Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Ethics problem Discogs Database

GUEST,Alan Ross 24 Jul 15 - 10:11 AM
Steve Gardham 24 Jul 15 - 04:13 PM
GUEST 24 Jul 15 - 04:35 PM
GUEST,Professor 24 Jul 15 - 06:56 PM
GUEST,Alan Ross 24 Jul 15 - 07:38 PM
GUEST,Prof 24 Jul 15 - 09:01 PM
GUEST,Prof 24 Jul 15 - 10:09 PM
Joe Offer 24 Jul 15 - 10:15 PM
GUEST,Alan Ross 24 Jul 15 - 11:30 PM
GUEST,Prof 25 Jul 15 - 03:30 PM
GUEST,Prof 25 Jul 15 - 03:33 PM
GUEST 25 Jul 15 - 06:15 PM
GUEST,Prof 25 Jul 15 - 07:28 PM
GUEST,Alan Ross 25 Jul 15 - 08:44 PM
GUEST,Prof 25 Jul 15 - 10:00 PM
GUEST,alan ross 26 Jul 15 - 11:59 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Ethics problem Discogs Database
From: GUEST,Alan Ross
Date: 24 Jul 15 - 10:11 AM

Sorry to bother you Mudcatters but I have a moral dilemma with Discogs and other similar sites archiving cover and label information, and photographs of releases.

The problem is that a good many releases using my late father's songs, and that of almost every other songwriter - contain errors total misprints, and false credits.   In many cases the royalties were correctly assigned, but the covers or labels were wrong (sometimes just printing errors or other staff errors).

These sites give spaces for contributors to put songwriter information, which is then put down as fact. If you are a songwriter or relative of the person who wrote it and control the songs or have access to a database proving authorship, and no copyright dispute exists.... Should you put down the correct author or reproduce the original label as in the physical product even if you know its completely wrong?

The reason I am querying this is that I fought long and hard to get future pressings of releases altered, and alterations made to registrations when mistakes had been made. If people take information off long deleted releases that are suddenly being spread on Record Collector databases, then it's bringing back errors that had been corrected.

I am adding some of the albums that have my father's material to the discogs site - many were correct but equally some albums and singles went out with these errors.

So is it ethical to put in the correct author/composer (I'm not taking about rumors, or every average Joe doing it - but I mean if you own the song and know it was wrong/misprinted?

For years I used something called 'Moral rights' (the right to be correctly identified) on behalf of the writer, but the Internet has changed all that.

This information on the song can find its way onto Google or other recording artists might take it as fact.

So what would you do?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ethics problem Discogs Database
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Jul 15 - 04:13 PM

Send corrections to the appropriate site wherever you come across errors. Most webmasters will make corrections if verified. I know what Richie does on his website. If someone disputes a fact he has repeated onto his website from elsewhere, he will normally add a rider to the original statement something to the effect that 'Steve Gardham claims ............ Most webmasters are keen to keep their websites up-to-date and accurate.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ethics problem Discogs Database
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jul 15 - 04:35 PM

A difficult one historical truth versus historical truth. The historical truth that you are reproducing an image and facts about a release with its credits. But the credits may have been misprinted, and were in many cases wrong due to simple errors. So as a songwriter who knows the truth. when you own the song.. and had the product officially changed - do you leave it in error when Google will pick up the error and the song be linked to a wrong writer or do you put in the corrected credit in the appropriate space? Discogs is this on-line archive of Album/ single images and information on releases plus items for sale and there are other similar sites.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ethics problem Discogs Database
From: GUEST,Professor
Date: 24 Jul 15 - 06:56 PM

"These sites give spaces for contributors to put songwriter information, which is then put down as fact."
Discogs captures all music graphic artwork as released and collected on the world market. It is less a music database than a graphic arts MMORPG. Banish the thought it is any more "real" than a Comicon convention and you'll be okay.

"Should you put down the correct author or reproduce the original label as in the physical product even if you know its completely wrong?"
Your Mantra Is: "As appears on release."
Real world content is almost irrelevant. Upload a complete image set (eg: front, back and center labels for vinyl) and transcribe all credits found thereon. This will discourage (but not prevent) incorrect edits and "hijacked" submissions.


"...I fought long and hard to get future pressings of releases altered, and alterations made to registrations when mistakes had been made. If people take information off long deleted releases that are suddenly being spread on Record Collector databases, then it's bringing back errors that had been corrected."
Any repress/reissue artwork you manage to have corrected will, de jure, be a new and unique submission to the database. Be sure to link them on the master release page where appropriate.

