It has been revealed that the EBU has tightened its rules surrounding the eligibility of songs being released or available before 1st September to compete at Eurovision.
In an interview with KP, the Ukrainian broadcaster Suspilne revealed that the rules surrounding the eligibility of songs that were published/released before 1st September competing at Eurovision have changed.
In the interview, a spokesperson for Suspilne explained that “There used to be a restriction specifically on commercial releases, but since 2022 this condition has also changed: the concept of a commercial release has been removed, so that the emphasis is no longer on the commercial component of the publication, but any release of a song before 09/01/2021 is prohibited. According to the rules of the international competition, the national selection is organized under the sole responsibility of the respective broadcaster-participant, which ensures the implementation of the rules of the competition.”
The comments from Suspline came after LAUD was disqualified from this year’s Vidbir because his song was found to have been released by the songwriter on Youtube back in 2018. Unfortunately for LAUD he was unable to change his song because he had only submitted one song into the competition.
Suspilne explained that they were not aware of the prior release when the song was selected for Vidbir this year, and were only made aware of it by fans who had found it on Youtube.
This is not the first time this issue has been a problem at Eurovision. A number of previous National Final and Eurovision songs had been performed in concerts before the deadline for songs to be eligible, but the EBU had ruled in those cases that in fact no rules had been broken and they were still eligible to compete. Among this list includes the 2016 winner ‘1944’ and ‘Requiem’ from 2017.