We’ve all seen the ubiquitous CYA disclaimer statements on blogs.
These words are my own and not representative of my current or former employers.
…yada yada yada…
I even have one on the About section of this site.
My friend Peter Kim says these disclaimers don’t matter — that they’re hokey because affiliation happens regardless. I agree, and that’s why I behave on the web as if anything I do could be perceived as affiliated with current or past employers. But I’ve kept that disclaimer regardless. Legal reasons aside, it’s a disclaimer that I’m human.
And that’s why I think the CYA disclaimer has been a good thing for evolving web culture. While it may create false security, it has for a decade now encouraged people — bloggers especially — to be a little more human and experimental on the web, to speak their mind. That history inherently has influenced overall culture and standards for the better. Expectations, laws and policies are perhaps a little more accommodating, though certainly lagging changing norms.
Any lawyers out there care to address the legal merits of CYA disclaimers?