January 30, 2007

Mother of All Disclaimers

You're all blogophiles, so I expect you've heard about Stephen Colbert's (easy, Mariana) newly planned website called IntegrityJustice.com. Essentially, it will be a 'news' site where bloggers can submit 'news' stories that Colbert will then treat as gospel truth and report on during his show. He will also be posting his own 'news' stories on the site, which you can then link to and expand upon in your own blog to raise the item's profile.

For the moment, though, the site has been having some teething problems, and until this morning was just a simple form for emailing the webmaster along with the lengthy terms and conditions, which include the most impressive example of legalese I have ever seen:
6. You hereby agree not to sue and irrevocably and unconditionally remise, release, waive and forever discharge Company and each of its respective parent and related companies, subsidiaries (whether or not wholly-owned), affiliates, divisions, and their past, present and future officers, agents, representatives, employees, successors and assigns, jointly and individually (hereinafter collectively referred to as "Releasees"), from any and all manner of liabilities, claims and demands of any kind or nature, whatsoever, in law or equity, whether known or unknown, which you (or your assigns, agents and/or representatives) ever had, now has, or in the future may have against the Releasees including, but not limited to, claims arising out of or related to the uses described herein, the Submissions and/or your decision to provide the Submissions to Company.
I particularly enjoy "past, present and future officers, agents, representatives, etc.", and "demands of any kind or nature . . . whether known or unknown". I'm no lawyer, but it seems to me that if you submit something to the site, neither you nor anyone acting on your behalf can ever sue Viacom, or anything connected to Viacom, for anything, ever. Even if, say, they repeatedly pummel you with a tire iron. Is that really worth the possibility of getting your blog URL read out on the Colbert Report?

I think we all know the answer.


Anonymous said...

Holy cow, I can't believe someone approved this disclaimer. It's not nearly extensive enough.

First of all, why did they limit it to claims by "you..your assigns, agents and/or representatives"? What about your heirs and successors? What if "you" are a company: then you'd have directors, employees, subsidiaries, etc.

As for the scope of the claim: "ever had, now have or in the future may have"? Shameful. Ever had since when? What they should have said is "ever had since the dawn of time".

And "in the future may have?" That only covers claims that are uncertain to arise in the future. What if you have a claim that will definitely happen in the future but has simply not happened yet. Those claims are not covered.

Finally, it doesn't even address geographical scope. You could argue that this relase only covers the jurisdiction governing the contract. If a release doesn't say "throughout the universe" somewhere in it, it's as good as worthless.

-Who do you think?

Anonymous said...

I just feel bad for the poor sap who has to filter through all the
"i lv stevphen colbear1!1!!! hes my herro we r g3tting maried 2day no rly its tru" posts.

Because I'm going to write like 25 a day.

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