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
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').
creating-a-winter-wonderland-elf

Creating a Winter Wonderland

12/21/2021
How ‘Elf’ Production Designer, Rusty Smith, Produces the Perfect Snowy Scenes for Film and Television
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')
Future-of-production-virtual stages

The Future of Film and Television Production

1/4/2022
Virtual stages, remote production offices, and other advances in technology drive the evolution of...
Shiran-Amir-Randy-Bricker-Meet-the-Editors

Meet the Editor

12/7/2021
‘Chucky’ editors Randy Bricker and Shiran Amir on navigating the entertainment industry and how they...
Psychology-of-terror-steve-wang-todd-masters-feature

The Psychology of Terror

10/29/2021
How our deepest personal fears inspire cinematic monster makers Todd Masters and Steve Wang

Streamers and the Changing Landscape of Film Distribution

9/14/2021
Director/Producer Daniel Farrands on strategies for success in the time of VOD

How to solve a compounding problem?

9/8/2021
The perennial shortage of production accountants has been made worse by the competition for resources, but...

Designing for Horror

8/13/2021
Daniel Farrands and Andrew Murdock share insights on how filmmakers create fear through visual techniques
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-Tips for 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
35-production-accounting-terms-feature

35 Production Accounting Terms You Should Know

1/11/2022
Ready to test your production accounting vocabulary knowledge? See how many of these 35 common terms you...
EP BLOG_Gucci

How Costumes, Hair, and Makeup Tell the 'House of Gucci' Story

12/28/2021
Talented production crew leaders Marco Alzari, Federica Castelli, Stefania Pellegrini, and Romina Ronzani...
2022 Budgeting-sq

Budgeting for 2022: A Production Accountant's Guide

12/15/2021
EP's Payroll Tax, Production Incentives, and Business Development experts explain how inflation,...
Master Series: Budgeting for 2022-1

Budgeting for 2022: What Productions Need to Know

12/10/2021
From unemployment taxes and worker's compensation to the price of labor and materials, production costs...
EP BLOG_Payroll_Cleanup_Becky_Harshberger_sq

Everything You Need to Know About End-of-Year Production Payroll Cleanup

11/30/2021
Reconciling payroll errors and generating accurate W-2s can be a tedious process. These proactive steps...
Kickstart-with-ep-academy

Kickstart Your Production Career with the EP Academy

11/23/2021
From Production Accounting basics to technology certifications, EP’s online courses offer one-of-a-kind...
film-budget-meeting-sq

Why Accurate Payroll Tax Withholding Matters to Film Budgets

11/16/2021
Wendy Black, EP’s Vice President of Incentive Operations, shares tips for ensuring your production...
Best Practices for Year-End Payroll Cleanup-Panelists-sq

Best Practices for Year-End Payroll Cleanup

11/15/2021
Payroll tax expert Becky Harshberger shares best practices to help production accounting teams prepare for...
john hadity-beginners guide to hybrid film financing

The Beginner's Guide to Hybrid Film Financing

11/3/2021
How to successfully navigate working with foundations and investors to finance your next social-impact...
John Hadity-Sandra Schulberg-Hybrid Financing Master Series

Film Financing Explained: Hybrid Financing

10/27/2021
Sandra Schulberg joins John Hadity for a spirited discussion on Hybrid Financing and how filmmakers can...
Master Series Thumbnail-Best practices for accurate payroll tax withholding

Best Practices for Accurate Incentive Payroll Tax Withholding

10/22/2021
Learn how payroll tax withholding impacts a production incentive or film tax credit, and how productions...
woman-man-filming-production-sq

Mission: NOT Impossible

10/20/2021
Production incentives give producers options, increase infrastructure development and jobs promoting...
Identity Security Film Production-sq

Identity Security in Production

10/13/2021
5 Strategies to Manage Risk and Resist Cyberattacks in the Entertainment Industry
5 top payroll tax errors-Becky Harshberger

5 Top Payroll Tax Errors and How to Prevent Them

9/28/2021
Production payroll can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! Payroll Tax expert Becky Harshberger...
Christine Davila, Jairo Alvarado, Sonia Gambaro

Authentic Latinx Storytelling Starts with Inclusion

9/22/2021
Christine Dávila, Jairo Alvarado, and Sonia Gambaro work to amplify the talents of underrepresented...

Meet the Paymasters

9/9/2021
The hard-working payroll professionals behind Hollywood's paychecks

Film Financing Explained: Soft Money Financing

9/2/2021
Vivian Hua joins our panel of financing and incentive experts to discuss funding film and television...
Canadian flag

5 Things to Know Before Working in Canada

8/31/2021
Prepare for your next job in Canada with this checklist of payroll considerations
Topic: Canada
More

New Terms Under Return-To-Work Agreement

8/30/2021
RTW extension includes new two-part delineation, and the role of the vaccine
Topic: Legal
More
 John Hadity-Guide to Soft Money Financing-sq

The Beginner’s Guide to Soft Money Financing

8/25/2021
How filmmakers can capitalize on incentives, film funds, and more to finance their next project

Digital Production Studio

Production Finance StudioProduction Management StudioEnterprise Management Hub

EP Sites

Central CastingEntertainment PartnersEP StoreSyncOnSetThe Production CommunityWe Got POP
Subscribe now

Be an industry insider with EP's
newsletters and alerts

LegalPrivacy NoticeSecurity
© 2022 Entertainment Partners. All rights reserved.