When to use Aliases for artist name

relationships
Tags: #<Tag:0x00007f23c567a0a8>

#1

Hi all,

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.
[snip examples]
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.
[snip examples]

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.


#2

PS. It seems i cannot link to the discussions hosted on musicbrainz, but perhaps it is better that way…

Here is the documentation arising our discordance however: https://musicbrainz.org/doc/Style/Artist#Performance_names_and_legal_names

(i see, litigation has a very strong meaning in english, sorry about that… it’s just that we cannot agree on the documentation really :slight_smile: changed it for “discordance”)


Unable to link a MusicBrainz hosted discussion
#4

Let’s try again! :slight_smile:
https://musicbrainz.org/edit/37760786


#5

It is a bit hard to tell as there is not much information about that artist available.

In general the guideline does say that both a separate artist for the legal name and an alias are possible. An alias is appropriate if the performance name really is a synonym for the person itself, as it is e.g. the case with Alice Cooper. On the other hand some artists, even solo artists, have different music projects with different names. In this case it makes sense to have different artists in MB and link the projects to the legal person.

I am not entirely sure where this case falls into, as I don’t know the artist in question. Given the discography on http://sakrecoer.com/discography/ it looks to me that this is really meant to be a single project, but with different artist names used on the releases. So maybe merging all those separate artists (reSet Sakrecoer, Sakrecoer, Simio Sakrecoer) together and using aliases and release credits would be appropriate. But maybe there is a good reason for the artist to be different on the releases, e.g. there are different performers involved.

Maybe you or @stupidname can give some more background on the artist and how/why different names are used. So far I have only seen you argue about the guideline, both of you quoting the part you think is relevant. But without knowing more about the artist the guideline does not tell you which way is correct.


#6

Hi all,

Maybe i can help? I’d be happy to verify my identity in any way i can. PGP signing or adding a txt file to my server, you name it. Basspistol and i are working together, so i’ve been aware of this since start but had other fish to fry.

About the names: I’m not interested in sticking to a specific genre, but concert-bookers get confused when they find things that doesn’t sound like they expect. So i decided to imagine my act as a family, where all the “brothers” (alter-egos) from the “Sakrecoer Family” would stick to their genre. That way i could tell bookers for pop concerts to look up reSet Sakrecoer, clubbing bookers to look for Simio Sakrecoer and so on… But i came to the conclusion that it was just adding confusion to my already complicated artist name and seeing that bookers weren’t exactly running to my mailbox anyways, i decided to go ahead with just “Sakrecoer” around 2014.

My legal-name isn’t a name i’m planning to use for projects, but i wouldn’t exclude it in the future. So i think @stupidname makes sense. But there is a “but”, this hole thing started when i realized that my legal-name was displayed when searching for any of my active/known artist-name in google and brought it up with basspistol. It is a no-brainer for anyone with internet to find out most legal aspects of my life: the legal-name is written on my about page. yet i’m bothered about this because i feel it is wrong: My legal-name isn’t my artist name.

If anything has to be merged, i would very much like to see “reSet Sakrecoer” and “Simio Sakrecoer” merged as aliases of "Sakrecoer. I think that is what makes the most sense. My legal-name isn’t being an artist-name, and reading the documentation, i think i would agree with @basspistol : I understand my legal-name isn’t an alias of my artist-name. But if this boils down to exactitude, the legal-name isn’t an artist-name since until this day i haven’t released anything under it.

I hope this will be helpful, and insist that i have no hard feelings about all this. AFAIK it, Musicbrainz is a beautiful collective effort and all i wish for it is accuracy, long-life and more awesomeness. If i understand the nature of internet right, i will probably never be able to control the information about me available. And certainly not if i publish it myself.


#7

Thanks for the clarification.

If “Simio Sakrecoer” and “reSet Sakrecoer” aren’t intended to be different projects, I think the right thing would be to merge all four artists.


#8

After reading, searching, thinking and observing, i think the Alice Cooper example that @outsidecontext mentions is the way to go: that is, since there are no works under my legal-name, it should be presented as is “Alice Cooper, Vincent Damon Furnier” is. I think this is the same as the snoop dog example @stupidname links to in the edit discussion, where the legal-name having works attached to it is an artist entry, and the full legal name is an alias. (assuming it is not a link because it is an alias.) So if i had to chose, i would merge all names including legal-names into Sakrecoer.

