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Friday, 3 June 2011

Feel free to copy my legal email disclaimer, it's the best there is.

How many of you remember the sixties. In particular, a folk singer called Wendy Grossman? In later life Ms Grossman gravitated to IT Journalism and has written for most of the old broadsheets in the past. Haven't seen her name lately and she may have retired.

I am a member of CIX, Google it if you'd like to know about it. But one day she posted the following disclaimer and it struck a note for me and I often send it to companies who use a stupid legal disclaimer and invite them to use this one instead. To date not one has replied, and not one has taken me up on my offer.
Here it is:
IMPORTANT - This e-mail is not and cannot, by its nature, be confidential. En route from me to you, it will pass across the public Internet, easily readable by any number of system administrators along the way. If you have received this message by mistake, it would be ridiculous for me to tell you not to read it or copy to anyone else. Let's face it, if it's a message revealing confidential information or that could embarrass me intensely, that is precisely what you'll do; who wouldn't? It is also superfluous for me to claim copyright in the contents, because I own that anyway, even if you print out a hard copy or disseminate this message all over the known universe. I don't know why so many corporate mail servers feel impelled to attach a disclaimer to the bottom of every e-mail message saying otherwise. If you don't know either, why not e-mail your company's lawyers and system administrators and ask them why they insist on contributing so much to the waste of bandwidth.

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