News & InfoEP StoreAcademySupportCommunityProducts by Country
Blog Home

Six e-Consent Myths (and Why They’re Not True)

Sheridans Associate, Sarmad Saleh, debunks some common e-consent myths.
May 2, 2022
cell phone with sticky note stating sign here

E-consent (i.e., consent given electronically) has been a hot topic in recent years. But with so much information flying around, it can be hard to separate fact from fiction.

Here, Sheridans Associate Sarmad Saleh shares some common e-consent myths and why they’re not true.

All agreements need wet-ink signatures

Given that most agreements don’t even need to be in writing to be binding, there’s no specific requirement for such agreements to be signed.

Where agreements are signed, the point of the signature is to evidence the signatories’ agreement to be bound. As e-signatures and e-consents are just tools which facilitate this, they’re just as valid as wet-ink signatures in most situations.

There are some select documents (e.g., land transfer documents and certain documentation that needs filing with HMRC) where the jury is still out and it is therefore safer to err on the side of caution and rely on wet-ink signatures as opposed to e-signatures. However, in most instances, e-signatures are sufficient to bind the parties.

person signing a contract.png

E-consent can only be used for non-contractual documents

Some people think that e-signatures and e-consents can only be used for non-contractual documents, such as sickness declarations. However, as discussed above, e-signatures are sufficient for most contracts and e-consents are also frequently used in many contexts where there is no real or valuable form of IP or assets that need to exchange hands.

E-contracts aren’t enforceable

For a contract to be enforceable, the following requirements must be met:

  • There must be a clear, precise offer which can be accepted.
  • There must be unequivocal acceptance of the offer.
  • There must be consideration (i.e., someone must get something for something). This doesn’t have to be money.
  • There must be certainty of terms (i.e., terms can’t be left as “to be confirmed”).
  • The parties must have capacity, which means they must be of legal age and sound mind (particularly important when dealing with minors).
  • There must be an intention to be legally bound (e.g., if terms remain “subject to contract,” it can be argued that the intention to be legally bound is not yet present).

If all of the above requirements are met, a contract will be binding and enforceable, regardless of whether it’s oral, in paper or in the form of an e-contract.

Judges gavel over white marble table.png

E-signatures are only valid if there’s an authenticity certificate

Authenticity certificates (such as those issued by DocuSign) have good evidential value in case of any doubt over a signature’s validity or the identity of the signatory. However, under English law, authenticity certificates aren’t a requirement to give effect to an e-signature.

A tick-box isn’t enough to bind a party

So-called “click wrap agreements” (typically online agreements where a party ticks a box and thereby agrees to be bound by the terms of sale or purchase) have been used for a long time and can be enough to bind a party in many cases.

When buying goods online, if you tick a box saying, “I agree to be bound to the terms of the sale,” you will be bound. In the same way, e-consents (tick-boxes accompanied by a statement to be bound and some other material which enables the party to be identified) can be enough to bind a party.

Parties can’t agree terms via email

Parties can indeed bind themselves via email. In one case, the court found that a lawyer had bound a client to an agreement by writing “confirmed” and including their automatic email signature.

Because of this, when conducting pre-contract negotiations or creating a deal memo, it’s a good idea to state that everything is “subject to contract” so that you don’t accidentally bind yourself too soon.

google mail loading on a laptop.png

E-consent can’t be used for data processing

A signature (whether wet ink or digital) isn’t necessary to obtain explicit consent to process someone’s data. As with most agreements, you just need evidence of the individual’s explicit consent, which can take various forms.

For more information on contracting crew in the UK, see Getting your crew contracts in place: A guide for UK productions.

Topic: Legal

Related Content

contracting-in-a-covid-19-world-LC

Contracting in a COVID-19 World  

5/3/2022
The pandemic has affected how UK production companies contract crew. Here’s how to reduce the impact of...
Topic: COVID-19
More
terms-to-include-uk-contracts-LC

Terms to Include in UK Crew Contracts

5/3/2022
Common terms which studios and production companies include in their UK crew contracts.
Topic: UK
More
Changes to UK right to work checks

Important Changes to UK Right to Work Checks

9/20/2022
On September 30, 2022 the UK rules around right to work checks will change. Here’s what productions need...
Topic: UK
More
Los Angeles Times logo-sq

Hollywood production in U.K. soars to record levels as crews complain of burnout

8/22/2022
Spending on film and high-end television shoots reach record-breaking amounts as production activity...
Compliant crew contracting panel-square

Compliant Crew Contracting in the UK

8/1/2022
Learn how to ensure your crew contracts are compliant with UK regulations and why the Production Portal is...
Topic: UK
Watch
Sian Richards and Queen Latifah-square

A Face Kit for Every Skin Tone

6/14/2022
Hollywood makeup artist Siân Richards is transforming the makeup industry for actors of every shade.
uk-gdpr-and-how-productions-reduce-exposure-LC

The UK GDPR and how Productions can Reduce their Exposure - Q&A with Sheridans

5/3/2022
Sheridans’ Associate Krishan Neelendra answers key UK GDPR questions from production companies and...
Topic: UK
More
KJ Lamb and Simon Donovan

