MusicBrainz Server update, 2019-08-08

This summery release brings one main new feature: collaborative collections! As an editor, you can now share your collections with others. This is mainly intended for community projects, but it can also be a good way to, say, have a shared “Music we have at home” collection with your family, or collect artists with funny names with your friends. You decide how to use it!

To add collaborators to your collections, edit the collection and enter the editors you’d want as collaborators in the appropriate section (suggestion: ask first whether they’re interested, then add them!). Once they’ve been added as collaborators, they’ll be able to add and remove entities from the collection in the same way as you, but they won’t be able to change the title / description: that’s still only for the collection owner to change.

CDs collection shared as a cloak for everyone to see

The release also comes with a bunch of small improvements and bug fixes, including a couple about collections, and continues migrating to React.

Thanks to Ge0rg3 and sothotalker for their contributed code. Also, thanks to chaban, chiark, cyberskull, Dmitry, hibiscuskazeneko, jesus2099, Lotheric, mfmeulenbelt, psychoadept and everyone who tested the beta version, reported issues, or updated the website translations.

The git tag is v-2019-08-08.

Bug

  • [MBS-8867] – Guess Case normalizes “C’mon” as “C’Mon”
  • [MBS-9512] – Changing recording name to empty string should not be allowed
  • [MBS-10100] – ISE without “non-required” attributes for admin/attributes/Language/create
  • [MBS-10133] – Error message when sending an empty query to the WS is unclear
  • [MBS-10212] – SoundCloud URL with trailing slash is not displayed with user name in artist sidebar
  • [MBS-10218] – Regression: Cover Art tab not selected / highlit on release page
  • [MBS-10233] – Regression: ISE when trying to cancel a “add release annotation” edit

Improvement

  • [MBS-8569] – Don’t display ended legal names in the overview page for artists
  • [MBS-9381] – Show user’s own private collections in the list of collections for an entity
  • [MBS-10135] – Support WikiaParoles as its own site rather than LyricWiki
  • [MBS-10139] – Clarify why recording lengths can’t be edited when non standalone
  • [MBS-10210] – Only allow allowed frequencies in language admin form
  • [MBS-10215] – Make ISO number required for script admin form
  • [MBS-10217] – Explain what renaming artist credits does when editing artist
  • [MBS-10219] – Add Muziekweb to other DBs whitelist, with sidebar display
  • [MBS-10222] – Pull legal name alias instead of legal name artist for the relationship Artist-Artist “perform as/legal name”
  • [MBS-10224] – Don’t show the same legal name string multiple times in artist overview
  • [MBS-10246] – Don’t assume all event collections are attendance lists
  • [MBS-10272] – Convert the header / navbar to Bootstrap

New Feature

  • [MBS-8915] – Allow editors to choose delimiter in track parser
  • [MBS-9428] – Allow multiple users to share one collection

React Conversion Task

  • [MBS-9914] – Convert the area public pages to React
  • [MBS-10047] – Convert /oauth2/ pages to React

Other Task

  • [MBS-10131] – Update LyricWiki domain to lyrics.fandom.com

MusicBrainz Server update, 2019-06-30

Today’s release contains some new features/improvements to the web service, several entity index pages being rewritten in React, and tweaks to the edit expiration wording to make it less confusing. See the tickets below for more details.

Thanks to kepstin for helping test the new CORS / OPTION support in the web service.

We’ve also released a number of new changes to the beta server (which as a reminder uses the live, production database), particularly collaborative collections, if you’d like to help test those!

The git tag for today’s release is v-2019-06-30.

