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Contributor Naming Guidelines
In order to help clarify on how to enter the Contributor and Attribution metadata when preparing releases for delivery, the definitions can be summarized as follows:
- The Attribution is how the (main) artist is presented on the artwork, and this is generally how it will be displayed in the outlets and stores.
- Contributors are individually specified to enable searching, sorting, and also for legal reasons etc. This information is sometimes visible in the outlets and stores, but this generally depends on which information each store chooses to display.
Concept of Artist And Contributor Name
In content and metadata terms, an Artist, a Composer, a Publisher, etc. is defined as a Contributor. That is to say an individual artist, a duo, a band or a group, an ensemble, composer, writer, publisher, etc. who contributes to the creation of a song, an album, a music video or a ringtone, etc. Contributor names should only be used to refer to people (real or fictitious), companies, or other (legal) entities. They should NOT be used to indicate styles, projects or concepts (for albums, etc.). Contributor names should NOT contain any product or role specific information because the contributor name can be used on different products and in different ways for various purposes.
Examples of allowed contributors:
- Elvis Presley
- Cat Music and More
- Neighborhood Music Pub.
- The Dixie Hummingbirds
- Examples of incorrect contributors:
- Beautiful Birdsongs 'Style'
- Piraten Liedjes
- Instrumental Love Songs
- Daniel Barrera, Guitar
Some artists / bands use keywords which seem to indicate that their contributor name may be incorrect, however these are perfectly acceptable:
- Alan Parsons Project
- Four Shades Of Love
Contributor and Artist names should NOT be compound names (more than one contributor or artist name). Each contributor should only be one entity (person, company or group). Two or more people (or groups) in one contributor record is called a compound contributor.
Examples of incorrect (compound) contributor:
- Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder
- Kornfield / Duboff / Fricker
- Eminem Feat. Akon
These should be separated and entered as separate contributors:
- Paul McCartney
- Stevie Wonder
If contributors appearing together are not considered as artists (or companies) individually, then they should appear as grouped contributors. Sometimes a band name consists of the name of several individuals, or an orchestra name contains the name of the orchestra leader. Some company names consist of several people or companies (e.g. after a merger). In these cases, the names should be grouped. Information about whether (and when) contributors should be listed together can be searched on the iTunes or Wikipedia websites, etc.
Examples of contributors which appear together:
- Simon & Garfunkel
- Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe
- Katrina & The Waves
- Warner/Chappell North America Ltd
- Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five
Various Artists is an acceptable contributor name
Various Artists is an acceptable contributor name, but abbreviations (VA, etc.) and other forms of Various Artists are not acceptable contributor names. The only exception to this is a language consistent translation of this term.
Allowed variations of “various Artists” are:
- Verschillende artiesten (Dutch)
- Multi-interprètes (French)
- Verschiedene Interpreten (German)
- Artisti Vari (Italian)
- Vários intérpretes (Portuguese)
- Varios Artistas (Spanish)
- Blandade Artister (Swedish)
Splitting Of Contributor Names
To allow contributor names to be configured correctly for the various display methods, contributor names should be split in the following way when entering the metadata in the Content Editor:
Name1: First name(s) Including prepositions, prefixes or leading nicknames and including middle names / band prefix e.g. The
Name2: Nickname Only nicknames are allowed without additional punctuation or indicators (so without quotation marks,etc.) e.g. Cool Man
Name3: Last name / Company name / Band name including preposition or prefix of last name (band name) e.g. Von Beethoven
Birth / Death Year should be formatted as YYYY-YYYY e.g. 1756-1811 Leave year empty if it is unknown e.g. -1920
Artist Country: From pull-down list or ISO Code e.g. AU, US, NL
First names, middle names, last names and last name prefixes should NOT be entered into “Name2”.
“Name2” should exclusively contain nicknames.
A correctly split name should:
- read correctly in the order [Name1] [Name2] [Name3]. e.g. Peter “Cool Man” Steiner
- read as a normal name when Name2 is left out: [Name1] [Name3]. e.g. Peter Steiner
- have a correct ‘international sorting order’ when written as [Name3], [Name1] [Name2], or when written as [Name3], [Name1]. e.g. Steiner, Peter “Cool Man” or: Steiner, Peter
Prefixes of last names should always go into “Name3” and NOT in “Name1” or “Name2”. When ‘Dutch sorting order’ is needed this should be calculated by separating the last name prefixes via word recognition.
