When you put in hard work on a project, you want it to be noted. Everyone wants to be recognized for their contributions, right? This is why all movies and TV shows come with a credit roll, detailing all the people who contributed their expertise and labour to the project.
In the days of CDs and vinyl, it was easy to find out who worked on an album; you just flipped through the artwork/sleeve/booklet In the digital realm–downloads and especially streaming–we have no idea who may have been involved. The best source for this information is Wikipedia, an imperfect solution at best. Medium.com takes a look at the problem.
Growing up, the only thing I ever really wanted to do was open up a CD jacket and see my name listed in the liner notes. The first time that happened, I thought I’d officially made it. I mean, I hadn’t — but at least it felt like I did.
Now, CD jackets are a thing of the past, liner notes merely whatever is on an album’s Wikipedia page, which poses lots of problems—not just for people contributing behind-the-scenes, who now have nothing tangible to explain their life’s work, but also because it’s just flat-out confusing.
A recent article at the website Genius details how a 20-year-old from Austria who calls himself Cali the Producer basically fooled the entire music business into thinking he’d worked on songs by Kanye West, Justin Bieber and Chris Brown, among others.
The gist is this: he flagrantly edited Wikipedia and added his name to song entries in which he had no involvement. Record labels, when they’ve had to send out press releases, found it easier to Google a song’s information than find it internally. That takes minutes; Wikipedia, seconds.
So the labels have sent out inaccurate information, listing this guy as an actual producer, when he is not. And then websites have posted this inaccurate information, because they don’t vet anything either. They take them at their word, because god forbid someone in the media ask questions.