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Summary of the rules in English (unofficial translation)

CONFIRMED by

the Board of the Estonian Public Broadcasting

on 31.08.2020

with the decision No. 1.1

 

1. General terms

1.1 This document (hereinafter the rules) establishes the terms and procedures of the song contest "EESTI LAUL 2021" (hereinafter: song contest or contest) arranged by the Estonian Public Broadcasting.

1.2 The song contest has three stages: a pre-audition, two semi-finals (on 18 February and 20 February 2021) and a grand finale (on 6 March 2021).

1.3 Events of the song contest are organized, and all the related matters are resolved by the Estonian Public Broadcasting (hereinafter the ERR).

1.4 The ERR contact details: address Faehlmanni 12, 15029 Tallinn; 7th floor, room 7113; e-mail eestilaul@err.ee.

1.5 By participating in the song contest, the participants agree to uphold the terms of these rules and the rules established by the European Broadcasting Union (the EBU) for the Eurovision song contest "Rules of the 65th Eurovision Song Contest" (paragraph 12.2); they also agree to collaborate with the ERR during the song contest and to grant to the ERR all the rights that permit the use of songs, song performances, recordings and song related promo materials.

1.6 By participating in the song contest, all the participants agree to the terms of personal data processing, in the extent and according to the procedures established in paragraph 11.

2. Songs eligible for the contest

2.1 Only the final and the master version of the song can be entered to the song contest. The song must meet the following requirements:

2.1.1 length of the performance is no longer than 3 (three) minutes;

2.1.2 the song has original (authentic) lyrics and music;

2.1.3 participants or third parties have not and shall not publish (release or relay to the public) the lyrics or the music of the song until 7 December 2020. The ERR announces the semi-finalists, unless decided otherwise;

2.1.4 the song and its performance are in accordance with the law and/or good practice, and do not have a negative impact on the image of song contest or the Eurovision Song Contest.

2.2 Performer(s) and performance(s) must meet following requirements:

2.2.1 up to six (6) people are allowed onto the stage during the performance;

2.2.2 same author(s) and performer(s) partake in all the stages of the contest;

2.2.3 the date of birth of the performer(s) is no later than 15 May 2005;

2.2.4 the song is not performed by a person who, in the same year, is performing another country's entry for the Eurovision Song contest or is competing for that title.

 

3. Authors and performers

3.1 Authors, groups of authors (hereinafter: author, authors) who are allowed to participate in the song contest must be either: citizens of the Republic of Estonia, non-natives considered as residents of the Republic of Estonia for the purposes of the Income Tax Act, or non-residents (according to the distinction stipulated in paragraph 3.2. All authors must prove their authorship if necessary.

3.2 Non-resident authors can participate in the song contest if they meet the following requirements:

3.2.1 non-resident author can participate only as a song's co-author;

3.2.2 the music of the song can have only one non-resident co-author;

3.2.3 the lyrics of the song can have only one non-resident co-author;

3.2.4 a song cannot have more than two (2) non-resident co-authors;

3.2.5 at least one author of the music must be either Estonian citizen or resident;

3.2.6 at least one author of the lyrics must be either Estonian citizen or resident.

3.3 Song's performer(s) may be citizens, residents and non-residents of the Republic of Estonia.

3.4 One author or group of authors of music and/or lyrics can participate in the contest with up to five (5) songs.

3.5 One single performer or a group of performers can submit up to five (5) songs.

3.6 Each participant shall pay a participation fee. The amount includes the VAT and depends on the time when the song was entered to the contest:

3.6.1 from 1 September to 31 October 2020 (until 11.59), €25 for a song in Estonian, €75 for a song in foreign language or a multilingual song;

3.6 from 31 October (from 12.00)  to 6 November 2020 (until 12.00), €50 for a song in Estonian, €150 for a song in foreign language or a multilingual song

3.7 This fee shall be paid to the ERR's bank account via bank link. Payment description shall include the name(s) of the performer(s) and the title of the song. If author(s) or performer(s) submit more than one song to the contest, the participation fees shall be paid separately for each song. The participation fee is non-refundable.

3.8 If necessary, the fee is used to cover "EESTI LAUL 2021" winner's participation expenses in the 65th Eurovision Song Contest.

3.9 Each semi-finalist shall select a representative, who communicates with song contest organizers, takes responsibility for all the matters related to their song and is obliged to be present in stage show meetings.

 

4. Submission of songs

4.1 Songs can be submitted from 1 September 2020 until 6 November 2020, until 12.00. Songs and all the additional materials listed in the rules shall be uploaded to the ERR web page eestilaul.ee.

