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FSC RULES

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Matt

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The Contest

1. The purpose of the Forum Song Contest (FSC) is to stimulate the output of original songs of high quality in the field of popular music, by encouraging competition among countries through the international comparison of their works.


Participation

1. Any officially recognized independent country (UN/International recognition) is allowed to participate, regions & territories are not allowed to enter the contest separately.

2. In order to be part of a jury the FSC Player either resides permanently in, or has the citizenship of, the country they would like to represent.

3. A FSC Player who is eligible to take part for more than one FSC-country (f.ex. dual citizenship), must stay in the first chosen jury for a period of at least 12 months before he or she is allowed to switch to another eligible jury. The FSC Mod team may set restrictions as to how many switches between juries are allowed.

4. In order to join the FSC, new members will need to 'sign up' in the appropriate 'Sign Up' thread in the FSC Forum. They will subsequently receive confirmation, once they have been written into the FSC Member Roster, and will be given (by way of the FSC Admin) access to the FSC Private Member Forum and a FSC Private ‘country’ Forum. The FSC Admin will get in touch with the Head of Jury (HOJ) for the country the member would like to join.

4a. The FSC is a music contest where regular activity is expected. Longtime inactivity will not be tolerated and will lead to the member/country being removed from the FSC Member Roster (cfr. also FSC Warning Rules ‘Entries’ pt 14 and ‘Voting’ pt 9).

5. There is no maximum for members per jury, the minimum is one member.

6. It is possible to start a new jury each month if the jury the FSC Player would like to join has not been created yet.

7. A minimum of 13 countries is necessary to start a FSC edition. If not enough juries are going to be available on the first day of the month, that edition may be cancelled. The FSC Mod team will make the final decision.

8. If a jury has 3 or more members a Head of Jury (HOJ) needs to be elected by the jury members. That individual is responsible to keep the list of jury members up to date, to forward the entry selected to the FSC Mod collecting entries, as well as to forward the votes (once they have been collected and counted) to the FSC Mod collecting votes. It is up to each jury to elect the HOJ, the FSC Mod team will only interfere, and appoint a HOJ, if the jury is unable to come up with a decision on their own.

9. A maximum of 40 countries shall be allowed to participate in a FSC edition (cfr. also pt 10).

10. Once the maximum of participating countries is reached, new countries joining the contest will be placed in the “Rest of the World” jury (RoW). This jury consists of members from countries not currently represented at FSC. The members will internally select a song from any country that is part of that jury. The country chosen to represent the “Rest of the World” (RoW) shall be listed under such name; however once it earns a full spot, it will at that point take its record and scores with it.

10a. Once an active country withdraws, or is removed from the FSC Member Roster after receiving their third/fourth Warning (cfr. sections 'Entries' rule "14" and 'Voting' rule "9"), that nation shall be replaced with a country from the “Rest of the World” jury (RoW) based on seniority.

10b. In case an active country chooses or is forced to sit out an edition, that country will be temporarily replaced by a country that's part of the RoW jury. Full voting rights will be extended to that jury for that month only. If the active country decides to return the following month, the temporary replacement shall be moved back to the RoW jury. The jury with the highest seniority will be given priority by default but can be overwritten if the RoW countries wish to do so.


Entries

1. Entries are submitted by the HOJ either by sending a PM to the announced FSC Mod Host that month, or by submitting the entries in the country’s FSC Private Forum.

2. The FSC Mod Host will collect all the participating entries for a FSC-edition and will reveal them in an official FSC Show, a graphical presentation with listed banners linked to videos of the entries on the escYOUnited.com board, in the FSC Forum, on a monthly basis.

3. The FSC Mod Host will at the same time collect all Back Up entries for a FSC-edition (cfr rule "5"). It is compulsory (mandatory) for every jury in the FSC to also submit a Back Up (Reserve) entry at the time of submission which will replace the Main entry if that one is found to be in violation of the FSC Rules and disqualified during the “Evaluation period“ (cfr section 'Voting' rule "1").

