How to Write a Disclaimer for a Novel, Website, or Blog
Have You Written a Disclaimer, Yet?
Learning how to write a disclaimer is something many of us need to do—especially if it involves selling something or providing a service via a webpage or blog.
The use of a disclaimer is becoming more and more of a necessity these days. Any person, for any reason, may decide that there is something on your website or blog (something that you have written) that is in some way offensive or unacceptable either politically or socially. As a result, the reader may even decide to sue you (and we all know how easy it has become to do that).
So, to keep your beloved hide in one piece and your money in your wallet, it is in your best interests to write yourself a disclaimer—just to be safe!
The writing of a disclaimer can be a difficult task for someone who has never written one before, therefore, I am going to provide you with a brief guide that you may use and follow.
What to Include in Your Disclaimer
- Explain that there are personal opinions expressed in your content.
- Convey that you have no bad intentions.
- Explain that you are not responsible for comments from others.
- Be transparent and provide contact information.
- Include a legal statement to protect yourself.
How to Write a Disclaimer
First things first, you will need to decide what kind of information to include in your disclaimer. A disclaimer is basically a declaration, so you may just want to declare some or all of the above.
What I do know is that writing a disclaimer can be a fun experience, because they can be written interestingly and have the potential to attract readers. I read blog disclaimers often and have found some really well-written ones that were great to read.
Why not write your own disclaimer today?
Step One: Convey Personal Opinions
You will need to convey to your readers that your blog/website is a personal blog/website and that all articles and opinions contained within are your own.
Example: I, the author of the content that can be found here within can assure you, the reader, that any of the opinions expressed here are of my own and are a result of the way in which my highly disorganized and somewhat dysfunctional mind interprets a particular situation and or concept.
Step Two: No Bad Intentions
Explain to your readers that your personal opinions and writings are not meant to defame, purge, humiliate, and/or injure anyone should they decide to act upon or reuse any information provided by you.
Example: I would like to expressly convey to you (the reader) that were I to accidentally defame, purge, humiliate, and/or hurt someone's person or feelings as a result of them reading and/or acting upon any or all of the information and/or advice found here at my site, it is entirely unintentional of me to do so.
Step Three: Comments From Others
Mention the fact that any comments left by any other independent reader or author are the sole responsibility of that person.
Example: Any comments that may be found here at (your site name) are the express opinions and or the property of their individual authors. Therefore, I the owner/author of this site can not be held responsible for the fact that the minds of the respected authors may just well be as dysfunctional as my own, if not more . . . and it is not a practice of my own to edit any comments left here by others.
Step Four: Transparency
Include a paragraph or two requesting your readers to contact you directly via email should they wish for you to remove any content that they have identified as being sensitive, harmful, or unnecessary.
Example: Should you (the reader) identify any such content that is harmful, malicious, sensitive, or unnecessary, I request that you contact me via email so I may rectify the problem. Failing that you may like to just sit and weep incessantly!
Step Five: Legal Statement
The last thing you may like to include is a legal statement referring to any applicable laws and/or regulations pertaining to the country in which you live.
A legal statement is something that you may need to speak to a lawyer about. I am not a lawyer and therefore can not recommend what you should write. I am also unsure of whether or not a self-written disclaimer would stand up in a court of law or not. Again, that is something you would have to speak to a lawyer about.
Example of an Excessively Thorough Disclaimer
This blog disclaimer has to be the longest I have ever read, however, it is fabulously written. It is titled: Legal Redux: Herche's Blog Disclaimer.
Heretofore and unto now, this blogger hosted weblog has had to rely exclusively on the blanket disclaimer provided for the corporate body of blog*spot addresses. While this kind of disclaimer is usually sufficient to protect a blogger from liability, it falls short when dealing with inherently offensive content, websites with a mind of their own and authors who are excessively paranoid about being dragged into court. With the above firmly borne in mind, we propose the following weblog disclaimer:
Http://ledux.blogspot.com (hereafter “this website”) will abide by, adhere to, accept responsibility for, endure under and act with respect toward the following weblog disclaimer:
By accessing this website, a web browser (hereafter user) consents that s/he is familiar with, understands and absolutely accepts the following weblog disclaimer:
The views expressed by the authors on this website do not necessarily reflect the views of this website, those who link to this website, the author's mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, grandparents, cousins, step relations, any other blood relative and the author himself, this website’s web host, template designer, or any other organization, service, motto, logo, insignia or avatar in any way connected with this website.
Comments on this website are the sole responsibility of their writers and the writer will take full responsibility, liability, and blame for any libel or litigation that results from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment. The accuracy, completeness, veracity, honesty, exactitude, factuality and politeness of comments are not guaranteed.
All trademarks, service marks, collective marks, design rights, personality rights, copyrights, registered names, mottos, logos, avatars, insignias and marks used or cited by this website are the property of their respective owners and this website in no way accepts any responsibility for an infringement on one of the above.
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© 2010 Lucas Uren