The problem with that approach is that on MB we are very often taking a fellow editor’s claim that, “I saw it”, as reliable evidence - as in the editor’s statement is taken to form a reliable source.
And I think it would be better to continue to treat each-other that way if that can be done with no more than reasonable effort.
Having made editing mistakes myself and seen many many more by other editors I know that we all make mistakes. So I can see that there is a real possibility that the editor involved made a mis-interpretation of the situation and genuinely thought once, and remembers still, that those Discogs numbers are the same as these release’s catalogue numbers.
Or maybe they actually are right. Just like they are almost always.
The benefits of contacting the label directly and asking them include:
- If they reply we will have very good evidence for what goes into the database.
- Doing so brings some attention to Musicbrainz from the label owners.
- Getting much better evidence creates a good example to the rest of us of one way to use conflicts creatively.
- It demonstrates respect for the editor who you think is mistaken - they can say, “Wow, that sure is different to how I remember it, but that must be right cause it is coming from the label”. Or you get to say, “Well I’m glad we did that cause I was headed down the garden path. Those Discogs numbers actually are the catalogue numbers! Aren’t label people strange.”
And if the label doesn’t respond then we’ve got the weaker evidence that we could fall back on to come to a (provisional) lower confidence conclusion.
Provisional? Lower confidence? Yeah cause if the label eventually clarifies the catalogue numbering system then that would be better evidence and out-weigh our conclusions.