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Longest Email Disclaimer

By Tachys in MLP
Mon May 21, 2001 at 06:12:32 PM EST
Tags: Humour (all tags)

On The Register they ran a contest, asking people to send in the longest email disclaimers they have seen. You can see the winners here.

This article is owned by the author and does not in anyway relect the views of Kuro5hin.

Kuro5hin assumes no liability for any injury, ignorance or hate crimes caused by this article.

Anyone who says otherwise is a liar and a coward.


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


I am not liable for
o Injury 0%
o This article 23%
o Idiots 33%
o My own pathic life 28%
o I eat tacos 14%

Votes: 42
Results | Other Polls

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Longest Email Disclaimer | 10 comments (10 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
The longest (3.85 / 7) (#1)
by Seumas on Mon May 21, 2001 at 05:28:32 AM EST

UBS AG, with the longest disclaimer weighs in with some statistics (that I didn't find on the page) that are staggering: 1083 words and 9160 bytes.

I would truly hate to see the size of their mailstore.
I just read K5 for the articles.

If they have any brains (4.00 / 1) (#3)
by aphrael on Mon May 21, 2001 at 01:16:32 PM EST

their server automagically attaches this to all outgoing mail, and it doesn't exist on mail sent within the system.

[ Parent ]
but (none / 0) (#8)
by samth on Mon May 21, 2001 at 10:04:19 PM EST

since they use a disclaimer over 1000 words long (I put [long] in the subject of emails that long) we can clearly see that they don't have any brains.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]
Semi-Serious ... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
by loaf on Mon May 21, 2001 at 06:53:27 AM EST

How much legal standing does the blurb at the bottom actually carry?

My company's carries words along the lines of "for the sole use of the intended recipient" and "use only for the intended purpose".

I'm in the UK and I'm not sure that these words carry any weight at all ... have they been tested anywhere?

Disclaimer (4.66 / 3) (#5)
by Tatarigami on Mon May 21, 2001 at 04:46:33 PM EST

I've put the same question to the head of network security for my company. Neither one of us is a lawyer, but she has a lot more contact with the breed than can be good for any normal person.

In general it seems that disclaimers aren't particularly effective. Email becomes the property of the recipient, you can't give something to someone and then say they don't own it. So any disclaimer saying 'you must delete this if you are not the intended recipient' relies on whoever received the message not knowing their rights.

A disclaimer which forbids you using the information contained in a message has a little bit more weight, because in some situations a court would take the view that you came by the information unfairly. Not dishonestly -- just through a channel you wouldn't normally have legitimate access to. However, if the information put you in a position where you have a conflict of interests between doing the right thing by the sender and by someone else, it's generally the sender's hard luck.

In order for the terms in a standard disclaimer to hold weight, they would have to have been agreed to by the recipient prior to receiving the message, and even then, it's best to have the agreement in writing.

You can copyright the contents of an email message, but that still opens it up to fair use, summarization, etc.

About the only thing you can say in a disclaimer which carries any legal weight is that the sender's opinion may not match that of their employer.

[ Parent ]
Unauthorised use (none / 0) (#10)
by loaf on Tue May 29, 2001 at 10:04:09 AM EST

I guess the question is whether "unauthorised use" can be guessed in the mind of the "unintended" recipient.

The key issue here is the definition of "intended".

I own several domains and, while not frequent, I do sometimes receive information sent to one of my domains which is obviously meant for someone with a domain only slightly different to mine.

A friend of mine's fiance is a lawyer and was recently involved in just such a case - the recipient user@domain.com received an email intended for the user@domain.co.uk (or vice versa). I'm not sure of the minutae of the case, but as I understand it, the judge's summary was a mixture of "sender beware" and "receiver can do what they like" unless the information was specifically targeted to someone that wasn't them. (In this case it was just an attached document with no attribution.)

[ Parent ]
Incomprehensible? how so? (3.50 / 2) (#4)
by delmoi on Mon May 21, 2001 at 01:55:43 PM EST

I don't know, maybe I'm just super intelligent or something (sounds better then the usually 'maybe I'm just stupid'), but I didn't have any trouble understanding the Rathmore disclaimer at all.
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
yeah (none / 0) (#7)
by timmyd on Mon May 21, 2001 at 08:49:28 PM EST

the person that reviewed it might have choked on the first sentence. it got pretty easy after that.

[ Parent ]
Yeah, right... (2.00 / 1) (#6)
by Burrito Supreme Dictator on Mon May 21, 2001 at 05:16:45 PM EST

From the "Longest Email Disclaimer:"

This message contains confidential information and is intended only for the individual named. If you are not the named addressee you should not disseminate, distribute or copy this e-mail. Please notify the sender immediately by e-mail if you have received this e-mail by mistake and delete this e-mail from your system.

Oh, look... I am the unintended recipient of sensitive information, and according to this message, I stand to receive more do to a bug in the mail systems. Since sensitive corporate information is never worth anything except to its intended recipients (for how could I, a lowly mortal, decipher such jargon as this?), I shall immediately comply to their toothless, unenforceable "demand".

I wonder if there is anyone out there that would take such a disclaimer seriously. The only reason I can imagine to actually respond and get yourself off the recipients list is simply to reduce your Spamload.

-- This space devoted to wasting your bandwidth. (A token gesture, to be sure, in these days of high-speed connections. But it's the thought that counts, right?) --

Another Pain... (none / 0) (#9)
by cmoyer on Tue May 22, 2001 at 01:48:42 AM EST

Another pain in the butt is email that get's weirdly formatted headers smacked on to it. A friend on mine always ends up sending these out (as well as the big disclaimer). It looks like it is supposed to be a letterhead, but looks realyl bad in mutt. They are forced to use lotus notes, perhaps that is the cause...

A example:
| From: Bozo at Company | |
| Subject: I love you | Time 04:12|
| etc...

Longest Email Disclaimer | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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