The previous blog post about Flagrant managed to raise a number of issues that we had never dealt with before here at MusicBrainz:
- When an artist comes to MB and asks that their data be removed, what should we do, if anything?
- Should an artist be more important than the users? How about music labels?
- How can we tell that someone mailing us is in fact that artist or a valid representative of that artist?
These are very difficult questions to answer and given the feedback from the community to this issue, its clear that people feel strongly about this. Also the favor does not seem to be towards the artists, which intuitively I do not agree with. Rather than deal with these very sticky situations that involve recognizing one person or group of persons more than others, I would like to suggest the following much simpler course of action:
- Every MusicBrainz user is treated the same inside of MusicBrainz.
- Users may have different powers, depending on their past history inside of MusicBrainz. (MusicBrainz is a meritocracy)
- All users start with the same level of power, regardless if they are an artist, a label, a representative of either, or a normal music lover.
- Neither an artist, a label, nor any user can request data be removed from MusicBrainz, unless they have a clear legal argument. Given that MusicBrainz indexes only factual data at the moment, this is going to be very unlikely.
This policy is enforceable since it makes everyone equal. If an artist or a label wishes to enter/remove data to/from MusicBrainz, they must use the moderation system just like everyone else. Please post comments and let me know what you think of this proposal!
P.S. Thanks to our board of directors for chiming in on this important topic!