Recently in another topic, the Aliases for artist name was brought to my attention. In the issue i was presenting, 2 musicbrainz editors recommended me to merge a legal-name into aliases and one was opposed to it. Reading about the use of aliases didn't make things clearer, so i refrained from merging, but then in an edit discussion, i was presented with 3rd editor who gave me a rule a thumb that i thought made sense in relation to how i interpretated the documentation:
It used to be, that you had to have a separate entry for a legal name relationship. Now the alias feature was expanded to work like yhat, too. Rule of thumb: If an artist uses their real name for different things, add a separate entry. If all you need is to add a legal name, stick to aliases.
So i proceeded to merge.
Now, the edit was down-voted by the same user that was against it in the forum thread, and we are having a discordance in how we interpret the documentation, specifically the paragraph that stipulates:
Performance names and legal names
Generally, use the name the artist mainly performs under as the artist name. Alternative names, including any legal names and name variations, should generally be entered as aliases, and can be used in artist credits and relationship credits when appropriate.
In some cases, a person (or, more rarely, a group) can perform under multiple names that they actually consider different projects, and not just alternative names. In that case, you should add each artist separately. If they're a person, a separate legal name artist should be added, and linked to all performance names with the is person ("performs as") relationship. In this case, do not add legal name aliases to the performance names. For groups, just link each group to their members.
Our discussion has reached a point where we just can't agree on that article and so we are getting nowhere, except that since there is only one vote, no matter what is right or what is wrong the user will have it its way.
Now, please, rest assured i'm not looking for solidarity in a cause, a witch hunt or anything nasty like that. It's a matter of data-consistency and understanding what is the right way and what is not. I find it difficult to take the interpretation of one sole user to be the the right interpretation. So i want to ask you all to clear this matter up once and for all, and I would gladly be proven wrong.
So my question: If a legal-name has no recordings, no releases, no work attached to it, should it be a linkable artist-entry or an alias?
Hopefully this thread will clear up my understanding of the documentation and perhaps improve it.
Thank you for your time.