I don’t know how many emails I’ve gotten from how many sources, but there seems to be one piece of the standard trailer on many, many emails that must have a common origin:
This e-mail and its attachments are confidential and intended for use by the above named recipient(s) only. If you are not the intended recipient, please note that any use, modification, dissemination, edition or reproduction (either in whole or partially) of this e-mail and/or its attachments, or of the information contained herein, is strictly prohibited. If you have received this e-mail by mistake, please notify the sender immediately, and immediately delete this e-mail with its attachments and any copy of it from your computer system.
Now, IANAL, but it seems to me that if I receive something from someone that was unsolicited…I can do whatever I want with it. I can modify it, disseminate it, edit it or reproduce it in any form that my little heart desires.
Indeed, that’s the law. The real law. And no lawyer can write anything that breaks the law.
Strictly prohibited? Funny stuff.
I would think that the only possible grey area would be that if I had received an email that was not actually addressed to me – but that really doesn’t happen any more (if it indeed ever really did) – so big deal.
What goads me the most about this “legal” warning is that the original writer of it was obviously relying on the gullibility of the masses to protect…something…should it manage to slip out. Big, fancy, legalese to confuse and dumbfound us mere mortals. Kind of like getting a DMCA takedown notice for something that you wrote, but that somebody else might not like.
Anyway, I just wish that people would grow up and get rid of that silly, silly warning. Maybe replace it with:
If you have happened to get this message by mistake, we would appreciate it if you could let us know so that we can fix the problem on our end. We’d also like to ask that you then delete this message. Thank you very much, your friends at Company X.
Now go and get that done.