Examples of International and Dutch sorting order:
More examples of how to correctly split contributor names:
|Jordy van Loon|
[Jordy] [ ] [van Loon]
|International (correct) sorting order: Van Loon, Jordy|
|Dutch sorting order: ||Loon, Jordy van|
|Full name ||Name1 ||Name2 ||Name3|
|Peter 'Cool Man' Steiner ||Peter ||Cool Man ||Steiner|
|Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart ||Wolfgang Amadeus ||Mozart|
|The Mills Brothers ||The ||Mills Brothers|
|F. Zappa ||F. ||Zappa|
|Frankie Goes To Hollywood ||Frankie Goes To|
|Sir Joe Quarterman ||Sir Joe ||Quarterman|
|“Pee Wee” Paolo Durante ||Paolo ||Pee Wee ||Durante|
|Reinder Van Der Woude ||Reinder ||Van Der Woude|
|Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra ||Leningrad Philharmonic|
|The Johnny Otis Orchestra ||The ||Johnny Otis Orchestra|
|Joe Loss And His Orchestra ||Joe Loss And His|
|Guy Manuel De Homen-Christo ||Guy Manuel ||De Homen-Christo|
|Albert ‘Casanova’ Van Benthem ||Albert ||Casanova ||Van Benthem|
Nicknames and quotation marks (“” ‘’ ')
Nicknames should not be placed between quotation marks or any other punctuation.
The appropriate quotation marks are then inserted by our systems to meet international standards,
depending on culture:
Paolo "Pee Wee" Durante (common English)
Paolo Durante, "Pee Wee" (English obituary style)
Paolo „Pee Wee“ Durante (German)
Paolo Durante detto Pee Wee (Italian)
Paolo Durante, alias «Pee Wee» (Spanish)
Paolo Durante – Pee Wee (Slovenian)
Nicknames are normally placed in “Name2”. Exceptions to this rule:
• If only the nickname is used. In this case it is placed in “Name3” and also without quotation
marks or punctuation.
• Completely quoted names (e.g. 'Barber Shop Quartet') should be entered without punctuation
(remove quotation marks).
• If the nickname is an inseparable unit with the complete name (like in band leader names),
the complete name (except prefixes) is put in “Name3” including nickname. In this case
double straight quotes should be used (").
Examples of nicknames placement:
|Full name ||Name1 ||Name2 ||Name3|
|[firstname]["nickname"][lastname] ||firstname ||nickname ||lastname|
|Peter "Cool Man" Steiner ||Peter ||Cool Man ||Steiner|
|[firstname]["nickname"] ||firstname ||nickname|
|Peter "Cool Man" ||Peter ||Cool Man|
|["nickname"][lastname] ||nickname ||lastname|
|"Cool Man"Steiner ||Cool Man ||Steiner|
|"Cool Man" ||Cool Man|
|[bandname containing bandleader|
name or "nickname"]
bandleader name or
|The "Piano Man" Walls Orchestra ||The ||"Piano Man" Walls|
Punctuation, abbreviations and capitalisation
As a general rule the full artist name should be punctuated and capitalised as the artist would like
their name to appear. The artist name should also be consistent in successive deliveries. However,
where appropriate, these are the guidelines on punctuation, abbreviations and capitalisation.
“Normal” and correct capitalisation should be used unless it is overruled by a special capitalisation of
a name (e.g. will.i.am). In this capitalisation, rules for abbreviations and exceptions (as specified in
appendices 1 & 2) should be taken into account.
Casing and punctuation of abbreviations should follow cultural rules and (iTunes) guidelines. Please see appendix 1.
Initials of names should be written in capitals and followed by a full stop and a space:
[J. S.] [ ] [Bach ]
Note: There is a space between the first full stop and the second initial, but not after the full stop after
the last initial.
Note: In Dutch names, last name prefixes like “van”, “van der”, “van de” should (if possible) be written in full and in lower case. If it is unknown whether the correct prefix is “van der” or “van de”, the abbreviation “v/d” may be used.
If no first name is given the first word of the last name prefixes should start with a capital.
- with first name (or first name initial in this case): T. van Lee
- without First name: Van Lee