Voice data processing regulations and GDPR – who does it apply to in the voice production industry?

GDPR is based on accountability and imposes strict laws concerning the collection, storing and processing of European personal data for all organisations and professionals doing business in the European Union and/or working with companies situated in the EU.

GDPR has forced the audiovisual and entertainment industries to completely rethink and restructure traditional handling and processing of European personal data, including voice data (samples used in voice production).

Voice samples collected and stored in internal casting databases are dangerous, and put companies at high risk. The majority of these samples are collected for specific contracted-projects, and most likely added to databases for use in future castings. GDPR obligations require companies to solicit, record and renew actor consent before adding their samples to the casting database. GDPR requires consent be collected 100% independent of work contracts.

Large production groups

  • Big production groups have local subsidiaries worldwide and often subcontract voice production providers for voice specialty projects. Production groups must ensure the voice data GDPR compliance of every stakeholder in the voice production work chain. EU laws hold all participants co-responsible and require companies be able to confirm the GDPR compliance of all project participants.

Independent production companies and studios

  • Often contracted by national and international companies to provide voice production support and management, localised production companies and independent voice service providers must ensure voice castings are compliant and that every voice sample and all other performer personal data used for a project has been processed in accordance with GDPR. One weak link in the chain puts everyone involved in the project at risk.


GDPR vs Voice Casting Databases

Artistic Directors

  • Artistic directors work as freelancers or are contracted by producers to manage local logistics of voice over and dubbing production. Regardless of their legal structure, they must ensure the samples they use are GDPR compliant and that they have trackable authorisations to use and store voice actors’ samples for castings.

Talent Agents

  • Voice agents interact with all participants in voice production workflows. Every voice sample being used to promote talents to producers, artistic directors, and final clients, must be GDPR compliant and be part of an ongoing processing workflow that respects GDPR policies.

It’s not sufficient to have a voice production contract, or claim rights of use because samples were collected in a professional context, all voice samples used for castings must be GDPR compliant. Voice samples saved in casting databases and used for projects other than the specific one they were collected for, cannot be justified as professional data without explicit consent from the voice performer to be referenced in the casting database, used for other projects, and shared with third parties.

Contracts signed with voice actors allow for the use of audio recordings for specific durations and use. However, to use these voice samples, even partial excerpts, for other castings, companies and freelancers are obligated to obtain specific and explicit consent from the performer concerning where and how the clip will be used, how long it will be stored, etc.,  Consent must be granted every 2 years and performers have enforceable rights to access samples and all other personal data being stored and used by organisations and independent professionals.

Disclaimer: All data and information provided in this blog post are for informational purposes only. Mediartis makes no representation as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness or validity of the information contained in this document. We recommend that you consult a lawyer for any legal advice regarding the respect of data protection.

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