MP Reinaas sees no problem in party's use of dance from Estonia's Eurovision song

  • 2024-05-02
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Marek Reinaas, senior policymaker from the Estonia 200 party, said on Thursday that he sees no issue with Estonia 200 using dance moves from the music video of Estonia's entry for this year's Eurovision Song Contest finals in their election campaign.

The MP said on the "Telehommik" morning show of Kanal 2 television that Estonia 200 initially wanted to use both the music and the entire theme of the Eurovision entry by the bands 5MIINUST and Puuluup in their campaign, including the easily recognizable dance moves.

"Our representative contacted representatives of the Estonian team for the Eurovision," he said. During the conversation it became clear that the dance moves were available for free use.

Reinaas also pointed out that some time ago, a video appeared on TikTok in which 5MIINUST and Puuluup teach the moves of their famous dance.

"What they do on stage is very good as an emotion and we liked it," Reinaas said.

As for the criticism of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the organizer of the Eurovision Song Contest, regarding the advertising of Estonia 200, the MP described it as typical over-regulation in Europe.

"It's a genuine example of how Europe regulates things -- lawyers worked, people wrote, and finally the EBU acknowledged that all was well," he said. 

He added that the EBU initially thought that Estonia 200 was about to organize a music competition.

"The fact that people come on stage can't be called trademark infringement," Reinaas said, adding that the music used in the ad is available for free. "We wanted to convey the power and vibe that comes with Eurovision," he said.  

The ad for Estonia 200 for the European elections has upset 5MIINUST, which originally made the dance featured in the ad famous. 

Estoni Kohver, a member of the band, posted a message on his Xi account, saying: "I did not give permission for our song to be defiled."

Kohver told Postimees that Estonia 200 in fact asked them for permission to use the dance.

"Our video producer called me to say that Reinaas had asked if they could reference our song. I said no, and the guys still used it," he said.

Kohver said that the dance by 5MIINUST and Puuluup is not trademarked, and it's unclear for him why the party even bothered to ask if their opinion was not going to matter anyway.

Estonia 200's European Parliament campaign also attracted criticism from the EBU in the form of a letter sent to the party last week to point out that the Eurovision Song Contest logo is protected by international and European Union trademarks, as is the Eurovision signature song, "Te Deum."

In their response to the Eurovision organizer, Reinaas stated that they believe there has been a misunderstanding. 

"It is clear from our campaign video that it is for Estonia 200's election campaign, not the Eurovision Song Contest. The promotional video for Estonia 200's European Parliament candidates, where the candidates do not sing, is in no way associated with the Eurovision Song Contest or the EBU," Reinsaas said.

Reinaas noted that the color scheme, font, and background music used by the party, specifically Beethoven's 9th Symphony "Ode to Joy," are in the public domain and not protected by copyright.

On Wednesday, both Estonia 200 and the EBU confirmed to Postimees that they had reached an agreement and that there was no longer a problem.