1. General terms
1.1 This document (hereinafter: the rules) establishes the terms and procedures of the song contest "EESTI LAUL 2024" (hereinafter: song contest or contest) arranged by the Estonian Public Broadcasting.
1.2 The song contest has four stages: the pre-audition, one semi-final (on 20 January 2024) and a grand finale (on 17 February 2023).
1.3 Events of the song contest are organized, and all 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 7115; e-mail [email protected].
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 68th Eurovision Song Contest"; 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 participants agree to the terms of personal data processing in the extent and according to the procedures established in paragraph 11.
1.7 By participating in the competition, participants agree to abide by the rules established by the ERR to guarantee the safety and health protection of the participants on the premises of the ERR and other venues related to the event/recordings.
2. Songs eligible for the contest
2.1 The song entered to the song contest (hereinafter: song) must meet the following requirements:
2.1.1 length of the performance is no longer than 3:00 (three) minutes;
2.1.2 the song has original (authentic) lyrics and music;
2.1.3 the song has to have the same author(s) in all the stages of the contest as at the time of the entry;
2.1.4 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 21:00 on 08 December 2023. The ERR announces the semi-finalists from the pre-audition and the finalists who are admitted directly to the grand finale unless decided otherwise;
2.1.5 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 the song contest or the Eurovision Song Contest.
2.2 Performer(s) and performance(s) must meet the 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 as at the time of the entry;
2.2.3 the date of birth of the performer(s) is no later than 06 May 2008;
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.
2.2.5 the performance is in accordance with the law and/or good practice, and does not have a negative impact on the image of the song contest or the Eurovision Song Contest.
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 (hereinafter: residents), or non-residents according to the distinction stipulated in paragraph 3.2. All authors must prove their authorship if necessary.
3.2 The overall number of non-resident authors must not exceed the number of authors who are the citizens and/or the residents of the Republic of Estonia. The ERR has the right to make exceptions to the rule stipulated in the current paragraph.
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 perform up to five (5) songs at the contest.
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 15 September to 21 October 2023 (until 11:59), €50 for a song in Estonian, €100 for a song in a foreign language or a multilingual song;
3.6.2 from 21 October (from 12:00) to 23 October 2023 (until 12:00), €100 for a song in Estonian, €200 for a song in a foreign language or a multilingual song.
3.7 This fee shall be paid to the ERR's bank account via a bank link. The payment description shall include the name(s) of the performer(s) and the title of the song. If the 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 Each semi-finalist and the finalist admitted directly to the grand finale shall select one (1) representative, who is authorized by the team members' (authors of music and lyrics, performers, phonogram producers) to sign the contracts listed in paragraph 8 and to communicate with song contest organizers. The representative 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 15 September 2023 to 23 October 2023 (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 a track in WAV format;
4.2.2 song's lyrics (Estonian translation is required if the lyrics are not in Estonian) in full version, as it is performed, with all repetitions and choruses in doc file;
4.2.3 short biography of the performer(s) in pdf file.
4.2.4 promotional photographs (3-5 different images) of the performer(s).
4.3 The authors and performers of the songs shall not be made public prior the announcement of pre-audition results.
5.1 Based on the jury's vote, up to twenty (20) songs that comply with the requirements stated in the rules, are chosen for the competition: fifteen (15) to the semi-final and five (5) directly to the grand finale. The jury assesses the songs "blindly", i.e. they do not know the song's authors nor performers. The identities of jury members shall not be disclosed until the results have been announced.
5.2 The jury shall select two (2) extra songs in addition to the semi-finalists and the songs that go directly to the grand finale, in case any song that has made the semi-final does not comply with the requirements or needs to be replaced for other reasons. Should there be a need to replace any song that has directly advanced to the grand finale, it will be done with the first song of the semi-final that did not make the grand finale.
