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When It Comes to Content, Caveat Surfer

Saturday, September 18, 2004; Page A24

Leslie Walker's "Spreading Knowledge, The Wiki Way" [Business, Sept. 9] quoted Britannica editor in chief Dale Hoiberg as saying that Britannica "take[s] responsibility for all the content we include in any of our products," implicitly scoffing at Wikipedia's disclaimer.

I would like to bring to Mr. Hoiberg's attention the disclaimer of warranties tucked away in Britannica Online's terms of use. It reads in part, in all capital letters:

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"ALL INFORMATION . . . INCLUDED IN OR ACCESSIBLE FROM THIS SITE [IS] PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND WITHOUT WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND. . . . YOUR USE OF BRITANNICA.COM IS AT YOUR SOLE RISK."

Wikipedia takes great pride in -- and as much responsibility for it as is legally tenable -- all of its content. Online, Britannica appears to do the same.

SAMUEL KLEIN

Boston

The writer is an editor of Wikipedia.


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