Canada lifts radio ban on Dire Straits song

Media caption,
Money For Nothing - Dire Straits

Canadian radio stations can resume playing Dire Straits' Money For Nothing after a ban on the song was lifted.

The 1985 hit single was taken off the airwaves in January after a listener in Newfoundland complained about Mark Knopfler's use of the word "faggot".

His lyrics were deemed to be in a breach of a human rights clause in Canada's broadcasting code.

Now the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council has overturned the ruling, saying the word was used satirically.

The organisation took into account the origin of the lyrics, which Knopfler wrote after observing a shop worker complaining about the differences between his lifestyle and that of musicians he watched on MTV.

Image caption,
Knopfler regularly sings alternative lyrics in concert

The council ruled that "the story told in this song, developed at some length over more than eight minutes, provides sufficient plot development, story line and context to justify" the lyrics.

"The composer's language appears not to have had an iota of malevolent or insulting intention," it added in its decision.

But the body upheld the section of the previous ruling stating the offensive word was inappropriate for broadcast under normal circumstances.

It added that "alternative versions of the song (without the challenged word) by Dire Straits exist and have existed since 1985, the year in which the song was first released".

Stations now have the option to play the original version or any of the alternative versions.

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