Merge Rather Than Delete
Deleting releases has two kinds of bad effects on the database:
- The MusicBrainz Identifiers that have been referenced anywhere (tagged files, links to MusicBrainz from other sites) will become invalid when the item is deleted. When merging it, however, the old MusicBrainz Identifiers will forward to the new item.
- Even if there's no useful data (DiscIDs, PUIDs, Release Events) attached to the release, it's possible that someone may enter a AddPUIDsEdit, AddDiscIDEdit or EditReleaseEventsEdit before your RemoveReleaseEdit is approved. If so, the recently added data will be lost.
This MergeRatherThanDelete guideline also applies to artists, but since a RemoveArtistEdit is not possible for an artist with any releases, relationships, tracks or NonAlbumTracks it is more of a system-enforced rule than a guideline. An analogous guideline is to MergeMisspelledArtists.