Disclaimers are statements that address liabilities specific to a company’s content and operations. They’re useful to companies, as they help protect against legal claims.
To help you understand what to include in your company’s disclaimer statements, let’s look at seven disclaimer statement examples and how they might be useful to your company.
1. Fair Use Disclaimer Example
If your website or app uses content from other sources, you need a fair use disclaimer, so your company doesn’t get accused of copyright infringement.
According to the principal of fair use from Section 107 of the US Copyright Act, copyrighted works can be used in certain circumstances without the permission of the copyright owner.
Follow these steps to protect your business from copyright infringement claims:
- Explicitly state that your site may contain content not authorized for use by the owner
- Explain how your use of this material falls within the scope of fair use
- Link to Section 107 of the Copyright Act
Here is an example of a fair use disclaimer from a YouTube video that uses a singer’s original work:
As seen from the example, you can defend your use of original content by outlining how you’re using the content.
YouTube provides detailed explanations of what constitutes copyrighted works and how to use copyrighted works without infringing to minimize legal liabilities for content creators.
2. Warranty Disclaimer Example
Warranty disclaimers inform users that the sellers or service providers are not held responsible for any implied promises about their products, in case there are defects or failures.
These statements will vary depending on your business, but a general rule is to explain that a product or service is offered “as is,” which means that the customer or user accepts it in its current condition, including any unseen faults.
Here’s an example of a warranty disclaimer from Walmart’s website, which informs customers that the site operates on an “as is” basis, and disclaims any warranties for products offered on the site.
Similarly, global retail leader Amazon has a comprehensive warranty disclaimer that applies to its website, app, products, and services:
As websites and apps can be prone to technical issues such as viruses and server errors, disclaimers help limit liabilities for unpredictable issues.
3. Copyright Disclaimer Example
A copyright disclaimer protects original content from being stolen. It explicitly affirms your ownership of copyrighted content, and states that there are legal consequences for using your work without permission. Copyright protection automatically applies as soon as a reproducible work is created.
Here’s an example of a copyright disclaimer from Pixar Animation Studio:
This disclaimer statement explains that the use of Pixar’s content is not allowed unless written permission is given, or unless the website enables the downloading of content for personal use.
An effective way to notify users of copyright as soon as they visit your site is to place a copyright notice in your website’s footer. It should include:
- The copyright symbol
- The year of publication
- The name of the copyright owner
Here’s what Apple’s copyright notice looks like:
Copyright disclaimers will help you claim ownership over any original content, and prevent others from taking advantage of your hard work.
4. No Responsibility Disclaimer Example
No responsibility disclaimers, also known as no liability disclaimers, inform users that your business will not be held responsible for any damages they suffer as a result of using your products or services. This includes both tangible and intangible damages, such as physical harm, loss of data, and defamatory comments.
For example, Reddit’s user agreement includes a section on limitation of liability, which states that Reddit will not be held responsible for any damages due to alleged defamatory, offensive, or illegal content.
MasterCard’s disclaimer statement claims that the company will not be held responsible for any financial damages for using their product.
No responsibility disclaimers help minimize your company’s liabilities, so you can continue to run business operations smoothly.
5. Confidentiality Disclaimer Example
Confidentiality disclaimers explain that some content — for example, contact information — is only intended to be seen by a certain audience. Many companies include confidentiality disclaimers in their newsletters or emails to users.
Confidentiality disclaimers are commonly used in industries that involve the transfer of sensitive information, such as law, education, finance, and healthcare.
In order to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, all communication exchanges (such as emails) that contain patients’ health information must include confidentiality disclaimers.
This is confidentiality disclaimer statement used by the University of Washington’s medical center:
Confidentiality disclaimers help assure users that their personal information is protected.
6. Affiliate Disclaimer Example
Affiliate disclaimers inform your visitors that you are involved in an affiliate program where you may receive commissions from links embedded on your site. These disclaimers are mandated by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
For example, Amazon’s Associates Program is popular among bloggers and website owners who want to monetize their content. Amazon’s policies and the FTC have clearly stated that associates must disclose their participation in the program to their audiences.
As an Amazon Associate, you need to publish two disclaimer statements on your site: one that satisfies Amazon’s disclosure requirement, and another that complies with the FTC’s endorsement guidelines.
Here’s a sample disclosure statement that Amazon recommends:
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
The FTC doesn’t have a set template for affiliate disclaimers statements. The most important thing is that your disclosure is made clear to the average user. Your disclaimer can be in the form of statements, phrases, or hashtags. For example:
- I get commissions for purchases made through links in the post.
- Sponsored by ________________
In a Buzzfeed listicle of recommended Urban Outfitters products, they included this affiliate disclaimer at the top of the post:
These disclosures promote transparency to your audience, and ensure that you are following proper legal guidelines.
7. YouTube Disclaimer Example
Disclaimers on videos are just as important as on websites and blogs, because people take video content just as seriously as written posts. Having YouTube disclaimers protects against potential legal problems.
Disclaimers will vary depending on the content, but here are some examples of common YouTube disclaimers:
- Professional liability: If the creator is an expert in a certain field, include a disclaimer stating that watching the videos does not constitute having a professional relationship or receiving professional advice.
- General liability: Videos advertising products should have warranty disclaimers to inform the audience that there are no warranties that the product will work as shown in the video.
- Copyright: As mentioned in previous examples, if you’re using original works without permission, fair use copyright disclaimers will help protect against copyright infringement claims. If you’re a creator, including a copyright statement will protect your work from theft.
- Use at your own risk: Such disclaimers let users know that they, and not the creators, are responsible for anything that happens from following advice in a video.
- Legal compliance: For example, videos that profit from affiliate programs need to include affiliate relationship disclaimers to comply with laws.
Here are some examples of YouTube disclaimers found on videos:
In this makeup haul video, there’s a disclaimer about the creator’s affiliate relationship with Sephora in the video description:
In this coronavirus FAQ video, the creator, who is a doctor, includes a professional liability disclaimer:
In this kitchen hacks video, they include a warranties disclaimer that limits the creators’ liabilities for any damages or losses from viewers acting on the video content:
Overall, including disclaimers on YouTube videos acts as a protective measure for the content and the creator.
8. Create Your Own Disclaimer Statement
Disclaimers strengthen your company’s legal defenses by addressing liabilities that aren’t addressed in your other policies, as to minimize potential legal repercussions.
Here’s a summary of seven types of disclaimer examples:
- Copyright disclaimers protect your original works.
- Fair use disclaimers help you avoid copyright infringement claims.
- Warranty disclaimers protect your company from being held responsible for faults and defects.
- YouTube disclaimers address content moderation, copyright issues, and state that you take no responsibility for viewers’ actions.
- Affiliate disclaimers ensure your compliance with the FTC.
- Confidentiality disclaimers ensure protection of client data.
- No responsibility disclaimers minimize your liability for damages.
No matter what industry you operate in, disclaimers will benefit your company by protecting against legal claims. To create your own disclaimer, use our free disclaimer generator.