4. Each FSC country or jury will decide on their entry internally. In other words, each country or jury must on its own choose its entry each month, with no outside influence or vote/participation. The FSC Mod team will not get involved with the selection process and it is up to the Head of Jury (HOJ) to submit the entry in a timely manner prior to the deadline.

5. The purpose of this contest is to promote new releases on a monthly basis. An entry must be maximum 12 months old. Every studio version that is available on Youtube or anywhere else will be considered as a release date, regardless of what Wikipedia or the official website says. Playback TV performances will also count as a release date. All the other recordings (including live performances, demo-versions and radioplay) will not be considered.

5a. Snippets do not count as a release date - as long as they're shorter than 1/3 of a song.

5b. A studio-version of an original live-version song by an original artist released in the last 12 months is eligible in the FSC even if a remixed studio-version by an other artist based on the original artist’s live-version song exists from more than 12 months ago. An artist’s original own work is given precedence in the FSC.

6. It is the prime responsibility of the FSC jury to ensure the submitted entry is eligible in accordance with the FSC Rules. The FSC Mod team will have the Final say on if a song is eligible to enter or not. Arguments, complaints are not acceptable after a Final decision was made.

7. Artist Rules:

a. Main artists must have the citizenship, spent the majority of their life or made their career in the country they are representing.
b. Main artists who are eligible to take part for more than one country in the FSC (cfr rule "a") may participate for all eligible countries (cfr rule "7"), but only for one country at a time (per edition). If the same artist is entered by several eligible countries in the same edition, the first submitted song is given priority.
c. Duos need to have at least one artist from the country they are representing (cfr rule "a").
d. Trios (a collaboration between main artists 'A + B + C') and collaborations of more than 3 main artists, need to have at least half of the members from the country they are representing (cfr rule "a"). Foreign ‘featured’ artists (cfr rule "e") do not count as part of a trio or a larger collaboration.
e. Foreign ‘featured’ artists are allowed. The main artist must, however, be from the entered country (cfr rule "a").
f. Bands need to be from the country they are representing. The maximum of band members not from the country they are representing is 2 (cfr rule "a"); however, at least half of the band needs to be from the country they are representing.

8. An artist may only be entered two months in a row for the same country in the FSC, not three or more. After a potential second month, a new artist must be sent for the next (third) month by the country in question. This is done to ensure some diversity/variation in entered national artists, to showcase different parts of a nation’s music industry, and to enrich the tapestry of music enjoyed by all Members.

9. A song/entry can only participate one time in the FSC. It cannot be entered again, either by the same country or by another (ref. duos).

10. Songs:

a. Covers:

a1. Covers (a new performance / version / recording of a previous song, by someone other than the original artist or composer) are not allowed.

a2. New songs based on old folklore melodies / folksongs / old lyrics / old poems, regardless of arrangement and/or style, are considered as covers (cfr rule "a1") and are not allowed.

If there is still doubt as to whether a song is to be allowed in the FSC, the FSC Mod team will make a final decision.

b. Instrumentals are allowed.
c. Remixes/Remakes (a different version of the same song) are allowed. However, cfr. rule "5" for the original version.
d. Samples:

d1. Samples (parts of new songs that are taken / copied from a previous song) are allowed in the following cases: when a small part of the intro is sampled; beats / breaks / rhythms / other small parts of a song which do not ‘dominate’ or significantly influence the new song, so that it keeps its ‘identity’. Songs which are ‘inspired’ by previous songs, similar sounding but still different (not the same), are allowed.

d2. Samples (parts of new songs that are taken / copied from a previous song) are not allowed in the following cases: sampled (parts of) vocals and / or chorus. Songs that have been documented as sampling music from previous songs, or where a significant portion of the song has been borrowed / copied deliberately, thereby strongly influencing the new song, are not allowed.

