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  #1  
Old May 12, 2018, 07:40 AM
Rrolack Rrolack is offline
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Default Should officially-licensed indie albums be classified as "Doujin/Indie"?

The title of this thread says it all. Currently, if an indie album is offered on a site which is known to obtain official licenses for their releases, e.g. Bandcamp, are marked as Commercial rather than Doujin/Indie.

As an alternative to this, we might mark an indie album as Doujin/Indie regardless of its licensing status.


Has this alternative been seriously considered? I ask for a few reasons:

- Personally when I am classifying an album, whether or not it's officially licensed isn't really relevant. An indie album which got licensed is still an indie album.
- In order to use licensing status to classify albums, we need to know the licensing status of every album. We don't actually know this, and as a workaround, we often make assumptions. For example, every Japanese doujin is assumed to be unlicensed, which might not be right. Should we really be classifying albums based on assumptions like these?


I'd be curious to hear any and all thoughts on this!
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  #2  
Old May 12, 2018, 08:23 AM
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nextday nextday is offline
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As you say, we can't always know when an album is licensed or not.

If you know for a fact that it's licensed, then you can mark it as commercial. If you're not sure, then you should mark it as doujin/indie.
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  #3  
Old May 12, 2018, 09:40 AM
Jimby Jimby is online now
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Technically speaking, any album, indie or otherwise, offered for sale on the major digital storefronts (iTunes, Google Play, Amazon etc.) have to be licensed to adhere to those platforms' terms of submission. As a result, I classify any album sold through those platforms as 'Commercial'. The question is then of course - do those platforms actually enforce this to the point that this assertion is always correct? That I'm not so sure about.

Bandcamp is the major distributor that causes the most confusion. Anything goes on that platform and I'm sure there are a number of albums we have marked as 'Doujin/Indie' that have obtained the proper mechanical licenses but are sold exclusively through Bandcamp leaving us here to basically take a guess. As nextday says, in the absense of proof, these kind of albums should be marked as doujin/indie.
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Old May 13, 2018, 04:54 AM
Rrolack Rrolack is offline
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I may not have been sufficiently coherent in my original post. I'll give this another try below.

If we look at vgmdb's Release Type field, it is defined as follows:


Commercial

A commercial album released by the official rights holder.

Doujin/Fanmade

Any album released by a doujin circle, amateur or cover group (or individual).

This should take into account the status of the group at the time of release; for example, an amateur group that turns professional should still have their earlier releases labeled as Doujin/Indie.


Now, suppose we encounter an album which is made by an amateur group. By our own definition, that album is Doujin/Indie. But suppose that album also receives a "mechanical license," which Loudr defines as "a license that gives you permission to make and distribute copies of your recording of another person's copyrighted song (a.k.a, your cover song)." The convention of this site is to designate such licensed releases as Commercial.

I'm wondering if this convention is both incorrect and unhelpful.

The reason it would be incorrect is that an artist who obtains a mechanical license is not the official rights holder. For an example to illustrate: it seems clear that if someone is the official rights holder, they are authorized to grant mechanical licenses for that work to other artists. An artist who merely receives a mechanical license for a work cannot then grant licenses for that work to others, making that artist clearly not the official rights holder.

The reason it would be unhelpful is because when searching for soundtracks, users generally don't want to wade through a sea of amateur releases. The Doujin/Indie is what allows users to accomplish this goal. But with the current convention, that goal is no longer satisfied.


So what I'm asking is: should we apply the submission guidelines as they are written, meaning only albums released by the official rights holder (and not those which received a mechanical license) should be marked as Commercial?

Last edited by Rrolack; May 13, 2018 at 07:43 AM.
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  #5  
Old May 13, 2018, 12:21 PM
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Jedi QuestMaster Jedi QuestMaster is offline
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I don't think the term 'Indie' is the correct equivalent of 'Doujin?'

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe 'Fan-made' is the proper term? While an indie (independent label) group can make authorized commercial covers, a fan-made work is, by definition, not an authorized piece of work.

This doesn't fix the issue of having to wade through amateur releases, though.
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  #6  
Old May 13, 2018, 06:42 PM
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CHz CHz is offline
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The completely nonsensical distinction between "Commercial" and "Doujin/Indie" (which extends beyond this issue, doujin-published original soundtracks should technically also be set to Commercial lmao) has been discussed and brought up repeatedly over nearly decade at this point, and nothing's been done about it so far ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Prior art: this thread that specifically concerns that field, and this thread starting at post 81

FWIW my position is still that all fan arrangement albums should be classified the same way (whether that's as Doujin/Indie or with a new mechanism) so they can easily be grouped/filtered/etc., and if we care about documenting whether something is licensed or not, then we should have something explicitly for that instead of overloading Release Type.

Last edited by CHz; May 13, 2018 at 08:15 PM.
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  #7  
Old May 14, 2018, 06:26 AM
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Product pages solve this issue by having separate classifications for "fan arrangement" and "fan remix" (there's also an "OP/ED/Insert" classification that isn't used elsewhere).

I wonder why these extra classifications are only implemented on product pages.
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  #8  
Old May 14, 2018, 04:43 PM
Rrolack Rrolack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHz View Post
FWIW my position is still that all fan arrangement albums should be classified the same way (whether that's as Doujin/Indie or with a new mechanism) so they can easily be grouped/filtered/etc., and if we care about documenting whether something is licensed or not, then we should have something explicitly for that instead of overloading Release Type.
Glad to hear I'm not alone in this belief.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHz View Post
The completely nonsensical distinction between "Commercial" and "Doujin/Indie" (which extends beyond this issue, doujin-published original soundtracks should technically also be set to Commercial lmao) has been discussed and brought up repeatedly over nearly decade at this point, and nothing's been done about it so far ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Prior art: this thread that specifically concerns that field, and this thread starting at post 81
Given that my post raises no new consideration beyond the prior art, it seems safe to assume that if nothing happened last time, nothing will happen this time either Though consider this one more vote in favor of making a change here.
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