I finished entering my music collection into MusicBrainz two of months ago and in the process learned the fantastic capabilities of this database beyond just tagging music. The historical information possibilities of this database are limitless (at this time). The present schema gives the ability to link all forms of data together and allows the user to decide what data they want to search.
With relationships filled in the research capabilities are limitless, we could search the history of music. We could trace music by type and location, we could find all the groups a person played with (as a member or featured artist).
For academics it could make a fantastic starting point for research and allows the researchers to provide feedback with more data and error corrections.
What happens if a artist asks to have information removed? If MB is asked to remove a birthday, can you still keep the birth year? Time is a universal search tool both as research and verification. When does public information no longer become public? When does a public figure no longer become public? Could this “regulation” lead to pay walls. Could artists and their labels band to gather to squeeze the last infinitesimal monetary value out of this information?
I ask this because I have just begun to enter relationships and works for composers/lyrists (songwriters) and as I research the ones I am entering it has become common for me to add new songwriters who were a part of the work. As I do this the “spider web” gets larger and larger, I am not content to leave a artist or songwriter “hanging” out there with little attached to them.
This is days of work and if it is going to be removed then why enter it in the first place.
I am not trying to be an alarmist, I have read through some of the regulation and do not totally understand it. I believe in the right to privacy for all individuals (even politicians), but a compromise needs to be made in these regulation and laws on “some” of the information that is already publicly available.
I asked about the date of birth earlier because that is one of those questions that get asked of you for verification (at least here in the US). Personally I have heartburn with the full date for a living person being stored and believe to some degrees it is an evasion of privacy even if the data has been made public. In research the granularity of timelines in days can be important so I am not sure where I stand on the subject.
An interesting question is to ask where do Google, Wikipedia, and others fall into this? I guess MusicBrainz is asking itself the same question.