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Interest disclaimers

I have a question regarding disclaimers, and whether in light of recent events it is even worth worrying about putting them on our journals. I know disclaimers in relation to copyright are essentially meaningless, legally, but is the same true of disclaimers regarding content that has been implicated in the recent deletions? Apparently several of the RP journals suspended had all sorts of language included to make clear that they were dealing with fictional entities in a role-playing context, but that obviously didn't stop LJ from including them in the purge. I keep basic disclaimers about adult content and illegal activities on my journal (as do a lot of LJers), but at this point I'm tempted not to bother because it obviously wouldn't slow LJ down one bit if they felt it needed to take action against me. Thoughts?


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 30th, 2007 03:56 pm (UTC)
Livejournal can delete your LJ for basically any reason they want, so your best bet is to either steer clear of anything that could be interpreted as "virtual child porn", or host it somewhere which is prepared to defend you in this situation.
May. 30th, 2007 04:06 pm (UTC)
I believe people should include disclaimers because it puts readers on notice of the objectionable content, and for that purpose alone they are useful.

From a legal standpoint, however, they are not particularly helpful. Just as a disclaimer "I don't own Harry Potter" isn't going to protect a person from being sued by J.K. Rowling for copyright infringement for posting HP fanfiction online, so, too, does a "Warning: chan" disclaimer not protect a person from potential legal ramifications related to posting impermissible underage content.

To the contrary, I would be wary of using terms such as "incest", "rape" and "chan" in disclaimers, especially on LJ User Info page, because WarriorsForInnocence and/or Six Apart might start using search terms to find "objectionable" content in livejournals for their next wave of LJ banning.

Instead, I would advocate more generalized disclaimers that don't specifically list those terms by name, but let readers know what type of content to expect.
May. 30th, 2007 04:11 pm (UTC)
A disclaimer is always a good idea, even if it's no iron-clad guarantee of legal protection. You can always argue it's evidence of the author's good faith in attempting to comply with applicable law. I would never post a fic without a disclaimer, and especially not if the fic happpens to incorporate actual quotes from the original.

In that spirit, this comment is posted as a personal opinion only and is not meant to constitute actual legal advice, blah, blah, blah... ;)
May. 30th, 2007 07:56 pm (UTC)
Doesn't a disclaimer make you more liable because you are providing evidence that you are aware there is an issue?
Like a sign "vicious dog" is telling the world yes I know there is more of a risk to you than normal.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
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