legal notices at the end of emails

Svein Skogen (Listmail account) svein-listmail at
Wed Jul 27 11:08:14 UTC 2011

On 27.07.2011 13:01, Damien Fleuriot wrote:
> On 7/27/11 5:11 PM, perryh at wrote:
>> Ryan Coleman <editor at> wrote:
>>> A heads up about your footer: This email goes onto a mailing
>>> list that is available via an online archive... your "terms"
>>> are violated just by sending an email to this mailing list.
>> Not necessarily.  It says [emphasis added]:
>>>> The contents of this eMail ... should not be disclosed
>>>> to, ... anyone _other than the intended addressee(s)_ ...
>>>> Any _unauthorized_ review ... is strictly prohibited ...
>> I don't see a problem provided the archived mailing list is
>> considered to be among "the intended addressee(s)" and the
>> sender is considered, by the act of sending it to an archived
>> list, to have authorized the archiving (and implicitly any
>> subsequent use of the archive).
> All the same, any of you guys ever take this kind of notice seriously ?
> I mean, really ?
> See, you've actually read the e-mail prior to reading (and thus
> accepting or refusing) the "legal" notice.
> It's like me sending you an e-mail, with a footer saying "By reading
> this e-mail you hereby forfeit all of your fortune, properties and
> claims in favor of Pwnd LTD, who shall be the sole and universal
> beneficiary, and has just done you good.".
> Just because they appear in an e-mail and you've read that e-mail
> doesn't mean you've acknowledged said terms, let alone accepted them.

Exactly. You did not solicit an agreement with the sender before the
agreement appeared, and since it required no active part on your half,
it is non-binding.

> I for one, on principle, decline to abide by such terms, which may in no
> case be enforced on me, seeing I never accepted them in the first place.

I think the reasoning is the legal principle of "whatever people think
we can get away with, because we have a lawyer so slippery PTFT
manufacturers are suing us for patent violations"

> One would have to get my consent to abide by their legal notice THEN
> send me the actual contents.
> Now, that would work.
> Then again, on principle I would decline said terms so they couldn't
> send me whatever they wanted...

Those e-mail-footers of legalese-sounding mumbo-jumbo threatening
voodoo-action against you and anybody standing next to you, should you
not be the sole designated, implied or expressed, recipient of that
e-mail, are _LESS_ binding than "shrinkwrap EULAs", and has less actual
legal content than the gold-content of seawater. They add the footers to
sound important. It's a mild case of narcissism.

  /"\   |Svein Skogen       | svein at
  \ /   |Solberg Østli 9    | PGP Key:  0xE5E76831
   X    |2020 Skedsmokorset | svein at
  / \   |Norway             | PGP Key:  0xCE96CE13
        |                   | svein at
 ascii  |                   | PGP Key:  0x58CD33B6
 ribbon |System Admin       | svein-listmail at
Campaign|     | PGP Key:  0x22D494A4
        |msn messenger:     | Mobile Phone: +47 907 03 575
        |svein at | RIPE handle:    SS16503-RIPE
A: Because it fouls the order in which people normally read text.
Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?
A: Top-posting.
Q: What is the most annoying thing on usenet and in e-mail?
                     Picture Gallery:


-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: signature.asc
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 260 bytes
Desc: OpenPGP digital signature
Url :

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list