Code of Conduct


This Code of Conduct extends the MetaBrainz code of conduct, which applies to all MetaBrainz projects. Please read the MetaBrainz Code of Conduct before you dive into the following guidelines that are specific to MusicBrainz.

Community members


For general guidelines that apply to all MetaBrainz projects, please read the MetaBrainz code of conduct.

Making edits

  • Provide explanations when entering edits.
  • Include links that validate your edits.
  • Listen to the advice of existing community members. Ask for clarification if you're still unsure.
  • Refer to the Style Guidelines and wiki for clarification.
  • Ask questions in the forums or in Communication/IRC if you're unsure.
  • Edits should be based on objective data and not personal preferences.


  • Never vote based on your personal attitude towards the editor. Vote only based on the facts and what you think is right or wrong.
  • Never vote against edits where information is optional (not required during the submission process). Instead Abstain and enter an edit note requesting more information.
  • If you are voting against an edit, always explain why via in an edit note. Nothing is more frustrating than entering a bunch of edits only to receive silent no votes.
  • If you disagree with another editor's point of view on an edit, try to keep the debate to that one edit, rather than spreading the debate across many edits. If you disagree with a series of edits, pick one to focus the comments in and refer comments from the other edits back to that one edit.
  • Creating additional accounts solely for the purpose of voting is an abuse of the system and completely unacceptable.

Conflict resolution

If a conflict between members of the MusicBrainz community should arise, the members should attempt to resolve the conflict among themselves first. If the members fail to resolve the conflict, the issue can be brought to the BDFL (Benevolent Dictator for Life) of MusicBrainz. The decision of the BDFL is final and may not be appealed; for this reason the community is strongly urged to resolve conflicts among themselves and not bring them to the BDFL.



  • Set an example for others.
  • Don't abuse auto-editor privileges, including applying controversial changes without a vote or making edits another person is already making (although this does happen accidentally sometimes).
  • Remember that new users have the potential to contribute greatly to the project or even become auto-editors themselves one day if given the correct guidance, whereas they may never come back if they're insulted.
  • Act responsibly. Although it wasn't the original intention, auto-editor's rights are seen as a symbol of status, and childish behavior reflects badly on the MusicBrainz community as a whole.
  • Remain reasonably active. If you become inactive and your email bounces repeatedly, we reserve the right to inactivate your auto-editor status. If you become active again, please contact us so we can re-add the privileges. Also, if you are inactive for long enough that you feel you might not be up to date with the latest guideline changes, make sure to review any relevant guidelines before editing using your auto-editor privileges.

Dealing with open edits

How should auto-editors deal with open edits, that they think are correct?

If an edit is correct, it is within the auto-editor's discretion as to whether they choose to approve the edit immediately. In practice amongst the auto-editor community, this is generally confined to addition of URLs and obviously correct relationships, in order to reduce the open edit queue, and prioritize voter time towards complex edits requiring more attention, such as release addition, removals and merges.

If an edit is in any form an improvement (even if it's still not correct), an auto-editor may decide to approve the edit immediately and then edit the value again to correct it.

Making disputed edits

Auto-editors must never use their privileges to decide disputed edits in their favor.

Always check an item's history before making a change that could be disputed. If you made an auto-edit and then realise that it is disputed, you should:

  • Excuse yourself in an edit note.
  • Revert your edit.
  • Temporarily disable your auto-editor privileges and enter the edit again as one to be voted upon.

Of course the "approve" option is not to be used for disputable edits but only for trivial or obvious ones or those which can be improved by a re-edit.


Bot authors should follow the dedicated code of conduct.