This said, I will not vote on the edit, because i feel it’s not up to me to influence how data should be in musicbrainz, and my stance on this will probably never be seen as neutral no matter how detached i might claim to feel.

To finish with a personal opinion, i think the legal-name should not be considered the parent-node of all alternative performance/artist names, simply because I’m sure there are artists out there that would be devastated to have their legal-name revealed (in some cases for politcaly active artists it may be a question of life or death) and an alias seems easier to remove without modifying the database than an artist entry.


#9

Yes and no, here is where i don’t join you: there aren’t "four artists"
There are three artists and one legal-person.


#10

Thank you very much for your input and for your respect for the way MusicBrainz handles the data.

For that reason I don’t quite understand Google’s use of the legal name. You are not the first who struggles with this. Not sure whether there is some official contact between Google and MB were this could be discussed. Maybe directly via @rob .


#11

Whether an artist has credits under their legal name doesn’t really matter here. As the style guidelines say, if an artist has multiple projects, they should all be linked to a legal name artist using this relationship. That artist doesn’t need any other reason to exist.

Well, they’re four artist entities in MusicBrainz. :slight_smile:


#12

[quote=“stupidname, post:11, topic:4922, full:true”]

Whether an artist has credits under their legal name doesn’t really matter here. As the style guidelines say, if an artist has multiple projects, they should all be linked to a legal name artist using this relationship. That artist doesn’t need any other reason to exist. [/quote]

That paragraph seems to say things that works for both you and @basspistol but still you can’t agree on it.

The reason @basspistol tried to “correct” it, is because i clearly expressed it is wrong: My legal person is not a music artist.

I think i definitely read this in that article:
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.

I also think @basspistol also made it clear in the edit discussion, that i have no project under my legal name, hence i have no legal name artist.

Anyways, let the votes decide…


#13

… of course, if you are saying that all 4 entries should be merged into Sakrecoer, i agree.

edit: no actually i don’t dissagree with what you are writing: i’m just lost. i am indeed a person and not a band. And the documentation seems to consider this case as you interpret it, and not as @basspistol does.

I think this is too close to me to be neutral, like i stated above. If have to be sincere, i’m uncomfortable with the idea that my legal-name would become my artist name in any situation. If i liked it, i wouldn’t have a different artist name in the first place. I leave it here for you experts.


#14

That’s exactly what I’m saying. :slight_smile:


#15

Google people have told us specifically “It is intentional that the different personas are linked to a single entity”. I’m not sure about the use of one name over the other though.


#16

oh, would you mind explaining what i am doing wrong in the edit? http://musicbrainz.org/edit/37760786 The intention was to merge “Set Hallström” into “Sakrecoer”. Not to make Sacrecoer the legal name, that would make no sense. :slight_smile:

Let me know so i can cancel it and do it right :slight_smile:


#17

ok, i think i get it: the fault is that i selected the option: “Rename artist and relationship credits: Yes”

Is that right?


#18

I have a preference not to merge legal name entries.
These are incredibly useful when trying to work out writing credits as the works databases use these artist names and ipi numbers.
Having just the one entry can make it harder when someone writes a song for someone else and they are not performing on the song.

If it makes sense to merge artist names it can make sense a lot of the time but I would look at it on a case by case basis as sometimes things are complex.
Occasionally something may start as a solo project, then change to a group then the original artist leaves so things can get messy some times.


#19

That, and you should merge the two other artist entities too, so that the final result is one artist entity instead of the current four. Having ‘“Sacrecoer” is the legal name of “Simio Sakrecoer”’ is just wrong and is what the result would be had that edit gone through.


#20

Yes, having Sakrecoer as the legal name was not the intention of my edit.
I’ll cancel the edit and while am at it, i applause @stupidname’s hawk-eye for the good catch! :slight_smile:

Thanks every one for your time and advises.


#21

That does not effect the changes we are doing, but I think there is a slight misunderstanding what an “artist” in MusicBrainz actually is. It is completely possible for an “artist” entry in MB to exist without having any releases. And in some cases it makes a lot of sense to separate the person from any music project that person is involved, often leading to an otherwise empty artist entry just representing this person and linked to the various roles that person has in producing music.