Ask Dave Taylor: Tech and Business


Creating the perfect blog comment liability disclaimer

After all the discussion about the lawsuit and legal liability that bloggers apparently have with the comments on weblogs (see my earlier piece on Blogger sued for comments on his weblog), I’ve decided to add a small disclaimer to this blog to help protect myself in case anything untoward might occur in the future.  Should you add one on your site? Maybe, maybe not.

To get the full scoop, and to help write a disclaimer that will actually protect me against potential lawsuits, I’ve asked attorney Daniel Perry to help with this particular entry. My prose is in black, Daniel's is presented in blue.

Here’s my first stab at a disclaimer:

"Your words are your own, but you agree that I have the right to delete or edit as I feel appropriate or necessary."

Daniel responds: First, a disclaimer: there is no such thing as a perfect blog comment disclaimer. Each blog may require its own individualized disclaimer. Moreover, a comment disclaimer should be a living part of your blog which might change as we learn how these disclaimers are treated by courts. 

Fortunately, there is a wide body of caselaw and law review articles concerning website disclaimers. It is not necessary to reinvent the wheel. Caution is appropriate when applying those case precedents, however. Blogging is...