If there is still doubt as to whether a new song including samples is to be allowed in the FSC, the FSC Mod team will make a final decision, also with a view to the current EBU/ESC rules.

11. Songs that take part in the following Contests are not eligible to enter: Eurovision Song Contest (ESC), Junior Eurovision Song Contest (JESC), Asiavision Song Contest (ASC), as well as any respective National Selection(s)/Finals for these contests.

a) Songs entered into the Preliminary process of a National Selection, but not selected to take part in the National Selection itself, may, however, take part in FSC.

b) Songs taking part in the Italian Sanremo Music Festival (except the selected ESC-entry) may, however, take part in FSC. In contrast to other, official National Selections/Finals it is primarily, first and foremost, an annual national music festival and a showcase of the most popular Italian musical talent and songs that year, and only secondarily (temporarily, last years) used also to select the ESC representative for Italy.

12. The songs or artists are not allowed to be revealed by the juries until all entries have officially been announced by the FSC Mod Host at the start of a new FSC-edition. A violation of this rule may lead to disqualification for that edition.

13. The Head of Juries (HOJs) need to submit their entries (cfr. rule "1" ) before the given deadline. Failure to do so will result in disqualification for that month.

14. FSC Warnings:

1) Any jury who fails to provide an entry or vote in a FSC-edition will receive 1 Warning Point.

2) The Warning Point will remain in place for a period of 12 months from the time it was first acquired. After 12 months that acquired Warning Point will expire. If several Warning Points are received over a period of time the same principle will count for each.

3) Any jury that has acquired a total of 4 Warning Points in a 12 month period will be removed from the FSC Member Roster. They will need to re-apply to rejoin the FSC. They will have to wait 1 month (a ‘quarantine period’) before they can rejoin.

4) Juries who fail to vote in FSC-editions where they are taking part, will be moved to the bottom of the scoreboard, in addition to receiving 1 Warning Point.

5) Any jury who fails to provide an entry for 3 continuous months will be removed from the FSC Member Roster. They will need to re-apply to rejoin the FSC. They will have to wait 1 month (a ‘quarantine period’) before they can rejoin.


Voting

1. The first 7 days after the start of a FSC-edition is called the “Evaluation period”. All Members will have the opportunity during this period to listen to and (if required) report any entries that breaches the rules of the FSC. Those members are required to contact the FSC Mod team via PM, off the boards, who will then consider the entry in question and, if it is found to be ineligible, will replace the entry with the provided Back Up song (cfr section 'Entries' rule "3"). After the “Evaluation period” is over, however, no further action will be taken against any entry found to be in conflict with the FSC Rules.

1a. No jury is allowed to vote during the “Evaluation period”. Any votes received within that period will not be counted and the Head of Jury (HOJ) will have to submit them again.

2. The Voting is in Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) Style. The Top Ten entries of each jury will be awarded the following points: 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. This rule only applies to the Final jury vote (which is submitted to the announced FSC Mod Vote Collector that month). It is up to the jury to internally decide on their jury voting system.

2a. After the Final results have been announced, every jury MUST reveal how the individual members of their jury voted.

3. The Head of Jury (HOJ) will submit the jury’s votes to the announced FSC Mod Vote Collector that month, once the votes from all jury members have been collected and added up. Final jury votes are submitted by the HOJ either by sending a PM to the announced FSC Mod Vote Collector that month, or by submitting the votes in the country’s FSC Private Forum.

3a. Votes are confidential. No votes (personal or jury) must be revealed on a public board (f.ex. FSC Forum) or otherwise before a FSC-edition is completed with official Results. The same goes for posting a top 10 or less with "favourites". Members may, however, if they wish, post a random shortlist of any 20 countries but without indicating which 10 songs are “favourites” that will get their points. Failure to comply with this will end with the votes being disqualified/not counted.

