Hmmm. I'm trying to follow this thought in the context of this thread and I don't see it discussed in the context of VideoBrainz much. Are you bringing in topics that have occurred elsewhere into this discussion - because I'm confused. However, your comment does bring in several topics worthy of discussion. I see issues of editorial rights, schema design approaches, and localization entering in with your comment.
On Editorial rights. I don't see why every account should have equal access to the database. I believe our purpose is to create a free and open database of video metadata of the highest quality, accuracy, and breadth. If that is the case, we have several problems we need to confront.
First, we need to encourage people to become contributors. The more contributors we have, the more data we will accumulate. The videos I'm most interested in will differ widely from other people. And by pulling from as broad a base as possible we will have a database that spans as many interests and cultures as possible. However, that comes with its own problem. Not all contributors do good work.
And that brings me to the second problem: we need to encourage high quality contributions. We cannot rely entirely on the editorial process to keep the data of high quality. As Oliver Charles pointed out years ago in this blog post, submissions are outpacing the ability of reviewers to look everything over. While the new editing system is designed to make matters better; I highly doubt it will eliminate it. We will need a hierarchy of accounts with increasing levels of access to the database. What those tiers are, what rights go with them, and how people move up and down the tiers is not something that I'm ready to discuss. But the existence of different levels of access and editorial rights I think is clearly needed.
Schema Design Approaches Part of the ontology will be various taxonomies that categorize things. Some of these will occur in relationships. For example, suppose we have a "Movie" entity, and a "Person" entity. We may then have relationships between those two kinds of entities. A specific Movie will have a whole host of Person's who contributed to that Movie in one form or another: the Cast and Crew to employ the terms typically used. So we'll have Cast relationships which will also include what "Role" that Actor performed. We'll also have Crew relationships which will describe the Job that Person had in the production of the Movie. Will we have a semi-fixed taxonomy of jobs? If we do, how is that taxonomy created and maintained? Will it evolve over time? I think that this list will exist, and that it will change over time, and that the process for changing that list will be similar to changing any other part of the schema - in other words - very difficult and with significant impact. Changing any taxonomy that classifies items will imply that all data created using the older version of the list may need to be changed to use the new categorization system.
One approach that we can have to managing such taxonomies is to represent the taxonomy in the database itself. Not as part of the database definition; but in tables of its own. But having those represented in the database does not mean that they are freely editable.
Localization Localization needs to be a first tier capability. What I mean by that is that localization of all data should be incorporated in all of our designs from the very beginning. The discussion on instruments with disambiguation comments has been very instructive. As in the case of instruments, job titles in VideoBrainz will have need of translations. We are in a good position to ask the MusicBrainz folks: "If you could design the schema from scratch now - what would you do different?" Maintenance of the MusicBrainz schema is significantly burdened with a large existing database and mature collection of software built up. Fundamental changes to the schema represents a HUGE undertaking. VideoBrainz currently doesn't have that burden so has the opportunity to make fundamental changes to the approach.