About/Privacy Policy

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From time to time we've been asked if we have a privacy policy - until now it's never really been written down, so maybe it's about time to make one.


You don't have to provide any personally-identifying information if you don't want to. You do not have to provide any personal data to be able to browse the contents of the MusicBrainz database. Any personal information you choose to provide will not be revealed to anyone else.

Slightly Longer Summary

There are two types of ways of using the MusicBrainz web site: you can either register an account and be logged in, or you can choose not to log in. If you don't log in, you can browse, search and examine the site - if you do log in, you can additionally edit the data, communicate with other users, and so on. If you choose to register and log in, then the minimum we ask of you is that you choose a unique user name and a password, and that your web browser accepts "session" cookies, and that you provide a verified e-mail address which allows other MusicBrainz editors communicate with you via the internal messaging system.

  • Now read on for the more technical details.

Web and FTP Access Logs (all users)

Like just about all web sites, we keep logs of all web requests made against our servers. These logs include the usual stuff: your IP address, your browser's "User-Agent" string, which page you requested. Aggregate information about web and FTP traffic is made available to the public via our site usage pages.


We use session cookies, but only if you're logged in and/or using the Tagger. We currently only use two "permanent" (i.e. non-session) cookies:

  • If you download something via one of our "download" pages, we use a cookie to remember your preferred MusicBrainz mirror site.
  • When you log in there's an option called "Log in permanently" - if you activate this option, it uses a "permanent" cookie to remember your login details.

Third-Party Content and HTTP "Referrer" Data

There is no third-party content hosted on the MusicBrainz web servers (e.g. Javascript, CGI etc). The only third-party content loaded by MusicBrainz web pages are the album cover art images, provided and hosted by Amazon. This means that Amazon will know (if they want to) your IP address, your User-Agent string, etc, and which MusicBrainz web page you were visiting (the one which included the cover art image). If you log in, you can opt out of using Amazon cover art images if you wish.

(The above information assumes that you are using "normal" web browser settings, whereby images are always loaded and HTTP "referrer" information is always sent.)

Web Site (logged-in users)

Creating an Account

When you create an account with MusicBrainz you need to pick a unique username, and choose a password. Other MusicBrainz users will know you by your username. You may optionally also tell us the URL of your "home" page, and/or a few words about yourself. Any information thus provided is made available to the public. If you want to change data stored in MusicBrainz, you need to enter, and verify your e-mail address. We will never reveal this address to anyone. The only way in which the system can reveal your e-mail address is if you choose to send a message to another MusicBrainz user, and tick the box marked "reveal my e-mail address" (this box is not ticked by default).

Edits and Notes

If you make any changes to the MusicBrainz database (such as adding any data, including fingerprint submissions) then the details of the changes you make are visible to everyone, and the change is associated with your username.

Artist Subscriptions

As a logged-in user you can subscribe to one or more artists (which causes any data edits made for those artists to be e-mailed to you). By default, other users can see your list of subscriptions. However you can opt out of this, with the preference labelled "Allow other users to see my subscribed artists". Please read these additional notes about artist subscriptions and privacy.

Mailing Lists

MusicBrainz has a number of mailing lists to which you can subscribe. To subscribe to the mailing lists, you need to provide your e-mail address. This e-mail address will not be revealed to anyone, unless you post a message to the list (see below).

Some of the lists allow you to post messages (whereas others only allow you to receive messages, for example the "Announcements" list). If you post a message, your e-mail address will be revealed to all subscribers of the list(s) to which you posted. Additionally, all the mailing lists also have public archives. If you post, then the archives will include your e-mail address (albeit in a form intended to provide some protection from spammer "harvesting").

Attention.png Please note: Reasonable exceptions may apply to the above policy, for example to comply with applicable laws. The MusicBrainz server administrators (about three people in all) can of course see any information on the system they want to, but to be honest we're probably not interested enough to look.

originally written by DaveEvans, 22 September 2004