Will's profile
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Tue, Aug 14, 2018 12:00 PM

Alternate Title Policy Change

Hi all,

We are pleased to announce a change to our alternate title policy listed under the Attribute definitions section of the guide. Please see the below. 

    Our goal at IMDb is to be able to represent to any customer in any locale (speaking language and country) what a title is known as.

    For example, "Black Panther" is known in Germany as "Black Panther" to a German speaking audience, regardless of the text being in English. Similarly, "Das Boot" is known in the USA as "Das Boot" to an English speaking audience, regardless of the text being in German.

    The main imdb display title for a country should reflect what title the movie/tv show is primarily known as to the locale (speaking language and country) of choice.

    Previously, submitting an imdb display title for the country of origin was considered unnecessary. However, in order to capture all of the associated title information for a movie/tv show in full, we are now encouraging the submission of an imdb display title for the country of origin. By doing this the title for the original country will also display under the Release Info on the title page.


As part of the above work we are also investigating the possibility of further alternate title changes for episodes.

Regards,
Will

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3 y ago

Tuesday August 14 2018 Alternate Title Policy Change

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3 y ago

Thanks for announcing this change. I'm happy to see that you stress you want the title that is primarily known to the locale and that that doesn't have to be a translated title, because previously, the (imdb display title) has been added too frivolously in quite some cases.
Side note: In the first sentence regarding the five basic rules to follow, it says there are six basic rules: https://help.imdb.com/article/contribution/titles/alternate-titles-akas/GBFBWTQG2RLMHSUR?ref_=helpsr... Can you change this to five?

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3 y ago

Thanks Marco, this has now been done.

Regards,
Will

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Thanks for the quick fix Will!

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3 y ago

1. It's not a particularly easy rule to apply. Two contributors may disagree on which title is most commonly used in a country.

2. If a title other than the original theatrical title in a country is chosen as the display title, which attribute should the theatrical title have? The guide says we should not use "theatrical title" as it is assumed (per rule 5 'Medium' and the attribute definitions, box 6).

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3. If a title from a release in a different medium from the original is chosen as display title for a country, should the 'IMDb display title' entry be listed instead of or in addition to an entry with a medium-specific attribute (such as 'video title')?

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3 y ago

Hi Peter,

Apologies for the delay, in the case of two contributors disagreeing on the imdb display title we will revert to the title as it is most commonly referred to in any sources for that region.

In cases where the imdb display title doesn't match the theatrical title we will allow the use of that attribute.

If a title from a different medium is chosen as the imdb display title then you may enter a secondary title aka explaining the medium specific release title.

I hope this helps.

Regards,
Will

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Will,

Although you said you would allow the use of "theatrical title" when needed, it is still blocked from being used for feature films:

(saved as 201123-111134-357200)

(edited)

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Hi Peter,

I am interested in this use case. Could you share why you need it, better than an (imdb display title) for instance?

Thanks in advance.

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I think it is needed for a theatrical title that is different from the display title. IMDb display title is now defined as the title under which a production is "primarily known" in a specific country, which is not always the same as the title used originally in theatres.

Similarly, a video might have one title as a video release, then become more known under another title, or a TV movie or series might have one title on TV but become more widely known under another title, for instance on a streaming platform. But "video title" and "TV title" are also blocked from use on videos and TV, respectively.

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Thanks Peter. I completely support your point of view.

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3 y ago

Does this mean that every single title should have an imdb display title aka for the country of origin or are there only specific circumstances where that would be appropriate? The former seems like a lot of work.

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3 y ago

Hi Matt,

In an ideal world yes each country of origin should have an additional imdb display title.

Regards,
Will

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Perhaps the aka for the country of origin should be a mandatory piece of information when submitting a new title? I can't see many people doing it otherwise because most of the time it will be the same as the primary title.

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It is really good when reading, but after the last half a year the "ideal world" stays far away from Ukraine - the imdb display title is not provided for Cyrillic.

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3 y ago

Will,
It seems that the technical ability of IMDb is far from capable of achieving the goals it supposedly has set.
Our goal at IMDb is to be able to represent to any customer in any locale (speaking language and country) what a title is known as.
However, there are many locales which IMDb simply does not accept, like Hebrew and Chinese. Some discussion about this here: https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/non-functioning-language-options-for-titles

In short, IMDb pretends to accept Hebrew, Chinese, etc. titles, but in practice does not accept their characters. Editors have resorted to transcription - where they phonetically write the title using English characters. This results in titles that are hard to read and help no one.

For your consideration, I believe IMDb should accept all valid Unicode characters that are part of any language.

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2 y ago

Will,

There is a small typo in the guide text that you quoted above: "country or origin". The typo has also been carried over into the intro message in the update form.

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2 y ago

Thanks for the spot Peter, I've amended all instances of this now.

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8 m ago

The submission guide version of this text says, "We are now encouraging the submission of an imdb display title for all known countries, including the country of origin." 

I would question the wording "all known countries".

I am seeing display titles, identical to the original title, added for various foreign countries where the film has not been released. Is there any value in this? I think it just leads to the false impression that the film has been released more widely than it has.

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It may depend on what you call "released": the extension of VOD releases may lead to have the original title used extensively, whatever the market, with no alternate title in the local language.

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The example I saw today was a Swedish TV miniseries which has by all accounts only been available in Scandinavia, but had display titles for Canada and Mexico – in Swedish.

Hypothetically, the same title could be listed for hundreds of countries/languages in the same way.

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It also creates problems with correcting these blind meaningless duplications when the title is actually released with a legit name later in that place, since corrections are always harder than additions.