4.2 To participate in the contest, the following shall be submitted and uploaded together with the song:

4.2.1 up to 3 (three) tracks in WAV format:

4.2.1.1 a high-quality track (full master) of the song;

4.2.1.2 an instrumental backing track of the song without backing vocals;

4.2.1.3 if backing vocals are used, then an instrumental backing track with backing vocals.

4.2.2 song's lyrics (Estonian translation is required if the lyrics are not in Estonian);

4.2.3 short biography of the performer(s) in a PDF file. The biography should describe their previous stage and television appearance experiences.

4.2.4 promotional photograph(s) (up to five different images) of the performer(s). Also, a video of the soloist's previous live performance can be added (up to 3 minutes long).

4.2.5 vision / explanation of the song stage performance in a PDF file.

4.3 Tracks described in paragraph 4.2.1 shall meet the following requirements:

4.3.1 instrumental backing track may include back vocals (vocal harmony);

4.3.2 instrumental backing track with backing vocals may not contain vocal effects (only the use of reverb and delay are allowed);

4.3.3 instrumental backing track may not include the lead vocal, lead dub or the lead vocal in octave;

4.3.4 all the above mentioned (lead vocal, lead dub and lead vocal in octave) shall be performed live;

4.3.5 if backing vocals are used on the instrumental backing track, these can be dubbed in live;

4.3.6 a cappella song shall be performed live.

4.4 The authors and performers of the songs shall not be announced until the results of the pre-auditions have been disclosed.

 

5. Pre-audition

5.1 Based on the jury's vote, up to 24 songs that comply with the requirements stated in the rules, advance to the semi-finals. The jury assesses the songs "blindly", i.e. they do not know song's authors. The identities of jury members shall not be disclosed until the results have been announced.

5.2 Due to the cancellation of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020, one (1) slot in the semi-final is reserved to a song created by the authors of the EESTI LAUL 2020 winning song (or, according to their internal agreement, to a song created by one of them), if the song meets the requirements of the rules.

5.3 In addition to the above mentioned 24 songs, two (2) additional songs shall be selected. These songs are shall replace a song among the initial 24, if it does not adhere to the rules herein or is required to be replaced for other reasons.

5.4 Semi-finalists (songs, authors and performers) shall be disclosed no later than on 12 November 2020 (in ERR TV-shows, on home pages and social media accounts). Songs' scores and ranking shall not be disclosed.

5.5 Semi-finalists shall debut on 5 December 2020 the latest, unless otherwise decided by the ERR.

5.6 Team, whose song has advanced to the semi-final, shall create a music video and submit it to the ERR no later than on 26 November 2020.

5.7 The ERR shall not use songs that have dropped out of the contest; and materials listed in paragraph 4.2 are deleted.

 

6. Semi-finals and the grand finale

6.1 In the semi- and grand finales, songs are performed live on live broadcast, backed by the instrumental backing track. Instrumental backing track shall be uploaded to the ERR server by 12.00 on 6 November 2020 the latest. It costs €150 (VAT included) to change the backing track after that date. The ERR determines whether to give or withhold the permission to change the backing track.

6.2 Deadlines:

6.2.1 From 13 November 2020 until 7 March 2021, the performers and authors of songs that are competing in the semi- and grand finales shall be available for appearances in different ERR TV-shows, rehearsals, promotional events and campaigns related to the song contest. Super-finalists shall perform in the "EESTI LAUL" special event(s), taking place from April to May in 2021. The exact date and place of the performance shall be decided by the ERR on 14 March 2021 the latest.

6.2.2 Performers and authors shall participate in the semi- and grand finale related meetings, rehearsals and interviews. These take place from 13 November 2020 until 7 March 2021 and the following conditions apply:

6.2.2.1 postcard filming dates and times are set by the ERR;

6.2.2.2 rehearsal dates, times and lengths are set by the ERR;

6.2.2.3 the performer(s) and author(s) of the songs must be the same as on the track described in paragraphs 4.2.1 and 6.1, unless the ERR has agreed otherwise due to effective reasons;

6.2.2.4 the ERR holds the definitive vote when deciding the use of stage design and props;

6.2.2.5 the ERR holds the definitive vote when deciding the style, costumes, hairdo and stage movement of the performers;

6.2.2.6 song author(s) shall guarantee that the performers are available for all the rehearsals and live TV-shows taking place on the dates provided by the ERR;

6.2.2.7 performers or authors or their representatives shall participate in the info meeting on 13 November 2020 and in the stage show meetings taking place from 7 to 9 December 2020 (according to schedule).

6.2.2.8 The final concept of the stage performance, also the song's one-shot video shall be presented to the ERR no later than on 30 December 2020. It costs 150€ (VAT included) to change the concept after that date. The ERR determines whether to give or withhold the permission to change the concept.

