UPD Official reactions on plagiarism accusations

by Benny Royston 57 views

A fourth entry for the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest was yesterday openly accused of plagiarism on another website. Esctoday.com contacted the European Broadcasting Union to discuss whether any songs so far selected have been brought to their attention for investigation and for an official reaction to the rumours. We also contacted officials from each of the countries accused, and their reactions can be seen below.

An official word
Svante Stockselius was happy to speak to us regarding the current position. He was keen to reassure fans that there is a transparent and open policy in place: “Countries are free to set their own selection criteria, so long as their songs conform to the rules of the Eurovision Song Contest”.

“Complaints can come from anywhere, whether it be a fan, a rival broadcaster or a disgruntled participant that did not qualify for the Eurovision Song Contest”, he added.

Stockselius explained the procedure in case of accusations: “Normally in these circumstances, the EBU notifies the Head of Delegation for the country concerned and ask for further information. This usually clears the matter up. In some circumstances, we will look a little further. This year, we are looking a little further at entries from a some participating countries”. Should this go any further, esctoday.com will report on what action is being taken.

This means that, at this point in time, no entry is at risk of disqualification. It has not been mentioned which songs are being looked at, because that would be deemed unfair in the public forum. This may also mean that they are from countries that have yet to select their song.

Reply from the United Kingdom
The response from the BBC reiterates their statement made earlier to esctoday.com. The head of the UK delegation, for Athens 2006 confirmed that they had not been made aware of any complaints by the EBU.

Statements from FYR Macedonia
The response from FYR Macedonia was equally as strong as the BBC's earlier statement. Esctoday.com received the following reply from Marina Todorovska at MKRTV: “A formal procedure or legal accusation has not reached the MKRTV, so far. When the songs were selected, the rules for the national selection for the 2006 contest were very restrictive regarding the plagiarism and every author of the song had to sign a statement which confirms that their songs were not a plagiarism. We are in a possession of those statements, what we suppose is valuated as a legal document. Therefore, there has not been any investigation under the song, and MKRTV considers that the skies are very clean.”

Answers from Norway
The response from Norway was very straight forward. Unaware even of the accusation of plagiarism, we are assured that they have not been contacted by the EBU. Stian Malme of NRK happily replied to our questions: “I cannot imagine Alvedansen being plagiated from any other tune. It is inspired by a 200 year old Norwegian folk tradition, but that is public realm”.

Slovenia calling!
Aleksander Radic, head of the Slovene delegation, responded: “The composer and the lyricist have signed the statement prior the national selection, confirming the song is an original piece and has never been performed or commercially released before”. The Slovene broadcaster has received no official or any claims from the possible other copyright owners of the selected song. RTVSLO asked internal music experts to listen at the song, after rumours of the possible plagiarism. The expert's opinions confirm the originality of Plan B. Radic: “Regarding the abovementioned there are no legal or any other impediments which could prevent Slovene song to take part at the Eurovision Song Contest in Athens, in May 2006”.

Thus, at this stage, gossip, rumours and statements about imminent disqualifications can only be described as utterly false or gross over-exaggerations. At the end, the official side of this story will help to quash any nerves of fans from countries that have been accused and look forward to a fair fight on the road to Athens.

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