One of the more odd changes in this year's list of changes to the contest is the insertion of article 1.2.1a into the rules of Eurovision. It deals specifically with commercial release date of songs. The article reads as follows:
Compositions (lyrics and music) must not have been commercially released before
1 September 2012. In case the composition has been made available to the public, for
example, but not limited to, on online video platforms, social networks or (semi-) publicly
accessible databanks, the Participating Broadcaster must inform the ESC Executive Supervisor,
who shall have authority to evaluate whether the composition is eligible for participation in the
Event. In particular, the ESC Executive Supervisor shall assess whether such disclosure prior to
1 September 2012 is likely to give to the composition an advantage in the Event vis-à-vis the
other compositions. The ESC Executive Supervisor shall authorise or deny participation of a
composition which may have been available to the public as described above, subject to the
prior approval of the Reference Group.
This is actually a highly subjective rule, which apparently was proposed by the Danish broadcast - which makes me wonder what they are up to. As with many of the newly introduced rules this year we will have to wait to see it in practice before we can make a judgement on it. Sadly this means that the newly implemented rules will actually impact the contest before they are judged, which is far from optimal.
I am calling on the EBU to ensure that this rule will be applied prudently even if this means that many countries have to change their songs.
This rules seems to likely to be used with some of the songs in the German national final [five of which are already publicly released].