Posted on Wed 10 October 2018

all email disclaimers are utterly useless

All email disclaimers are utterly useless – except, possibly, one that a lawyer sends you that, on that particular message, reminds you that you are not in a privileged relationship.

Here’s the proof:

This message (including any attachment(s) hereto) is confidential and may also be privileged. It is intended solely for the addressee. If you are not the intended recipient you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. If you have received this message in error you are requested to please notify the sender by email immediately and delete it from your system. Marlabs is not liable for the improper transmission of this message nor for any damage sustained as a result of this message. If verification is required, please request for a hard-copy version.

I received that on October 10th, 2018, from a company that I had never heard of before and had no relationship with at all.

Precisely what legal force does the statement “If you are not the intended recipient you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful.” have in real life? None at all.

Let’s assume that I am an intended recipient. I could forward it to a colleague. They would not be the intended recipient, and so they would somehow be bound to ignore it? It’s not IP law. It’s not financial regulation. Who is forming the contract?

If you believe that a binding contract can be formed by pushing information at other people, then you agree that you owe me $200 for reading this sentence. If, on the other hand, you don’t believe that, you owe it to yourself to avoid using email disclaimers.

Also, please see my EULA.


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