Type: New Feature
Affects Version/s: None
Fix Version/s: None
Component/s: Release statuses
A "Withdrawn" release is a release that was made available officially, but then made unavailable (for example, stopping sales) at the request of an artist or rights-holder. In many cases, the release was replaced by a new official release with changes applied.
For a release to be in "Withdrawn" state, it must first satisfy all conditions to have been an "Official" release when it was available. It also must have had some explicit action taken to either stop availability or provide a replacement that has been altered in some way.
Some examples of things that might cause releases to be withdrawn, and possibly re-issued as new releases:
- Artist changing their name, and updating releases to use their new name.
- Rights clearance issues affecting particular tracks. In some cases, a release might get re-issued with a removed or replaced track.
- Rights ownership disputes affecting an entire album could stop sales on the album
A part of this behaviour will be to de-emphasize the withdrawn listings in favour of the Official status releases in release group listings, while allowing the withdrawn listings to still be available for historical reference, and to allow tagging to continue to work for people who obtained the release before it was withdrawn.
One particular thing that came up recently is problems with dead-naming trans artists, who in modern cases with digital releases are often able to update their name on their entire release catalogue after coming out. If MusicBrainz style guidance is to keep copies of releases under the old name for reference, at least we could ensure that the releases a user sees first when browsing a release group are not under the artist's old name.