Empowering the Next Wave of Production Accountants

5/2/2022
The EP Production Portal team was delighted to participate in the biannual Netflix Assistant Production...
six-elements-for-uk-contracts-LC

Six Elements for Enforceable UK Crew Contracts

5/2/2022
Although parties to a crew contract can largely enter into whatever terms they choose, certain elements...
Topic: UK
More
recycling conversation

Sustainability in Production: Q&A with Nikki Saunders

4/22/2022
Nikki Saunders on sustainable filming practices, COVID-19, and why carbon offsetting isn’t a...
EP Blog_SQUARE_meet the cinematographer-dan-laustsen

Meet the Cinematographer

4/12/2022
A conversation with Dan Laustsen ('John Wick', 'Nightmare Alley').
Mount Hood, Oregon

Building on Oregon’s Cinema Legacy

7/19/2022
How improved tax Incentives, job training, and production infrastructure is expanding the filmmaking...
EP Blog_SQUARE_Wes Hagen

Meet the Location Manager

7/7/2022
A conversation with award-winning location manager Wes Hagen ('Ozark,' 'Hidden Figures.')
EP Blog_SQUARE_filmmaking in new mexico

Forging the Future of Filmmaking in New Mexico

6/29/2022
As the film industry expands in the Southwest, New Mexico leads the region as top destination thanks to...
EP Blog_SQUARE-Historical content and new media

Residuals and the Streaming Model

5/24/2022
How residuals apply to historical content on new media platforms.
EP Blog_SQUARE_Fighting Hollywood Stereotypes-TTEI

Fighting Stereotypes and Rethinking Representation

5/10/2022
How TTIE is advancing authentic storytelling in Hollywood by empowering historically excluded writers and...
Oklahoma route 66 sign

A New Frontier in Filmmaking

5/5/2022
Oklahoma is becoming a production destination, thanks to new incentives and infrastructure programs.
EP Blog_The Race to Net Zero is On for Big Studios

The Race to Net Zero is On for Big Studios

4/20/2022
Film and television studios are embracing the green movement in a big way. Here’s what you can expect to...
Master Series Women in Animation-thumbnail

Women in Animation: A 3D View

3/24/2022
Marge Dean, Mandy Tankenson, and other women leaders from across animation come together to celebrate...
EP Blog-proud to support-square

Proud to Support: Celebrating Client Nominations at the 94th Academy Awards

3/22/2022
A look at the evolution of the Oscars and the notable films powered by Entertainment Partners technology.
Bradley Cooper-nightmare alley

Meet the Assistant Director

3/16/2022
A conversation with Myron Hoffert ('Nightmare Alley')
International Film Financing panel-featured

Film Financing Explained: International Financing

3/10/2022
International production experts discuss how producers can utilize financing systems outside of the US,...
EP Blog_SQUARE-Sound Mixer-Lora Hirschberg

Meet the Sound Mixer

3/1/2022
A conversation with Oscar-winning re-recording mixer, Lora Hirschberg ('Inception', Skywalker Sound)
Crew contracting in the UK-panel

Quick and Compliant Crew Contracting in the UK

2/9/2022
Neisha Glynternick and Sarmad Saleh from UK-based entertainment law firm Sheridans discuss crew...
Topic: Legal
Watch
EP Blog_SQUARE_Island Incentives

A Ticket to Paradise

1/26/2022
Island Incentives Bring Productions Ashore
EP-Blog-Meet-the-Set-Decorator-2

Meet the Set Decorator

1/19/2022
A Conversation with Claire Kaufman ('Little Women')
Western Canada

Production Tax Incentives in Western Canada Every Producer Should Know About

10/4/2022
Alberta and Manitoba offer film and TV productions competitive tax incentive programs and versatile...

Film Industry Booms in Buffalo

9/20/2022
Western New York draws top filmmakers with expanded tax incentives, new soundstages, and architectural...
EP Blog_SQUARE_New York

NY Convenience Rule Impacts Remote Production Workers and Film Incentives

9/13/2022
How remote employee payroll taxes apply to New York-based productions and if an employee’s physical...
Master Series Square Thumbnail-Film Financing-Crowdfunding

Film Financing Explained: Crowdfunding

9/8/2022
Emily Best (Seed&Spark), Stacy Bradford (Indiegogo), and producer Zach Fineblum join us to discuss the ins...
EP Blog_SQUARE_1st AC Matt Sanderson

Meet the First Assistant Camera

9/7/2022
A conversation with 1st AC Matt Sanderson ('Everything Everywhere All At Once')
EP Blog_SQUARE_US Expanded Incentives 2022-2

A Record Number of US States Expand Filmmaking Incentives in 2022

8/25/2022
Your guide to the latest news in production incentives and film programs to come from the 2022 legislative...
EP Blog_SQUARE_New US Incentives 2022

New US Film Incentives Introduced in Arizona, Indiana, Florida, and West Virginia

8/23/2022
As production continues to boom, new tax credits and other programs welcome industry to new locations...
EP Webinar Panelists - US Production Incentives Update

