Saturday, April 11, 2009

Over Lawyering on the Web

Is it just me or have lawyers gone too far with all things online such as terms of service, license agreements, and disclaimers in e-mails? Of course, the only people that can answer this question are probably the very lawyers who come up with these requirements.

How important are a website's terms? I don't have to agree to any terms of service when I go to the local mall. But, if I pull out a camera and begin taking photos they can ask me to leave since it's private property (with public access - very similar to a website). Being a guest would seem to be a good analogy. I invite you into my house (or my place of business) and I can ask you to leave at anytime.

The disclaimers at the end of e-mail seem to be a bit over the top. Shouldn't I have to agree to the disclaimer? And, if I don't agree with it should I be bound to delete the e-mail? It simply seems unnecessary. If there is any legal precedence for these e-mail disclaimers, I'd love to know more.