legal notices at the end of emails

Jerry jerry at
Wed Jul 27 11:30:46 UTC 2011

On Wed, 27 Jul 2011 13:08:04 +0200
Svein Skogen (Listmail account) articulated:

> 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

I find it rather amusing that anyone actually reads, far less pays any
attention to those useless pieces of garbage (disclaimers). Although I
do find it interesting that some pseudo Internet sheriff will condemn
the use of HTML mail in forums as wasted bandwidth yet stay mum on the
killing of defenseless electrons with the implementation of these
pointless disclaimers.


This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and
intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to which they
are addressed. If you are not the intended recipient of this
transmission, please delete it immediately.

Obviously, I am the idiot who sent it to you by mistake. Furthermore,
there is no way I can force you to delete it. Worse, by the time you
have reached this disclaimer you have all ready read the document.
Telling you to forget it would seem absurd. In any event, I have no
legal right to force you to take any action upon this email anyway.

This entire disclaimer is just a waste of everyone's time and
bandwidth. Therefore, let us just forget the whole thing and enjoy a
cold beer instead.

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list