Sub-task

  • [MBS-9923] – Convert the URL public pages to React
  • [MBS-10105] – Convert the instrument index page to React
  • [MBS-10106] – Convert the place index page to React
  • [MBS-10122] – Convert the event index page to React

New Feature

  • [MBS-10124] – Allow to browse recordings linked to a given work through web service

Improvement

  • [MBS-6033] – Allow CORS preflights
  • [MBS-6072] – WS: Answer OPTION requests
  • [MBS-9732] – Change “expires in” wording/phrasing
  • [MBS-10197] – Remove unneeded data quality edit code

We were sued by a copyright troll and we prevailed!

must be monetary compensation

On August 9th, 2018 we were served with a United States federal copyright infringement lawsuit over a handful of images displayed on our musicbrainz.org artist pages. These images were made available by Larry Philpot, a photographer, on Wikimedia Commons and we “deep linked” to the images (that note the license details and attribute the images to their creator) from our artist pages, in accord with the license terms.

The MetaBrainz Foundation prides itself in treading carefully in legal matters and so we were surprised to receive a lawsuit of this nature. All allegations in the suit were deemed false by our legal team. If you wish to find out more about this lawsuit, we encourage you to read the documents that were served to us.

Upon being served with the lawsuit, MetaBrainz contacted our legal guardian angel: Ed Cavazos of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, who has been watching over the foundation since its inception. Ed proposed our case to the pro-bono committee at Pillsbury and to our great pleasure the case was accepted! Pillsbury officially became our legal representatives in defending us in this lawsuit.

Ed assembled a team (Brian Nash, Ben Bernell, Sarah Goetz) who fired off an immediate response to the lawsuit. The team filed a timely response with the court and then began a lengthy journey of educating themselves on how MetaBrainz conducts business, how it hosts its websites, and how these websites came into existence. Over the course of many emails and calls, MetaBrainz produced volumes of conversations, bug reports, Git commits and various other forms of substantiating information that the legal team used to form a strategy.

Our legal team operated on the basis that “the best defense is a good offense”. The team’s filing showed that the accusations were unfounded and went on to question the motives and methods of the plaintiff, who has a history of taking legal action against Creative Commons users. In these legal actions he claims that the users have violated Creative Commons licenses, according to narrow, non-customary interpretations of the obligations and limitations set out in CC licenses. It didn’t take long for the plaintiff to feel our pressure and decide to cut their losses. On February 28, 2019 the lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice!

Now that this is behind us, the MetaBrainz Foundation had to figure out what to do about showing Wikimedia Commons images on our websites. We talked with both the Wikimedia Foundation and Creative Commons to discuss what had happened. We learned that both Wikimedia and Creative Commons had started their own processes to examine and address the issues that led to the lawsuit being filed against the MetaBrainz Foundation.

We’re looking forward to seeing firm and decisive action from our friends at Creative Commons and Wikimedia, before other people and nonprofits are put in harm’s way by what in our opinion constitutes unacceptable, predatory misuse of CC licenses and Wikimedia Commons. MetaBrainz has made sure that CC and Wikimedia know about our experience and now we’re returning our focus to our core mission.

While we wait for Wikimedia Commons and Creative Commons to take action on this, we will not reinstate artist images or include any images that link to Wikimedia Commons. We prevailed in this lawsuit and thanks to our pro-bono legal team we suffered no harm. Being dragged through lengthy court proceedings by trolls hoping to make an example of us could exhaust our reserves and leave us broke — but that won’t stop us from vigorously defending ourselves. We are not going to let a bully push us around.

That’s about all we can say about this. The court filings speak volumes about the merits of the case and the problems of predatory abuse of CC licenses. It sucks to be the target of a pointless, predatory lawsuit. We’ve always been very careful about staying on the right side of the law, and we’re prepared to go to court to prove it, even if we can’t get pro-bono counsel.

The MetaBrainz Foundation owes a debt of gratitude to Ed Cavazos, Brian Nash, Ben Bernell, Sarah Goetz and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. We cannot overstate how fortunate we are that the team came to our rescue at a very critical juncture. Thank you to the whole team and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. Thank you!

