EP NowEP 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

New Union Agreement for Engaging Crew on UK HETV Takes Effect

1/20/2023
Pact/Bectu 2023 agreement makes a number of key changes to the terms and conditions for engaging crew.
Topic: UK
More

Behind the Boom: Why the UK is a Hotspot for Production

11/17/2022
Explore the generous industry incentives, talent, and infrastructure available to productions filming in...
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...

7 Things Production Finance Teams Need to Know for Budgeting in 2023

1/25/2023
Mark Hammond, VP of International Finance & Ops, shares some of the key factors production finance teams...
EP Newsroom-Thumbnail-PGGB

6FT From The Spotlight Wins Inaugural Earl of Wessex Award at PGGB Talent Showcase

1/25/2023
Film and TV industry charity 6ft From the Spotlight were awarded The Production Guild of Great Britain’s...

Entertainment Partners and Netflix Pledge £500K ($608K) to New PGGB Talent Development Fund

1/25/2023
Production Guild of Great Britain (PGGB) Talent Development Fund will support the development and...
Master Series square Thumbnail Pact Bectu Agreement

Understanding the New Pact/Bectu TV Drama Agreement 2023

1/12/2023
Your comprehensive overview of the new Pact/Bectu TV Drama Agreement and how key changes will impact...
Topic: UK
Watch
Virtual Production

The UK Invests in Virtual Production as Content Boom Continues

1/10/2023
The UK is doubling down on Virtual Production infrastructure; learn how and why they’re leading the charge...
Topic: UK
More

Meet the Music Supervisor

1/4/2023
Kasey Truman ('Grey’s Anatomy,' 'The Sandman,' 'Fire Country') on the art of creating cinematic...
Doctor Strange

9 Hollywood Blockbusters Actually Filmed in the UK

12/27/2022
Major US studios are taking advantage of what the UK has to offer, and clever set design and special...
Topic: UK
More

UK Production Incentives All Producers Should Know About

11/17/2022
Don't miss out on the UK's tax incentives, special programs, and national and regional funding...
Changes to UK Pensions Act

Proposed Changes to the UK Pensions Act Could Impact Production Budgets

10/12/2022
Reintroduced bill seeks to give UK government the power to extend pensions auto-enrollment to young and...
Topic: UK
More
UK Gov Growth Plan

Mini Budget; Big Changes: What the UK Government’s Growth Plan Means for Production 

10/12/2022
UK Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announces new Growth Plan (aka the “mini budget”) and a big shake up of the...
Topic: UK
More
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_Residuals and the streaming model

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 Newsroom-Netflix logo-Thumbnail

Netflix and Entertainment Partners to Train Next Generation of Production Accountants

1/26/2023
Netflix, in partnership with Entertainment Partners, is calling for applicants to participate in a...

Hawaii 2023 Loan-Out GET Tax Rule FAQs

1/5/2023
Productions seeking a Hawaii tax credit must withhold and report general excise tax (GET) on loan-outs in...

Production Incentives Update: December 2022

12/27/2022
A look at changing film incentive programs across the US, Canada, and Czech Republic.
tax

Hawaii Production Tax Incentives Notice

12/22/2022
Hawaii announces new rules and procedures for reporting and paying loan-out HI General Excise Tax (GET)...

Budgeting and Forecasting Film and Television Residuals

12/13/2022
What production accountants need to know to confidently budget and forecast for residuals.
Master Series Budgeting 2023

Budgeting for 2023: Federal, State, and Incentive Considerations

12/9/2022
Learn what Federal and State payroll tax changes are coming in 2023, plus tips for setting up your...
ICO Issues 4.4M Penalty

ICO Warns Against Complacency as it Hands Out £4.4M GDPR Penalty

11/16/2022
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) imposes hefty penalty for failing to protect employee personal...

Meet the Script Supervisor

11/15/2022
A conversation with Rachel Connors Phillippe (‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,’ ‘Only Murders in the Building’)

Three Mistakes That Can Slow Down Your Production Payroll (And How to Avoid Them)

11/11/2022
Stay compliant with UK rules and regulations, and get your crew and talent paid on time, with these...

Production Incentives Update: November 2022

11/1/2022
Don't miss these US incentive programs, accepting applications now!

The Production Accountant’s Guide to Year-End Payroll

11/1/2022
A step-by-step breakdown of how to navigate pitfalls and fix production payroll errors for a smooth year...

US Production Incentives Special Alert: Hawaii

11/1/2022
Hawaii amends Motion Picture, Digital Media, and Film Production Income Tax Credit

Preparing for Year End: Focus, Find, and Fix!

10/28/2022
EP's payroll tax experts share best practices to identify and resolve payroll tax errors for a smooth year...

Film Community and Industry Jobs Grow in Washington State

10/25/2022
Thanks to new funding and a continuous effort by Amy Lillard, Executive Director of Washington Filmworks,...

Special Report: Entertainment – A Hollywood Education

10/24/2022
It’s the best of times and the worst of times for employment in the entertainment/streaming industry.

Special Report: Entertainment – Soundstage Gold Rush

10/24/2022
Hollywood is experiencing an ongoing boom that fills its Los Angeles production hub to overflow levels.
UK Govt backtracks on growth plan

UK Government Backtracks on Growth Plan: What it Means for Production

10/18/2022
Former UK Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng was replaced by Jeremy Hunt after 38-day run, and policies reversed in...
Topic: UK
More
EP Blog_SQUARE_Creating a development budget

The Beginner’s Guide to Creating a Development Budget

10/18/2022
Before you start the filmmaking process, learn what basics you need to budget for to get your idea off the...
UK Court Issues Warning for Personal Data at Work

UK Court Issues Warning for those with Access to Personal Data at Work 

10/12/2022
UK Coventry Magistrates’ Court fines a former health adviser £3,000 for unlawfully accessing personal data...
Topic: UK
More
EP Blog_SQUARE_Streaming service

Streaming Services Expand to Latin America and New Audiences

10/11/2022
SVOD providers look to Latin America as a gateway to global stories and new subscribers
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-blue

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

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
© 2023 Entertainment Partners. All rights reserved.