Instagram, TikTok, YouTube … New protections for influencer children

On Instagram, TikTok or YouTube, minors can be featured in photos and videos. A decree dated Thursday 28 April, published the following day in Official newspaperdetails the rules provided for by a law of 19 October 2020, intended to regulate the commercial exploitation of the image of children under 16 on online platforms, according to its official title.

The new text it falls within the general framework of the employment of children in some professions such as entertainment, cinema, radio, television, model making, video game competitions “comments on the official website of the Public Service.

Significant income for some families

Between product testing, toy unboxing or tutorials, photos and videos can be a significant source of income for some families. Parents of influencer children have devised a mechanism for frequent posting of videos, such as the mother played by actress Blanche Gardin in the film sketch selfie. This satire on the invasive presence of digital in private life hit theaters in early 2020.

[C]Videos are generally the medium for advertising, whether it be ad breaks, image overlays, or product placements. Some videographers also sell derivative products “, recalled the explanatory report of the bill that gave rise to the text. Platforms can pay money for videos that accumulate a certain number of views.

Come in “They are perceived directly by the channel owners and therefore, in general, by the parents”it was still written in the explanatory report.

“As soon as a salary, a place of subordination and a job performance are clearly established, it appears […] that these activities go beyond the rigid framework of free time and can be analyzed as disguised work “, the document continued. The new rules had to respond to these abuses.

A request for approval

The parent of a child whose image is online could be their employer. The aforementioned law requires authorization when the employer’s activity consists in making audiovisual recordings whose main subject is a child under 16, with a view to broadcasting for profit on a platform service for the video sharing. In some cases, a simple administrative declaration may be required.

A request for approval must be presented to the prefect. It is accompanied by the following elements, detailed by the decree:

  • an extract from the birth certificate of the employer or of its directors, partners and executives in the case of a company;
  • a certificate of payment of contributions to social security institutions for employers in business at the time of submitting the application for approval;
  • a certificate with which the employer undertakes to submit the child to a compulsory medical examination, at his own expense;
  • all the elements that make it possible to evaluate the morality of the employer as well as the conditions under which he will carry out his activity;
  • a document that establishes the marital status of the child;
  • the written authorization of its legal representatives accompanied by the list of previous or current positions held by the minor;
  • all the documents that make it possible to appreciate the difficulties and the morality of the role that the child is called to play;
  • all the details on the conditions of employment of the minor, on his salary and on the methods adopted to guarantee his school attendance.

A mandatory medical examination

The compulsory medical examination must be carried out by a pediatrician or a general practitioner or an occupational physician of the Interprofessional Occupational Medicine Service specializing in occupational medicine for performing artists and technicians.

According to the same decree, this examination must demonstrate whether, given the age and state of health of the child, the latter is able to carry out the activity without compromising his health or development. The exam is renewed:

  • every three months for children under 3;
  • every six months for children aged 3 to 6;
  • every year for those over 6 years old.

A negative opinion of the doctor prohibits the use of the child.

The prefect grants or renews the approval, for a renewable period of one year, with the consent of a commission, if the guarantees provided to the child regarding his physical and mental safety are sufficient.

A reasoned suspension of the approval is possible. It must be justified by urgency and can only be based on facts immediately and seriously questioning the health or morals of the child. The suspension period cannot exceed one month.

An income block

Children whose image is exploited benefit from an investment of their income, with some exceptions, in the Caisse des dépôts et consignations until they reach the age of majority or their emancipation.

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