3b. Votes submitted after the announced voting deadline, will not be counted.

3c. Faulty votes (f.ex voting for non-participating country or several times for the same country) will not be counted.

3d. Votes sent to a different FSC Mod than the announced FSC Mod Vote Collector that month (regardless whether the votes have been sent within the deadline or not), will not be forwarded or counted.

4. Juries cannot vote for their own entry.

5. Member countries not taking part with an entry in a FSC-edition, due to skipping/sitting out an edition, may, if they wish, vote in that edition. Voting in this case is voluntary (not obligatory).

6. New member countries may, if they wish, vote in the edition \ month before they start participating with their own entry. Voting in this case is voluntary (not obligatory).

7. If a single member of a jury fails to vote it is the Head of Jury's (HOJ) responsibility to inform the FSC Mod team. A member who does not vote, or is not active, for several FSC-editions may be removed from the jury and the FSC Member Roster on grounds of longtime inactivity. Once a member is removed, he or she needs to sign up again to get approval (confirmation) to re-enter the FSC.

8. If no votes, or faulty votes, were received from a jury (HOJ) prior to the voting deadline, they will be moved to the bottom of the scoreboard (and of the end result list), while retaining their points. If there are more than one non-voting jury, their positions on the bottom of the scoreboard (and of the end result list) are determined by the number of points that they received.

8a. If this happens repeatedly, the Head of Jury (HOJ) may, as a result, be demoted to regular member in which case a new Head will be elected.

9. FSC Warnings:

1) Any jury who fails to provide an entry or vote in a FSC-edition will receive 1 Warning Point.

2) The Warning Point will remain in place for a period of 12 months from the time it was first acquired. After 12 months that acquired Warning Point will expire. If several Warning Points are received over a period of time the same principle will count for each.

3) Any jury that has acquired a total of 4 Warning Points in a 12 month period will be removed from the FSC Member Roster. They will need to re-apply to rejoin the FSC. They will have to wait 1 month (a ‘quarantine period’) before they can rejoin.

4) Juries who fail to vote in FSC-editions where they are taking part, will be moved to the bottom of the scoreboard, in addition to receiving 1 Warning Point.

5) Any jury who fails to provide an entry for 3 continuous months will be removed from the FSC Member Roster. They will need to re-apply to rejoin the FSC. They will have to wait 1 month (a ‘quarantine period’) before they can rejoin.


Results

1. The FSC Mod collecting votes will add up all the votes received from the juries (HOJ) prior to the deadline and will reveal them in a Results Show on the escYOUnited.com board, in the FSC Forum, on a monthly basis.

2. The entry with the most points will win the FSC.

3. In case of a tie for any position:

a. If two or more countries end up receiving the same amount of points, the country who obtained points from the highest number of countries is given priority.
b. If the tying songs have received votes from the same number of countries, the highest number of 12-point scores will be decisive.
c. If the winner still cannot be determined by this procedure, the number of times 10 points have been awarded will be the deciding factor.
If necessary, this method will continue until account has been taken of the number of times 1 point has been awarded.


Miscellaneous

1. It is unacceptable to call out FSC-members or juries in public questioning their song selection or votes. Nobody wants to be called like that especially considering that in most cases those accusations turn out to be untrue. Any concerns need to be addressed in private. Please contact one of the FSC Mod team.

2. If a jury is dysfunctional, non-working as a proper unit, causing distress for members, the FSC Mod team can and will intervene, to assist and take necessary steps to make it functional again. All members of FSC, inside a jury and outside, have the responsibility to behave properly with mutual respect and understanding.

3. In the case of joining the contest under false pretences, unfair play, or any unacceptable behaviour toward other FSC-members, cfr also rule "1", the FSC Mod team can issue a ban (temporary or permanent) to the FSC Player in question.

Any updates will be communicated to the FSC Community. The FSC Mod team is solely responsible for any changes and updates to the FSC Rules!
 
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