6.2.2.9 Winning song shall use the same stage show also in the Eurovision Song Contest.

6.3 If the performers cannot perform their song in the semi- and grand finales due to a temporary force majeure, but the ERR has sufficient reason to believe that they can prepare for and perform in the Eurovision Song Contest, and the authors have submitted a written request, the ERR may make compromises in the semi- and grand finales (e.g. allow the use of full master).

6.4 Introduction of songs:

6.4.1 As soon as the materials described in paragraph 4.1 have been submitted to the ERR and until the end of the song competition, the ERR gains and owns the right to use songs, performances, tracks and other materials in any way relevant in the context of the song contest  (including in song contest's promotional and campaign events). To this end, the ERR has the right to provide sub-licenses to third parties.

6.4.2 From 7 December 2020 onward, the authors and performers can relay their songs to the public and advance the publicity of their songs in any way. They cannot, however, allow third parties use their songs to advertise themselves or their products/services, unless otherwise decided by the ERR.

6.4.3 If the rules stipulated in paragraph 2.1.3 are violated, the ERR has the right to exclude the song from the semi-final or the final and/or demand the author(s) pay a penalty fee – up to 2,000 euros.

 

7. Conclusion of contracts and requirements arising from the contracts

7.1 From 15 November to 7 December 2020, written contracts are concluded with the authors, performers and producers of songs that advanced to the semi-finals. These contracts stipulate parties' rights and obligations in relation to their participation in the song contest and plausible participation in the Eurovision Song Contest and cover the use of intellectual property rights of songs, performances and recordings.

7.2 Contracts are concluded between the ERR and the author (a physical person), the ERR and the performer (a physical person) or their representative (see paragraph 9.4), and between the ERR and the track producer. If author's, performer's or track producer's rights are executed by an association of collective representation, this particular contract amends the extent of ERR's rights beyond the extent granted by the framework agreement concluded with the association of collective representation.

7.3 The ERR holds the right to exclude a song from the semi- or grand finale if author(s), performer(s) or their representative(s) violates/violate the rules stated herein and in the contract, including when the aforementioned contract has not been concluded with the song's author, performer or their representative by the due date.

 

8. Voting and rating

8.1 Up to twelve (12) songs shall compete in each semi-final and up to six (6) songs from both semi-finals advance to the grand finale. Altogether, up to twelve (12) songs shall compete in the grand finale.

8.2 Songs' order in the semi- and grand finales shall be decided by the ERR.

8.3 Semi-finalists shall be decided in two live TV broadcasts on 18 and 20 February 2021. Both semi-finals have two rounds: winners of the first round are decided by the jury vote and TV viewers' phone votes, and winners of the second round are decided by the viewers' phone votes. If the ERR deems necessary, user statistics from online environments shall be added to the votes to determine the results of the first round.

8.4 Estonian representative at the 65th Eurovision Song Contest is decided during the live broadcast of "EESTI LAUL 2021" on 6 March 2021. The grand finale has two rounds: winners of the first round are decided by the jury vote and TV viewers' phone votes, and the winner of the song contest is decided by the viewers' phone votes in the second round (the super-final).

8.5 If the phone voting fails due to whatever reason, the finalists and the winning song of the whole contest are decided by the jury vote.

 

9. Author's and performer's fee

9.1 Reimbursements to the authors of songs performed in the semi- and grand finales:

9.1.1 author(s) of the finale winner receive(s) €3000 in total, which is disbursed as grant by the Estonian Author's Society;

9.1.2 author(s) of the song that placed second and songs that placed onto consecutive places in the grand finale receive €500 per song;

9.1.3 author(s) of songs that compete in the semi-finals, irrespective of their final position, receive €500 per song.

9.2 All taxes and payments established by the law shall be deducted from the author's fees and fees are transferred to author(s) bank account(s) within 30 days after the finale.

9.3 In case of co-authorship, as an additional condition, the ERR requires either a written contract on the allotment of the author's fee or foresees that this practice shall be included in the contract between author's representative and the ERR (see paragraph 7.1).

9.4 If the author participates as a self-employed entrepreneur or via a business association, as an additional condition on the reimbursement of author's fee, the ERR requires that a relevant invoice (and, in case of co-authorship, the agreement stipulated in paragraph 9.3) is presented to the ERR. If the participating author, who is a self-employed entrepreneur or partaking via a business association, is also subject to VAT, the VAT is added to the author's fee. The invoice must be sent to the ERR by 30 June 2021 the latest. The ERR does not accept invoices sent after that date.