5.3 The names, authors and performers of the songs selected from the pre-audition to the semi-final and directly to the grand finale will be published by the ERR (ERR programs, home pages, social media accounts) no later than 08 November 2023. The points awarded to the songs and the order of the songs are not disclosed.
5.4 Changes to the mix and production of the phonograms (master) of the songs admitted to the semi-final or directly to the grand finale can be made no later than 03 December 2023 (23:59). The tempo, key and form of the song cannot be altered. Later changes will not be accepted by the ERR.
5.5 The premiere of the songs which have made the semi-final and which have been admitted directly to the grand final will take place no later than 08 December 2023, unless the ERR decides otherwise.
5.6 A music video must be made for the songs selected for the semi-final and the songs that have been directly admitted to the grand finale by the team of the song and it must be handed over to the ERR no later than 04 December 2023.
5.7 The ERR has the right to publicize the songs that were not selected for the semi-final or were not directly admitted to the grand finale on the ERR programmes (television, radio, Jupiter) according to the rights granted at the time of the application.
5.8 The jury of the semi-final consist of minimum 35 (thirty-five) members, who are professional musicians, interpreters, composers, singers, producers but also music journalists, DJ-s, academic lecturers and ordinary people of all ages, who listen to music and to whom music is written.
6. Preparation for the semi-final and the grand finale
6.1 The team of the song competing in the semi-final and the team of the song admitted directly to the grand finale must send separate audio lines (stems) of the song to the ERR no later than 15 December 2023, the technical requirements of which are described in Annex No. 1.
6.2 Requirements for the instrumental phonogram which is used in the semi-final and the grand finale:
6.2.1 background vocals (harmony voices) can be used on instrumental phonogram;
6.2.2 Lead vocal (solo/melody voice) and Lead Dubs (duplication of solo/melody voice) cannot be used on instrumental phonogram;
6.2.3 both (Lead vocal and Lead Dub – solo voice and duplication) must be performed live;
6.2.4 if background vocals are used on instrumental phonogram, they can be duplicated in live performance.
6.3 Authors and performers of songs that have reached the semi-final and the grand finale must be available for performances in various ERR programs, rehearsals and promotional events and campaigns related to the competition between 08 November 2023 to 17 February 2024. The super finalists are obliged to perform at the special event(s) of "Eesti Laul" in April-May 2024. The exact date and place of performance will be decided by the ERR no later than 1 March 2024.
6.4 From 28 November 2023 to 26 January 2024, semi-final and grand finale meetings, postcard recordings, samples and interviews, etc. will be held with performers and authors under the following conditions:
6.4.1 the recordings of the song postcard are held on 16 December and 17 December 2023 on the ERR premises;
6.4.2 rehearsal dates, times and lengths are set by the ERR;
6.4.3 the performer(s) and author(s) of the songs must be the same as on the phonogram described in section 4.2.1 and paragraph 6.1, unless the ERR has agreed otherwise due to effective reasons;
6.4.4 the ERR holds the definitive vote when deciding the use of stage design and props, costumes, visuals, stage movement, sound and directing;
6.4.5 the person specified in clause 3.8 shall ensure the participation of the performers in all the samples and live broadcasts of the competition on the dates given by the ERR;
6.4.6 authors and performers or their representatives must participate in the information meetings and in the stage show meetings in November 2023-February 2024.
6.5 The semi-final concept of the stage performance and the concept of the stage performance of the songs admitted directly to the grand finale with the song's one-shot video shall be presented to the ERR no later than on 15 December 2023.
6.6 If the performers cannot perform their song in the semi-final or the grand finale 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-final and the grand finale (e.g. allow the use of full master).
6.7 Introducing songs:
6.7.1 From the submission of materials listed in paragraph 4.2 to the end of the competition, the ERR has the right to use the songs, performances, phonograms, music videos and other materials in the context of the contest (including promotional events and campaigns of the contest). The ERR has the right to give all-license to the third party for that purpose.