US Production Incentives Update: New and Expanded Programs in 2022

8/19/2022
Film commissioners Colleen Bell and Sandy Lighterman, and production executives Jay Roewe and Ashley Rice,...
EP Blog_SQUARE-Atlantic Canada Expands Incentives

Atlantic Canada Expands Film Incentives in 2022

8/16/2022
Enhanced production incentive programs attract industry to Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, and...
Streaming platform on tablet device

The Evolution of Residuals: How Streaming Changed the Model

8/11/2022
Understanding how residuals payments are calculated for new content on streaming platforms.
EP Blog_SQUARE_Penka Kouneva-2

Meet the Composer

8/2/2022
A conversation with award-winning orchestrator and composer Penka Kouneva (‘Revenge,’ ‘Pirates of the...
dollar signs representing digital crowdfunding

The Beginner’s Guide to Crowdfunding

7/26/2022
How filmmakers can leverage the power of social networks and online platforms to build buzz and secure...
5 Master Series panelists discussing Atlantic Canada production incentives-square

Production Incentives Update: Atlantic Canada

7/15/2022
Learn how productions can benefit from newly expanded incentives in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland & Labrador,...
Blue graphic with map of UK and title ICO penalty following ransomware attack

ICO issues £98,000 penalty following ransomware attack

7/13/2022
Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) imposed penalty on a leading UK law firm for breaching the UK...
Topic: UK
More
Canadian flag flying over Quebec City

5 Reasons to Consider Canada for Your Next Production

7/12/2022
Here's why Canada deserves a spot on every producer's shortlist.
Topic: Canada
More
Cabinet Office fined for disclosing addresses

Cabinet Office Fined £500,000 for Disclosing Addresses of High-Profile Individuals

7/9/2022
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined the Cabinet Office £500,000 for accidentally...
Topic: UK
More
Blue graphic with map of UK and title ICO fines charity for GDPR breach

ICO Fines Charity £10,000 for UK GDPR Breach

7/9/2022
According to the ICO, the charity failed to apply appropriate organizational and technical security...
Topic: UK
More
EP Blog_Jesse Wente

Supporting Indigenous Storytellers of Canada

6/21/2022
How the Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) offers advocacy and funding for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis...
Topic: Canada
More
EP Blog_SQUARE-Pitching Reality Tv-2

Pitching and Financing Unscripted Television

6/7/2022
Ready to sell your big idea for a reality TV program? This guide will help prepare you for the road ahead.
Jennifer Liscio

Spotlight: Jennifer Liscio, VP of Tax Incentives and Legal Affairs

5/31/2022
Meet EP's Canadian legal affairs and tax incentives domain expert, Jennifer Liscio, and learn how she’s...
uk-gdpr-compliance-for-productions

UK GDPR Compliance for Productions: Q&A with Sheridans

5/4/2022
Special category data, liability, data transfers and reporting - Sheridans answer your questions on the UK...
Topic: UK
More

Producing with Purpose

4/27/2022
Creative Producer, Kimberly Goodman ('Selling Sunset', 'Project Runway') shares insights on creating...
Master Series Panel-Solving the crew shortage

Solving the Crew Shortage

4/13/2022
Learn how EP Academy, the Georgia Film Academy, Reel Works, the New Mexico Film Office, and others, are...
EP blog-square-tax day

Tips for Tax Day 2022

4/5/2022
Your ultimate tax filing checklist - the deadline this year is Monday, April 18th!

Georgia Proposes Capping and Prohibiting Sale of Film Tax Credits

3/30/2022
The changes, if signed into law, would cap the amount Georgia hands out in film and TV tax credits at $900...
EP Newsroom-Thumbnail-Portland Business Journal

How Oregon’s updated film incentive law could boost the local economy

3/29/2022
A new Oregon film and media incentive law could draw more movie productions to the state.
EP Blog_Marge Dean

Opening Career Doors

3/29/2022
How WIA President, Marge Dean, is shaping the future of animation and empowering underrepresented genders
Digging Out of a Deficit-featured

Digging Out of a Deficit: What to Expect in the Second Quarter of 2022

2/25/2022
Federal and State Unemployment Insurance rates are rising. Learn how these changes will affect 2022 and...
International Financing-John Hadity-ft

The Beginner’s Guide to International Film Financing

2/15/2022
What to know before you begin an international financing plan
meet-the-executive-producer-just-mercy-sq

Meet the Executive Producer

2/8/2022
A conversation with Mike Drake ('Just Mercy') on the path to becoming and EP, and the role of social...
Los Angeles Times logo-sq

Why the Cherokee Nation is Offering Rebates to Film in Oklahoma

2/5/2022
Joseph Chianese speaks to the LA Times on new incentive

Payroll & Finances

PayrollResidualsSmartStartNew SmartTimeProduction PortalEP On LocationSmartAccountingEP LiveSmartPOCASHétPayPaymaster Rate GuideEP Residency

Manage Multiple Productions

AssetHubSmartHubSmartHub Vault
Subscribe now

Be an industry insider with EP's
newsletters and alerts

LegalPrivacy NoticeSecurity
© 2022 Entertainment Partners. All rights reserved.