You know those threatening e-mail disclaimers you see every time your friend the lawyer sends you a YouTube video of cats? The one that goes something like, “This e-mail is for the intended use of the recipient(s) named above. If you are not an intended recipient, you may not review, copy or distribute this message. We know where you live and will stop at nothing.” Turns out it’s legally useless:
They are assumed to be a wise precaution. But they are mostly, legally speaking, pointless. Lawyers and experts on internet policy say no court case has ever turned on the presence or absence of such an automatic e-mail footer in America, the most litigious of rich countries. Many disclaimers are, in effect, seeking to impose a contractual obligation unilaterally, and thus are probably unenforceable.
So what we need is a disclaimer disclaimer. How about, “This disclaimer has no binding power and is just here to make the sender seem important and the recipient feel intimidated.”