6.7.2 From 08 December 2023 (21:00) the authors and performers of songs can relay the songs to the public and promote the popularity of the song in all ways (except permit the usage by third parties for the promotion of their products or services), unless the ERR has decided otherwise.
6.7.3 Violation of section 2.1.4 gives the ERR the right to remove the song from the list of semi-finalists or finalists and/or demand penal fine of two thousand (2000) Euros from the author(s) of the song.
7. Conducting the semi-final and the grand finale
7.1 In the semi-final and the grand finale, the songs will be performed live with an instrumental phonogram.
7.2 Fifteen (15) songs will compete in the semi-final. Five (5) songs will be chosen from the semi-final to the grand finale. Five (5) songs from pre-audition will be admitted directly to the grand finale. These songs will be introduced at the semi-final. Ten (10) songs will compete in the grand finale.
7.3 The order of the songs to be performed in the semi-final and the grand finale is determined by the ERR.
7.4 Semi-finalists shall be decided in the live TV broadcasts on 20 January 2024 in 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.
7.5 Estonian representative at the 68th Eurovision Song Contest is decided during the live broadcast held on 17 February 2023. 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).
7.6 If the phone voting fails due to whatever reason, the finalists from the semi-final and the winning song of the whole contest are decided by the jury vote.
7.7 The jury of the semi-final consist of minimum 35 (thirty-five) members, who are professional musicians, interpreters, composers, singers, producers but also music journalists, DJ-s, academic lecturers and ordinary people of all ages, who listen to music and to whom music is written.
7.8 The jury of the grand finale consist of minimum 7 (seven) members, who are international music professionals actively involved in creating, publishing and teaching pop music.
8. Conclusion of contracts and requirements arising from the contracts
8.1 Written contracts will be concluded between the authors, performers and phonogram producers of the songs selected for the semi-final and the songs admitted directly to the grand finale from 08 December 2023 to 17 February 2024, setting out the rights and obligations of the parties regarding the participation of the songs in the competition and possible participation in the Eurovision Song Contest. The agreement also provides for the use of intellectual property rights related to songs, their performances and recordings.
8.2 Contracts (see paragraph 8.1) are concluded between the ERR and the authorized representative of the team of a particular song. For that each member of the team (author(s) of music and lyrics, performer(s), phonogram producers) will sign (digitally or manually) the authorization compiled by the ERR which authorizes the authorized representative to sign the contract (see paragraph 8.1)
8.3 All signed authorizations of the members of the team will be submitted to the ERR with the music video of the song (see paragraph 5.5) no later than 04 December 2023.
8.4 In the event the author, performer or phonogram owner is represented by the collective management organisation, with the agreement ERR receives from the author, performer or phonogram owner the rights only to the extent ERR does not receive them form the collective management organisation. Authors who are members of the Estonian Authors Society must register their song with a collective management organization at the latest when submitting a song to the contest.
8.5 Violation of the current rules of the song contest or the contract stipulated in paragraph 8.1 by the author, performer or phonogram producer, or their representative gives the ERR the right to remove the song from the list of competitors.
9. Author's and performer's fee
9.1 Reimbursements to the authors of songs performed in the grand finale paid by the Estonian Author's Society:
9.1.1 author(s) of the song that became the winner(s) of the grand finale receive(s) €5000 in total;
9.1.2 author(s) of the song that placed second in the grand finale receive €2500 in total;
9.1.3 author(s) of the song that placed third in the grand finale receive €1000 in total;
9.1.4 author(s) of the song that placed fourth, fifth and sixth in the grand finale receive €500 per song;
9.1.5 reimbursements will be evenly divided among the authors of the given song and will be transferred to the private bank accounts of the authors' within 30 days from the grand finale by the Estonian Author's Society.
