There are many websites that are using disclaimers on their website, but is a disclaimer mandatory? And is there even a point in having such a disclaimer: Does it have any legal value? In this article, we will explain.
What is a disclaimer?
A disclaimer is a document on a website in which a website owner tries to limit or exclude liability. A common line used in disclaimers is: ‘The management is not liable for damage, loss or theft to your goods’. Signs of these are legal but strange a board of directors never holds itself liable. This is done, for example, by the person whose belongings have been lost or damaged. The fact that the signs are there does not mean that liability will be limited or excluded. The same applies to disclaimers on websites.
So what is the value of a disclaimer?
A disclaimer is a unilateral declaration: it was determined only by the providing party. Therefore it is not enough to limit or exclude liability.
Why should I use a disclaimer?
You could use a disclaimer in several circumstances. First, you could use a disclaimer to inform visitors of your website. You may include information on how to use advertising on your websites and whether posts on the site are up-to-date.
Another aspect you may include is regarding intellectual property and copyright. Are there any texts, images or other works on your website protected by intellectual property laws? Mention these in the disclaimer.
You may also include third party links or content. In the disclaimer, you can put some information regarding the use of links and content from third parties on the website and how they are dealt with.
Last, you may also include information regarding the event of pricing, typing and typesetting errors. For instance, when you have a webshop it could be good to include a policy regarding pricing errors as this could occur quite often. But also don’t forget to mention these in the general terms and conditions as well, as the disclaimer still has no legal value.
Do I need a disclaimer?
The answer depends. A disclaimer is not mandatory and does not have a legal value, however, it could be good to inform your website visitors.