Privacy Policy

Summary

  1. You do not have to provide any personal data to be able to browse the contents of the databases published by MetaBrainz.
  2. You do not have to provide any personally-identifying information if you choose not to.
  3. We will never reveal your email address on MetaBrainz controlled web sites.

In order to get maximum value out of the MetaBrainz projects, you may want to create an account and log in. Doing so grants you the ability to: edit the databases, contribute your own data, communicate with other users, and keep track of recently released music from artists in your MusicBrainz collection. If you choose to create an account then the minimum we ask is that you: choose a unique username and password, use a web browser that accepts "session" cookies, and provide a verified email address.

If you do not create an account (or are not logged in) you will not have access to the above listed features, however, you will still have full access to browse and examine the databases.

Applicable to all users

Cookies

We use two cookies that contain sensitive information:

  1. remember_login: If you choose the "Log in permanently" option when logging in to one of our sites; the cookie will be used to remember your login details.
  2. musicbrainz_server_session, session, or connect.sid: If you are logged into one of our sites, your current session ID is stored in this cookie.

We may store dynamic preference information in other cookies, but these do not contain any sensitive information.

Web and FTP access logs

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

Third-Party content

Our project's web pages may load some third-party content. Some, but possibly not all sites are listed below:

  1. Cover art and other images: These are provided by the various cover art sites that have given MusicBrainz permission to do so and our own Cover Art Archive. This means that the relevant site will know (if they want to) your IP address, User-Agent string, etc., and which MusicBrainz web page you were visiting (the one which included the cover art image).
  2. AcoustID: Our fingerprints tab loads fingerprint information from acoustid.org.
  3. reCAPTCHA: Our account creation page loads third party content in order to prevent spammers from creating accounts.

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

It is impractical to constantly modify this privacy policy when MusicBrainz changes which third party content it utilizes. We will aim to use common sense, respect to our community and community review when adding more content from third party sites. We will also periodically review our policy to ensure that it remains current.

Applicable to account holders

Account creation

When creating an account with a MetaBrainz project you need to pick a unique username and choose a password, the username you pick is the only name associated with your account and will be what other MetaBrainz users know you as. You may optionally also tell us other information about yourself that will be displayed to other MetaBrainz users and the public.

Additionally, in order to edit the databases you will need to provide a confirmed email address. This email address will be held in confidence, the only method of revealing your email address to another user is if you choose to send a message to another user and enable the option to "reveal my email address". Changing the email address stored with your account will require you to verify the new address.

Edits and Notes

If you make any changes to a MetaBrainz project database, such as adding any data, the details of those changes will be visible to other logged-in users and the change will be associated with your username.

Subscriptions on MusicBrainz

As a logged-in user you can subscribe to one or more artists, labels, collections or other editors. The act of subscribing causes any edits made to (or by in the case of another editor) those entities to be emailed to you. By default, other users can see your list of subscriptions, however, you can opt out of this by editing the appropriate preference.

This does not provide "perfect" privacy though, in some cases it will be possible to infer information about the contents of your subscription list even though you have disallowed others from viewing that list directly. This imperfection arises because various parts of the system behave differently depending on whether or not an entity has any subscribers; also, the number of users subscribed to each artist is available via the artist pages. In the most extreme (possibly contrived) example, imagine that all users have their subscriptions set to "public", except for exactly one user whose list is "private". In that case, any discrepancy for a given artist between the shown list of subscribers and the total number of subscribers must be down to that one user. Thus, you can infer what artists are on that user's list.

Third-party sites

Our code reviews are done on GitHub, which is not under the control of MetaBrainz. Participating in code reviews or other tasks carried out on GitHub are subject to GitHub's privacy policy.

The localization service we use for creating localized versions of the MetaBrainz sites embeds email addresses into translation files that will be checked into our git repositories. If you participate in translating at Transifex, your email address will be visible in our git repositories.

MetaBrainz donors

When you make a donation to the MetaBrainz Foundation, we are legally required to collect your personal information and keep it in our records in case we ever get audited by the IRS. We will not disclose your personal information to anyone else, ever.

We believe in transparent finances, which means that we list all donations made to us on this site. We will only list your name and the amount of the donation, unless you chose to be anonymous during the donation process.

Exceptions

Please note: Reasonable exceptions may apply to the above policy, for example to comply with applicable laws. The MetaBrainz server administrators (about five 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.