The Financial Times Deutschland has an article about the frequent use of disclaimers, above all in email, and their ineffectiveness (as they are one-sided).
Manchmal ist es eine Einladung zum Mittagessen. Ein anderes Mal poppt die Nachricht auf, dass sich das Meeting verschiebt. Harmlose Mitteilungen per E-Mail, zunächst. Bis der Blick des Lesers auf das Ende der elektronischen Mitteilung fällt: “Diese Information ist vertraulich. Falls Sie diese E-Mail irrtümlich erhalten haben, informieren Sie bitte unverzüglich den Absender, und vernichten Sie diese E-Mail. Das Kopieren und Weiterleiten ist verboten.”
The contents of this mail are freely re-distributable under the GPL. Any files that are transmitted with it must be hitchhikers that have been picked up while the mail was speeding along the information highway. As this mail is neither digitally encrypted nor signed, it can’t be considered confidential and/or intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom it is addressed to. Any attachments that may have hopped on along the way are to be regarded as useless jetsam made from recycled electrons and must be deleted straight away. The views stated in this flutter definitely do not represent the view of any company on this planet that the author knows of. We are sorry to have bothered you if you are not the intended recipient of this e-mail. You may, however, copy, forward, disclose or otherwise use this mail or any part of it in any form whatsoever, provided that you really feel like it, but you can also just hit the delete-key and get it over with. If you have received this mail in error please do not trouble yourself to inform the sender about it as that’s obviously his/her own fault.
For a different view, see www.emaildisclaimers.com.
bq. What the experts say:
‘If you are in any doubt as to whether or not you should include a notice, then you should include one’.
Email@work 2000, Jonathan Whelan