9.5 Reimbursements to the performers of songs performed in the semi- and grand finales:

9.5.1 performer(s) of the finale winner receive(s) €1000 in total, which is disbursed as grant by the Estonian Performers Association;

9.5.2 performer(s) of the song that placed second in the finale receive(s) €1000 in total, which is disbursed as grant by the Estonian Performers Association;

9.5.3 performer(s) of the song that placed third in the finale receive(s) €1000 in total, which is disbursed as grant by the Estonian Performers Association;

9.5.4 soloists of songs that participate in the semi- and grand finales receive €100 per performer per song, irrespective of song's final position;

9.5.5 backing vocalists of songs that participate in the semi- and grand finales receive 50 € per performer per song, irrespective of song's final position.

9.6 Reimbursements to the track producers of songs performed in the semi- and grand finales:

9.6.1 track producer of the finale winner shall receive €1000, paid by the Estonian Association of the Phonogram Producers.

9.7 Performers' and track producer's fees are paid according to the terms stipulated in paragraphs 9.2–9.4. All grants paid by the Estonian Performers Association follow the conditions established in the principles and procedures of grants reimbursement.

9.8 The sums listed in paragraphs 9.1, 9.5 and 9.6 also include the fees payable due to using songs, performances and recordings for the purposes, in the manner and according to the terms stated in these rules.

9.9 The ERR shall not reimburse to the authors and performers the costs that have occurred during their participation in the song contest and/or the Eurovision Song Contest, e.g., transport and parking costs, except for the occasions stipulated in these rules or in the contract concluded as per paragraph 7.1.

 

10. Use of the winning song

10.1 The contract concluded with the author(s) (see section 7.1) establishes the following conditions, which take effect when the song wins the finale:

10.1.1 in return for the authors' fee listed in paragraph 9.1.1, song author(s), performer(s) and track producer(s) shall provide to the ERR a transferable right (right to provide sub-license) to use the song, it's performances and recordings according to the purposes, in the manner and according to the terms set out in the Eurovision Song Contest rules, and to produce a record single of the song;

10.1.2 The ERR holds the final word in the stage performance of the Eurovision Song Contest song, including its stylistics, choreography, visuals and staging;

10.1.03 The ERR shall make decisions about the recordings that are made according to the rules stipulated in the Eurovision Song Contest's rules;

10.1.4 The ERR shall send and the performer(s) shall participate in the semi-finals of the 65th Eurovision Song Contest as part of the ERR's delegation. If qualified, then they shall participate also in the grand finale and relevant events held during three (3) weeks;

10.1.5 If required and possible, one author, producer or a third person (with approval from the ERR), who is related to the creation of the song, shall be included in the ERR delegation and can participate in the semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest. If qualified, then they shall participate also in the grand finale and relevant events;

10.1.6 The ERR shall reimburse the costs of sending the persons listed in sections 10.1.4 and 10.1.5 to the Eurovision Song Contest according to the terms and the extent established for secondment;

10.1.7 The ERR and the author(s), performer(s) and track producer(s) of the song shall work together to fulfil the requirements of the Eurovision Song Contest and to gain the best possible results.

 

11. Terms of personal data processing

11.1 The ERR collects and processes as personal data: authors', performers' and track producers' data that has been listed in sections 4 and 6 of these rules or that have been provided with the contracts (see section 7).

11.2 Personal data processing is necessary to facilitate song's participation in the song contest, winning song's participation in the Eurovision Song Contest and to fulfil contracts with participants. In addition, the aim of personal data processing is to ensure the lawful use of authors' compositions, performers' performances and tracks, and comprehensive protection of their rights as per the Copyright Act.

11.3 The personal data processor is the ERR, located at: F.R. Kreutzwaldi 14, Tallinn. Phone: 628 4100, e-mail: err@err.ee.

11.4 Person's name and image and data from person's short biography are disclosed to the public. Personal data is forwarded to third parties if it is necessary for the use of the compositions and performances and/or the protection of author's and performer's rights, or if this right or obligation raises from the law.

11.5 The data subject has the right to inspect the data that the ERR gathers and holds about them, demand that incorrect personal data is corrected, and prohibit further data processing, except in cases when the processing of personal data is allowed without the data subject's approval.

 

12. Final provision

12.1 The song contest begins on 1 September 2020; the rules of the song contest are published on the ERR home page.

12.2 Relevant persons can access the "Rules of the 65th Eurovision Song Contest" and its appendixes, also drafts of contracts concluded with songs' authors, performers and track producers at the ERR's physical location and online on page https://eurovision.tv/about/rules/.

12.3 The ERR retains the right to make changes to these rules. Changes shall be published immediately on the ERR home page.

12.4 Appendix 1 of this document lists the schedule of contest-related events.

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