Bottom line: It's social media, just like Mudcat, and +60% of internet traffic isn't even human, just bots copy/pasting other bots.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ethics problem Discogs Database
From: GUEST,Alan Ross
Date: 24 Jul 15 - 07:38 PM

The problem is that the release may be wrongly credited on the sleeve/label, but the registration and copyright correctly held. It's often printer's errors or record company cock ups. It's not hijacked content, or copyright disputes - but original errors on the releases. The problem is that if I put down a false author for a work that my father wrote purely due to a misprint - then Google picks it out as fact. That information, if used as a source of who wrote a song, becomes a myth and helps to destroy the copyright and reputation of the songwriter.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ethics problem Discogs Database
From: GUEST,Prof
Date: 24 Jul 15 - 09:01 PM

"The problem is that the release may be wrongly credited on the sleeve/label..."
If it appeared on the marketplace it's a valid entry. Discogs has nothing to do real world copyrights (or music for that matter.) It has everything to do with the graphic artwork that got sent to the printer in year yyyy. You are documenting artwork not copyrights. Period. Paragraph.

"It's not hijacked content..."
There is no content to "hijack." It's about the imaging. If you neglect to upload imaging and/or fill in all the blanks on Discogs another user can edit your German first press submission to a Jamaican reissue. Entering as much data as possible will help prevent this.

"That information, if used as a source of who wrote a song, becomes a myth and helps to destroy the copyright and reputation of the songwriter."
Nothing you do on Discogs will alter the fact that it was never a valid reference source to begin with. The Discogs d/b reflects thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of Companies, Labels, Series and Credits that do not exist elsewhere. It's unvalidated social media. Nada mas.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ethics problem Discogs Database
From: GUEST,Prof
Date: 24 Jul 15 - 10:09 PM

It doesn't speak to ethics but for context, if you were really into materials or sound engineering or musicology you might be just as frustrated with the above. Eg: Calypso as a style of reggae. "LP", "Album," "Vinyl" and a dozen other terms with odd and variable definitions. "Good" means awful.

IMO the biggest risk in Discogs as an original source is the percentage of work that goes unreviewed for years on end. Look into the frequency of what they call the "Mass Edit" process and you'll see what I mean.

There is still a lot to be gained by "playing the game" or "gaming the media" as it were. Just don't confuse it with real life.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ethics problem Discogs Database
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Jul 15 - 10:15 PM

I think it's important for a discography to include both the incorrect information and the (documented) correction. The Internet duplicates errors like you wouldn't believe. If a Website furnishes incorrect information and later deletes the incorrect information and inserts what's correct, the erroneous information still exists somewhere, and is just as likely to be duplicated as the correct information.
So, if information has been published incorrectly, it is important to maintain both the incorrect information and a documented correction in the same place.
I recently had to deal with a song that was posted here 18 years ago with incorrect songwriter attribution. The songwriter contacted us and demanded that all evidence of the song be deleted completely. I convinced him that it would be in his best interest to have the correct lyrics and correct songwriter attribution posted at Mudcat, so people would know where the song came from and who should get royalties. Then he wanted all evidence of the incorrect songwriter name deleted, but I convinced him that it was better to retain the incorrect information with documentation refuting it. If incorrect information gets out, it must be refuted, not merely deleted.

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ethics problem Discogs Database
From: GUEST,Alan Ross
Date: 24 Jul 15 - 11:30 PM

Thanks Joe you pretty much get it. I'm not criticising the site! It's just there are conflicting 'truths' about album credits.   Many long gone issues about who wrote a song could come back to haunt.   What you have to remember as well is that the official track details for the release as licensed by the copyright societies could be entirely different to what appeared on the covers or labels.   

Take this example: Artist Joe. E. Hamilton, title track of the album 'Sing Me A Good Old Country Song' - correctly licensed as Stewart Ross Sylvantone Music and the album listing with MCPS states that - but it originally went out as being to Slater/Henley who had written a different song called 'Sing Me (an old fashioned song). So the song being referred to is not even the one on the album!

The funny thing about that one, is that my father got sent a copy of the LP to review for the country press and found when he played it that the title track was his own song, wrongly credited to the writers of this other completely different song!   

But you see the problem with transferring old credits! The download version has been corrected. But I think a good half of the songs that were written by my father and many thousands of other writers have had errors and misprints along the way.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ethics problem Discogs Database
From: GUEST,Prof
Date: 25 Jul 15 - 03:30 PM

Joe: "I think it's important for a discography to include both the incorrect information and the (documented) correction....If incorrect information gets out, it must be refuted, not merely deleted."

