What's the most ridiculously long and pointless legal notice you've seen in an email?

I develop software for the financial sector (when I’m not a student, that is). A lot of companies in this industry seem to require their employees to include legal disclaimers at the bottom of their emails: “This message may contain confidential information!” and so forth. Mostly, these don’t bother me too much, as they are short and to the point, and I recognize their utility.

However, one person I’m dealing with has the most monstrous notice attached to every single one of his emails. Combined with his utterly useless, redundant signatures, it’s enough to make his usually one-liner emails spill over onto two pages when printed.


I’m surprised he doesn’t include “Planet Earth, Solar System, Spiral Arm 3, Milky Way Galaxy, Local Group, Known Universe, Reality” at the end of his address as well.

Can any of you top all that? What’s the most ridiculous legal disclaimer / signature you’ve seen in an email?

Personally, I sign all my emails with just

Firstname Lastname

My name, position, phone numbers and mailing address are all on our website.

I’ve collected a few stupid email disclaimers over the years, and here they are . But I can’t beat the one you cited.

Me. …

We’ve got a pretty bad one at work since we recently increased ours by 125%. Not as bad as that though. It’s hard to compare though, most everyone has there’s in very small blue print. Thankfully I also know to include only uesful information in my signature.

One of my former co-workers had added her own disclaimer to her signature, even though the system automatically added a disclaimer to all outgoing emails. Drove me crazy. I don’t know why she thought she needed two disclaimers - or even one for that matter. We worked for a transport company, transporting goods from the factory to the distribution warehouse. It’s not like we handled any top secret or sensitive information. Heaven forbid that someone should intercept the weekly report on how long it took to load the trucks! Quelle disaster!

All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced by any means without the written permission of Alchemy Mindworks Inc. No fur-bearing animals were harmed during the creation of this document. Allergy alert: may contain nutmeg, but we doubt it. Return for refund where applicable. Not recommended for persons with sugar-restricted diets. Batteries are included – best of luck finding them. Proud sponsor of the 1934 penguin olympic games at McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. May cause irritability, sleeplessness or warts after prolonged use. Contents under pressure. BHT added to preserve freshness. Caution: this product has caused some laboratory rats to rip through their cages, fly across the room and brutally murder hundreds of innocent people. Shake well before using. No vacuum tubes or other user-serviceable parts inside. Not to be combined with other radioisotopes except under the advice of a physician. Avoid prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light. The truth is out there. Use no hooks. Not intended for use by children or liberals under the age of five. Printed on unrecycled dead trees and we’re proud of it

The 2001 Dafta Longest Email Disclaimer contest winner:

I think I may have you all beat:

Oops…I should have opened Engineer’s link first. Jesus! What, are they crazy?

But mine is from an email I actually received. That’s gotta count for something.

While I agree that the disclaimer in the OP is bad, what’s wrong with including your email address in your sig? I see emails float through upto a dozen forwards or responses. By that time, the originial email address is long gone from the header.

Because there’s the remote chance your letter could end up on the Web, or in a listserv - places that are crawled by spiders looking for addresses to add to their spam list. If you don’t include your email address in the footer, you decrease the chances of that happening - just a little bit, I know, but it helps.

If it’s the kind of letter that’s forwarded to Turdwater Springs and back, it’s likely going to have the kind of content that some Jean Teasdale-type will post on her Geocities survivors/dead baby/Dale Earnhardt memorial/kountry kute/angels page. Do you really want to see your email address appear there?

I hate these things with the fire of a thousand suns. Has anyone ever gotten sued by anyone ever for not including one of these braindead things in their emails?

For three years, the end of mine has read “…any disclosure, printing, copying, distribution or use of the contents is prohibited, not no mention just plain rude.” No one has ever commented on it.