We would also like to thank Cory Doctorow (one of our directors) for initiating and participating in many conversations. Not only was Cory’s advice critical in dealing with the lawsuit, but it was Cory and the EFF who connected us to Ed Cavazos in the first place, 15 years ago. Thank you!

I personally would like to thank Nicolás Tamargo and Michael Wiencek for their support in digging for documentation to support our side of the case. Thank you for your tireless efforts!

Finally I would like to thank our board of directors for their support in this process. Thank you Cory, Matthew, Rassami, Paul and Nick!

UPDATE: A few people have requested for us to publish our response to the lawsuit. On 28 September 2018, we filed this response with the court.  That is the only public filing we made — the lawsuit was dropped on February 28, 2019 as a direct result of private conversations with the plaintiff.

MusicBrainz Server update, 2019-06-03

This server release mostly fixes bugs and regressions. It also updates the URL cleanup code and continues the conversion of templates to React.

Thanks to CatQuest, cyberskull, hibiscuskazeneko, Jeluang, Lotheric, mfmeulenbelt, tungolcraft, yeeeargh, and everyone who tested the beta version, reported issues, or updated website translations.

The git tag is v-2019-06-03.

Bug

  • [MBS-8826] – /ws/ requests that 404 should not return HTML
  • [MBS-10141] – Labels from Trois-Rivières should appear 1 layer up in labels from Mauricie
  • [MBS-10147] – Reports break if an entity in them has been removed / merged
  • [MBS-10148] – Can’t change entity type of empty collection
  • [MBS-10153] – Database statistic tables’ headers’ icons are 404s
  • [MBS-10160] – YouTube channel link that uses the https://www.youtube.com/c/username format won’t have the username shown in the sidebar
  • [MBS-10163] – “Javanese” does not show in instrument Alias page
  • [MBS-10167] – “Existing medium” results give medium position, not number
  • [MBS-10171] – ISE when calling ws/js with a wrong ID
  • [MBS-10182] – Some artist /relationships tabs show an internal server error
  • [MBS-10183] – Regression: Display bug in the title of page crediting the artist (Release Group, Release, Recording)
  • [MBS-10184] – Regression: ISE on displaying some edits
  • [MBS-10196] – XSS vulnerability in Knockout for IE <= 7

Improvement

  • [MBS-9762] – Standardize Songkick URLs
  • [MBS-10095] – Provide a better error than an ISE if trying to admin edit non-existing user
  • [MBS-10108] – Allow linking individual tweets to recordings
  • [MBS-10142] – Update URL cleanup for Sina Weibo URLs + add them to the sidebar
  • [MBS-10151] – Update LiveFans URLs to use HTTPS
  • [MBS-10152] – Display artist areas on Artists tab of area entity

React Conversion Task

  • [MBS-9849] – Convert the release group public pages to React
  • [MBS-10104] – Convert the area index page to React
  • [MBS-10127] – Convert root/components/relationships-table.tt to React
  • [MBS-10189] – Convert the place performances page to React

Google donates $10,000 in cloud computing credits. Thank you!

The Google Open Source Programs Office continues to support MetaBrainz in a number of ways and most recently they donated $10,000 in credit toward their cloud services. Thank you Google!

This credit allows us to run some services in the cloud to round out primary hosting setup — this gives us a some redundancy and allows us to not keep all of our critical eggs in one basket. We can also give our open source developers Virtual Machines from time to time, since a lot of our projects are very data heavy. Having access to a fat VM can sometimes turn a really frustrating project that makes your laptop melt into a project that is satisfying to watch chug along.

Thank you again, Google, the Open Source Programs Office and in particular, Cat Allman!

MusicBrainz schema change release, 2019-05-13 (with upgrade instructions)

We’re happy to announce the release of our May 2019 schema change today! Thanks to all who were patient during today’s downtime as we released everything to our production servers.

This is a fairly minor release as far as schema changes go, but please do report any issues that you come across, especially any related to genres and collections.

