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    What are Website Disclaimers?

    I get asked about these rather frequently and I'm excited to start highlighting their use.

    First, what are they and how do they differ from your website terms and conditions?

    Terms of Use (aka terms and conditions) focus on what your website visitors can and cannot do on your website. For example, they cannot steal, copy or reproduce your content. They cannot post false or inappropriate content to your website.

    Your Terms of Use is also important because it can limit your liability for content provided on your website and disclaim warranties where permitted.

    Disclaimers, however, are specific waivers and you may or may not choose to use them depending on the products or services you provide.

    Do I Need Website Disclaimers?

    It depends on what products or services you’re offering, but yes they can be a great addition to your legal toolkit.

    For instance, are you giving health advice?

    Well, you shouldn’t unless you’re practicing as a medical professional but say what you offer is beneficial health-wise, you can add a medical disclaimer explicitly letting consumers know that you’re only sharing your experience and not giving medical advice.⁠ ⁠

    And then you follow that up with actually not giving medical advice. The two work hand and hand.⁠

    The disclaimer will not work if you break your promise.⁠

    What if your product or services highlight amazing testimonials and earnings of current or past customers?⁠

    In that case consider using an earnings disclaimer.

    ⁠Then you can make clear that those past outcomes do not guarantee future outcomes.⁠ ⁠These disclaimers set expectations. We all engage in marketing and selling our products and services but you have to be careful about presentation and not promising the moon and back.⁠ ⁠

    Besides medical and earnings disclaimers, there are also website disclaimers for sponsored content, legal advice, third parties and affiliates. As you can see, depending on what you’re offering you have a number of disclaimers you can choose from to potentially help limit your liability.

    To determine whether you need disclaimers, look at what you are selling and consider the risk level and if there is something you should disclaim. Using the health example from above, if you are giving health information and you're not a medical professional, a medical disclaimer makes sense.

    If you are promoting sponsored content but you do not want to be held responsible for the actual product, then you can use a disclaimer to make your role in the sponsorship clear.

    Website disclaimers will not absolve you of ALL responsibility and liability. But they can be a good compliment to the rest of the tools in your legal toolkit including solid contracts, a terms of use and privacy policy.⁠ ⁠

    So don’t put up a website disclaimer on your website and think you’re done. Know that it’s part of your legal protection plan but it's not the plan itself.⁠ Use disclaimers where appropriate and accompany them with Website Terms for more complete legal planning.⁠ ⁠

    Watch the Video

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    This blog posting is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not provided for specific, individual legal advice.