It's tempting to call Discogs a discography or a marketplace but at its core it is an advertising platform. The technical term is "Database." Anybody can submit/edit anything at anytime but the process (should) follow a convoluted mix of rules, style guidelines & forum consensus (the equivalent of Mudcat threads.) It deviates from "reality" about as often and in the same manner as a Star Trek discussion forum on Klingon. As long as the peoples are having fun it's all good as far as Management is concerned. It deviates from fun about as often and in the same manner as a Mudcat thread.

It being a de facto artwork d/b (as opposed to a discography) is not a minor consideration. Each submission is a live inventory location. If anyone on the planet has the "wrong" credit in their collection, it's in. If the credit is corrected on later artwork it constitutes an entirely new, unique submission to the d/b. Both exist therefore both are valid. All links to incorrectly credited artists remain in situ right alongside the newer corrected links. Outside the realm of pirated CDr etc., a submission (or credit thereon) will not be deleted from the database.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ethics problem Discogs Database
From: GUEST,Prof
Date: 25 Jul 15 - 03:33 PM

Alan: "So is it ethical to put in the correct author/composer..."

A. Off-site ethics take a backseat to Discogs style guidelines at all times. Write this on the palm of your hand.

B. NEVER alter or remove data that appears on the release. DO submit/revise submissions exactly as it appears on the release.

C. Confine observations and retrospective corrections to the "Reviews" section at the very bottom of the release page. Avoid the "Notes" if you can and NEVER in the "Track Credits."

D. Use formal (ie: Chicago Style) references in the private edit histories and expect others to validate your findings and/or correct your style.

E. Use the public "Artist Profiles" for complete biographies and links to supporting websites.

F. Put everything you edit/submit on your watchlist and watch it like a hawk.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ethics problem Discogs Database
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jul 15 - 06:15 PM

OK Mr. Professor! A-F!

I can see, your point of view.. But don't forget you compile links which give a list of credits of work linked to certain songwriters.   So, say in the case of a song, which is not the song stated to be on the sleeve or label. 'Sing Me A Good Old Country Song' is not the work 'Sing Me' (an old fashioned song). So there is no way I should put it down as the wrong song and credit another author/composer and add my father's song to their link. I won't be adding that album!


Don't forget if you ask for the official track listing of a release as licensed - you would then get a different answer!

I will leave it at that having been given the lesson from A-F by the prof.!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ethics problem Discogs Database
From: GUEST,Prof
Date: 25 Jul 15 - 07:28 PM

Alan(?): "
"Don't forget if you ask for the official track listing of a release as licensed - you would then get a different answer!"

I've been collecting 19th-20th century variety entertainment for donkey years.

I'm currently tracking 39 titles and +200 credited composers on +1,300 releases for just the one melody popularly known as "Yellow Bird" (Bergman-Keith-Luboff, ASCAP, Frank Music Co. NY, 1957.)

Mudcatters are quite fond of (mis)assigning it to Harry Belafonte which, oddly enough, has not happened on Ogs (yet!) Wish I could say the same for all the Haitian and "Trad" credits.

Welcome to my nightmare.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ethics problem Discogs Database
From: GUEST,Alan Ross
Date: 25 Jul 15 - 08:44 PM

I understand Prof.!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ethics problem Discogs Database
From: GUEST,Prof
Date: 25 Jul 15 - 10:00 PM

Have you run your list of track titles through this d/b yet?

http://www.45cat.com/artist/stewart-ross-scotland


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ethics problem Discogs Database
From: GUEST,alan ross
Date: 26 Jul 15 - 11:59 AM

Yes, I contributed to it. Somebody had put in a couple of releases, so I thought I might as well add to make it more accurate. Unfortunately, my old man made some of the worst records of all time (little vocal control, no production, primitive backing, no double tracking...), but what can you do? You're stuck with them. Instead of just disappearing with time, they are mentioned here and there so somebody bought these bits of vinyl - and they've come back through the Internet!

So, in many ways I would rather these discs weren't there - but they are, and some obsessives out there are transferring data on them, so I might as well try and add to that so it's at least more complete.

One of the two LP's my father made for Thule 'Highland Road' by the 'Stewart Ross Dance Band' has an extraordinary cover, a psychadelic nightmare! We never did find out who designed it, but we think they might have wanted to design for the Pink Floyd or the Beatles and ended up with a 'Heather and Haggis' Scottish dance band. I don't mind people taking the mickey out of it. So I added it to discogs, in case somebody else got to it. At least I have the facts about who is behind this criminal record!

Seriously though, although the recordings are dire, sometimes they contain the original versions of songs that were covered by other artists on a larger scale and are on many compilations.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 23 October 12:59 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.