Visible changes with this release are limited to an indication if a specific artist credit is being edited (MBS-5387). Work on some of the changes to collections and genres is quite advanced, and we’re hoping to release some of the new features onto beta already in a week or so from now, while others might take a while longer.

Now, on to the instructions.

Schema Change Upgrade Instructions

Note: Importing the latest data dump is always a valid alternative to running ./upgrade.sh on an existing database, if you’d prefer to also get new data in one go. Just follow the relevant instructions in INSTALL.md. The git tag is v-2019-05-13-schema-change. The rest of the instructions here assume an in-place upgrade.

  1. Make sure DB_SCHEMA_SEQUENCE is set to 24 in lib/DBDefs.pm.
  2. If you’re using the live data feed (your REPLICATION_TYPE is set to RT_SLAVE), ensure you’ve replicated up to the most recent replication packet available with the old schema. If you’re not sure, run ./admin/replication/LoadReplicationChanges and see what it tells you; if you’re ready to upgrade, it should say “This replication packet matches schema sequence #25, but the database is currently at #24.”
  3. Take down the web server running MusicBrainz, if you’re running a web server.
  4. Turn off cron jobs if you’re automatically updating the database via cron jobs.
  5. Switch to the new code with git fetch origin followed by git checkout v-2019-05-13-schema-change.
  6. Install newer dependencies Yarn and NodeJS 8 or later according to install prerequisites.
  7. Run cpanm --installdeps --notest . (note the dot at the end) to ensure your perl-based dependencies are up to date.
  8. Run ./upgrade.sh (it may take a while to vacuum at the end).
  9. Set DB_SCHEMA_SEQUENCE to 25 in lib/DBDefs.pm as instructed by the output of ./upgrade.sh.
  10. Turn cron jobs back on, if applicable.
  11. Restart the MusicBrainz web server, if applicable. It’s also recommended you restart redis. If you’re accessing your MusicBrainz server in a web browser, run ./script/compile_resources.sh.

Here’s the list of resolved tickets:

Bug

  • [MBS-5387] – ACs being edited aren’t marked as having pending edits on the aliases tab
  • [MBS-9365] – event_meta_fk_id was never created as part of any upgrade script
  • [MBS-9462] – Standalone databases created before schema 21 are missing some l_event_url triggers
  • [MBS-10146] – Regression: ISE on Remove DiscID page
  • [MBS-10149] – Swap track titles with artist credits fails to update both fields properly
  • [MBS-10150] – Regression: The link to the release group reviews in the release page is broken

Improvement

  • [MBS-9664] – Add database constraints to disallow loop relationship
  • [MBS-10044] – Add place area to place lists

Database Schema Change Task

  • [MBS-10052] – Add new schema for the event art archive
  • [MBS-10173] – Create a genre table in the DB and populate it with existing genres
  • [MBS-10174] – Create an addition timestamp in the DB for new collection items
  • [MBS-10175] – Create a position integer in the DB for collection items
  • [MBS-10176] – Create a comment text field in the DB for collection items
  • [MBS-10177] – Create an editor_collection_collaborator table for collaborative collections
  • [MBS-10178] – Create a genre_alias table
  • [MBS-10181] – Create filesize for cover art and each thumb in the DB

React Conversion Task

  • [MBS-9925] – Convert collection pages to React
  • [MBS-10179] – Convert all entity list components to React

MusicBrainz Schema change upgrade downtime: 17:00 UTC (10am PST, 1pm EST, 19:00CEST)

Hi!

At 17:00 UTC (10am PST, 1pm EST, 19:00CEST) we will start the process of our schema change release. The exact time that we plan to start the change will depend on how long it takes to finish our preparations, but we expect it to be shortly after 17:00UTC.

Once we start the process we will put a banner notification on musicbrainz.org and we will also post updates to the @MusicBrainz twitter account, so follow us there for more details.

After the release is complete, we will post instructions here on how to upgrade your replicated MusicBrainz instances.