9.2 Reimbursements to the performers of songs performed in the semi-final and grand finale:
9.2.1 performer(s) of the grand finale that became the winner(s) receive(s) €1000 in total, which is disbursed as grant by the Estonian Performers Association;
9.2.2 performer(s) of the song that placed second in the grand finale receive(s) €1000 in total, which is disbursed as grant by the Estonian Performers Association;
9.2.3 performer(s) of the song that placed third in the grand finale receive(s) €1000 in total, which is disbursed as grant by the Estonian Performers Association;
9.2.4 soloists of songs that participate in the semi-final and the grand finale receive €100 per performer per song, which is paid by the ERR, irrespective of the final position of the song;
9.2.5 backing vocalists of songs that participate in the semi-final and the grand finale receive €50 per performer per song, which is paid by the ERR, irrespective of the final position of the song.
9.3 All grants paid by the Estonian Performers Association follow the conditions established in the principles and procedures of grants reimbursement.
9.4 In order to receive the fee payments made by the ERR, the payment data must be submitted to the ERR by 17 February 2024. 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 grand finale. If the data necessary for making the payment is not submitted by the given deadline, the ERR has the right to leave the fee unpaid.
9.5 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 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 29 February 2024 the latest. If the invoice is not submitted by the given deadline, the ERR has the right to leave the fee unpaid.
9.6 Phonogram producer of the winner of the grand finale shall receive €3000, paid by the Estonian Association of the Phonogram Producers.
9.7 The sums listed in paragraphs 9.1, 9.2, 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.
9.8 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 68th 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 8.1.
10. The participation of the winning song in the Eurovision Song Contest
10.1 The participation of the winning song in the Eurovision Song Contest must meet the minimum requirements listed below:
10.1.1 in return for the authors' fee (see paragraph 9), song author(s), performer(s) and phonogram producer(s) shall provide to the ERR a transferable right (right to provide sub-license) to use the song, its 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 has the final word in the stage performance of the Eurovision Song Contest song, including its stylistics, set design, choreography, visuals, sound and staging. The Estonian delegation of the Eurovision Song Contest includes the director appointed by the ERR, who is responsible for the stage show and technical solutions of the song competing in the Eurovision Song Contest;
10.1.3 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 68th Eurovision Song Contest as part of the ERR's delegation. If qualified, they shall participate also in the grand finale and relevant events held during three (3) weeks;
10.1.5 the ERR shall reimburse the costs of sending the persons listed in section 10.1.4 to the Eurovision Song Contest according to the terms and the extent established for secondment;
10.1.6 the ERR and the author(s), performer(s), and phonogram producer(s) of the song shall work together to fulfil the requirements of the Eurovision Song Contest and to gain the best possible results.
10.1.7 the financial contribution of the ERR to the realization of the stage performance of the winning song (including the director's expenses) is 5000 EUR (+ VAT).
10.1.8 the persons listed in section 10.1.4 are obliged to adhere to the rules established by the organisers of the song contest to guarantee the safety and health protection of the participants on the venue of the Eurovision Song Contest and other venues related to the event/recordings, and value the principles of the Eurovision Song Contest as a non-political event.
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 paragraphs 4 and 6 of these rules or that have been provided with the contracts (see paragraph 8) and, if need, health data which is needed to comply with the legislative acts and regulations listed in paragraph 1.7 and section 10.1.8.
11.2 Personal data processing is necessary to facilitate the song's participation in the song contest, winning the song's participation in the Eurovision Song Contest and to fulfil contracts with participants, as well as to protect the health of the individuals participating in the competition or the Eurovision Song Contest. In addition, the aim of personal data processing is to ensure the lawful use of authors' compositions, performers' performances and phonograms, 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: [email protected].
11.4 Person's name and image and data from the 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 the author's and performer's rights, or if this right or obligation arises 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 15 September 2023; the rules of the song contest are published on the ERR home page.
12.2 Relevant persons can access the "Rules of the 68th 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 The schedule of the events of the contest participation has been provided in Annex No 2.