What is the technological basis of the mbo?

The mbo is built on the "Resource Description Framework" (RDF), which is a technology to describe semantic data. With RDF you can assign URIs to define objects, e.g. an artist, an album or a royalty statement. And you can define relations between those objects, e.g. an "artist" "created" an "album". With RDF you store all data in so called triples: subject, predicate, object.

How to use the mbo?

<http://creativeartefact.org/resource/xyz> a <http://creativeartefact.org/ontology/Artist> .
<http://creativeartefact.org/resource/xyz> <http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema#label> "molllust"@de .

The first line states that the object "http://creativeartefact.org/resource/xyz" is an artist. The second line tells you, that the name of the artists is "molllust" and that this is the name in german language. This way you can store as many information as you like for the artist. The mbo defines how the information is identified by providing several predicates to be used with the artist. For example, one predicate is to identify the ISNI-number of the artist: <http://creativeartifact.org/ontology/ISNI>. You can now store the number the following way:

<http://creativeartefact.org/resource/xyz> <http://creativeartifact.org/ontology/ISNI> "1234123412341234" .

You can also link between objects, for example linking artists to releases. Let's asume, we identify the album "Schuld" in the following way:

<http://creativeartefact.org/resource/abc> a <http://creativeartefact.org/ontology/ReleaseGroup> .
<http://creativeartefact.org/resource/abc> <http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema#label> "Schuld"@de .

Then we can express, that the artist 'molllust' has released the album 'Schuld' in the following way:

<http://creativeartefact.org/resource/xyz> <http://creativeartefact.org/ontology/hasReleaseGroup> <http://creativeartefact.org/resource/abc> .

The classes and predicates like <http://creativeartefact.org/ontology/Artist>, <http://creativeartefact.org/ontology/ReleaseGroup> or <http://creativeartefact.org/ontology/hasReleaseGroup> are provided by the music business ontology and provide a structure for your data. As the mbo is free to use for everyone, everyone knows how to declare objects and properties in the same way. So everybody who uses the mbo can use your data in an automated way. There is no need for manual copying - all you have to do is to create a converter so your software can understand the mbo structure. And you have to do it just once and not for every fancy format you might encounter.

If you want to store your data in the mbo format, but it lacks some properties you like to have, you can simply add those properties yourself, because the ontology is easily extendible. If you want to associate a color with an artist - just define it!

<http://mypersonalnamespace.org/ontology/hasColor> a <http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#Property> .
<http://mypersonalnamespace.org/ontology/hasColor> <http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema#domain> <http://creativeartefact.org/ontology/Artist> .
<http://mypersonalnamespace.org/ontology/hasColor> <http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema#range> <http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#string> .

This means, that the object <http://mypersonalnamespace.org/ontology/hasColor> is a property, and can be used for artists (<http://creativeartefact.org/ontology/Artist>) and the value has to be a string. Now you can associate a color to an artist:

<http://creativeartefact.org/resource/xyz> <http://mypersonalnamespace.org/ontology/hasColor> "dark purple"@en .

We now have assigned the color "dark purple" to our previously defined artist 'molllust'. Of course, as this is an association you created yourself, nobody will be able to understand your data. But the advantage is, that it doesn't prevent them from understanding all the other data associated with the artist. This gives you the flexibility to add as many information as you need without compromising your data regarding the data exchange. And as the music business ontology isn't a static thing - maybe your predicate will be added eventually when a majority of users agrees about the usefullness of the predicate.