Derek Paget
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The law and regulation – docudrama in the new millennium
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This chapter aims to outline the main legal and regulatory issues that concern docudrama. The legal mantra, 'due impartiality', 'accuracy', 'fairness', 'informed consent' comprises working concepts that try to give protection to both sides of a docudramatic operation. 'Legalling' is the term used for the vetting of a docudrama by production company lawyers. The process must take account of two separate systems: regulation; and the law itself. British law is enshrined in the 1996 Defamation Act. The legal contribution to the process is now so direct that it can easily be read as a kind of censorship. Many creatives now fight for shy of working in an area overdetermined by legal and regulatory constraints. The break-up of the post-war consensus in Britain has led to challenges to the network that once guaranteed acquiescence in a gentlemanly square dance between legislators and broadcasters.

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Docudrama on film and television

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