Prevent a field from being updated

I have all my albums set with the year of first release of album, and beets tends to best match them with the best record its sees and this is rarely the original release date.
I like my music organized by year of release to listen the evolution of an artist.
Is there a way to protect the date fields from being updated ?

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There’s nothing exactly like that, but have you seen the original_date config option?

yes, I have set it to yes, and it does not change the behaviour

alternatively, I was thinking to use a plugin to get back the year from the folder name, I have a structure artist/year-album/track-title.ext

If original_date doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do, please file a bug so we can reproduce the problem (and fix it!).

seems there is already one close enough

That one’s about original dates for tracks, not releases/albums. Is that what you want? If your question is about original_date not working as described, we really do want you to file a new bug with instructions to reproduce.