PIPEDA and Filming/Photographing Individuals for Film and TV Projects

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[The following originally appeared in the OBA's Entertainment, Media and Communications Law Section Newsletter, vol. 20, no. 2 January/Janvier 2011]

This article explores the interface between Canada’s primary federal privacy legislation, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”), and the activity of filming or photographing an individual where the resulting film or photograph is used in a motion picture or television project. The following analysis seeks to answer the question of how and to what extent PIPEDA impacts on the ability of motion picture and television producers to film and photograph individuals for inclusion in an audio-visual project. It should be noted that the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec have enacted legislation recognized as “substantially similar” to PIPEDA – but there are some material differences between the provincial legislative regimes and its federal cousin. The analysis below does not canvass the provincial legislation, and so caution should be exercised in transposing conclusions reached about PIPEDA to the relevant provincial context.

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