Japanese doujin music tends to not follow the standards usually followed by record labels with respect to compilations, attributions and overall tagging. This causes some consistency problems when different people interpret the existing guidelines in different ways, or when there just isn't a guideline appropriate to this class of release.
Doujin Style Guide proposal RFC
All information should follow the Japanese style guide, even if the writing in the album is in english.
Circles are added as artists, and all of the circle's albums are credited to the circle. If feasible, link persons to their respective circles, but that usually is not well-defined unless you actually know the people working on the circles.
- Some circles currently have their own label added to musicbrainz (e.g. Alstroemeria Records). Should each circle get their own label, or should circles not get any label?
Track artist information should be credited to the circle, except in "compilation" circles (like Diverse System, who take track submissions from a bunch of people). Many circles credit the singer, arranger or composer as the artist in their album's track list, but they should be linked through the appropriate "vocal performer", "arranger" or "composer" relations; the track artist credit should still go to the circle.
In the compilation circle case, the tracks are attributed to their respective authors.
Original / Derivative tracks
As the doujin culture encourages derivative works, many recordings are arrangements or new compositions based on a previous work.
Tracks that are not derivative work ("original") get their own standalone work added, with appropriate credits.
Tracks that are remixes of other tracks (that is, follows the original's structure and uses samples from the original) should associate with the same work as the original mix's work. A recording-to-artist "remixer" should be added pointing to the person who did the remix, and a recording-to-recording relationship (which currently has to be added in the recording's individual page) specifying this is a "remix of" the original mix.
- This probably requires a better definition of what a remix is. Many fans refers to tracks only vaguely based upon the original as a "remix", even if it doesn't follow the original's structure nor uses any of the originals' samples.
Tracks that are arranges of other tracks (follows the original's structure and motifs, but with different instrumentation) should be linked as a cover of the base work, with the appropriate arranger credits.
Other derivative works
Tracks that are derivative works but are not remixes, covers or arranges get their own work added, which is related to the original work by a "based on" type, with the appropriate credits.
- This would require web UI work to make it not horrible to execute, such as an easy way to create a derivative work directly from the relationship editor.
- Several derivative works are currently related to the original work by using a "later version" type, but the derivative work is not intended to replace or otherwise augment the original, but being something more akin to an "alternative version". There is also the problem that searches to the database report every single composer who ever did a "later version" as having contributed to the original work, which can make searching hard if the original composer doesn't happen to be listed first.