspect that an alias would still appear as “Legal name: Richard D. James”. Is that correct?

1 Like

I like the idea, and the flexibility afforded by being able to link performance names for artists with unknown legal name is very useful.

Redefining relationships like that could possibly be breaking data consumers that rely on the current semantics (e.g. to show their own “legal name” field somewhere). Maybe it would be better to deprecate the relationship and create a new one with the fixed semantics?

100% yes~

this is already how I’ve been using this relationship, for the most part, save for a couple times where I’ve created a new artist to be a placeholder for a legal name when that’s not known

I do think we should prefer to link everything to a legal name, which is already kinda implied in the OP.

if we do want some example artists for an unknown legal name, I’ve got one here (might be able to come up with more, if needed)

1 Like

I considered this, but honestly, our users have already been using this relationship like that as it is, so I’m not sure it’ll break anything not already broken :slight_smile:


i’ve been secretly wishing for a change like this for a while! i think it’d be good.

i do have one question: under this new relationship, would it be preferred to use only part of the ‘real name’ for a new entry like i’ve been doing (for example, having an artist called Kevin because we don’t know a last name, or something like K. Garcia when we don’t know a first name), or should we now just use the main performance name for this?

obligatory teethfairy $WAGGOT example:


I dunno? :slight_smile: I would probably think it’s fine to have a legal name artist if we know part of the legal name - I’d certainly do so for Initial + Surname, I wouldn’t be that sure about first name only, but it probably does not hurt.


Thanks for the feedback! I got sidetracked, but the change is now live.


it looks like the relationships page got updated…

…but the overview page still says “Legal name”


Ooh, that’s hardcoded, good catch. Added [MBS-13160] Rename "legal name" on artist overview to "performance name of" - MetaBrainz JIRA for it, will fix it.