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On Warranties: Part III

Glenn Otis Brown, May 20th, 2003

The keen eye of Professor Karl-Friedrich Lenz found what appears to be a discrepancy between the warranty provision of Creative Commons’ licenses and our own policies page, which reads in part:

This website provides general information about legal topics but it does not provide individual legal advice. Creative Commons Corporation is not a law firm and does not provide legal services. Using this website or sending us email does not create an attorney-client relationship. Creative Commons provides this information on an ‘as-is’ basis. Creative Commons makes no warranties regarding the information provided on this website, and disclaims liability for damages resulting from its use.

Lenz is right that this language is unduly confusing. We meant this language not to exempt Creative Commons from the copyright warranties in the license that governs our site. Rather, this disclaiming language was meant to apply back to the sentences immediately preceding it — the text warning that we do not provide legal advice — and not to copyright status of information on the site, generally. New language on our policies page makes this distinction clearer:

This website provides general information about legal topics but it does not provide individual legal advice. Creative Commons Corporation is not a law firm and does not provide legal services. Using this website or sending us email does not create an attorney-client relationship. Creative Commons provides this general legal information on an ‘as-is’ basis. Creative Commons makes no warranties regarding the general legal information provided on this website, and disclaims liability for damages resulting from its use.

To recap:

(1) Yes, our copyright licenses’ warranty provision applies to Creative Commons, just as it does anyone else using our licenses.

(2) The disclaimer on our policies page is intended to refer only to the “general legal information” provided on our site, and now more clearly does so. (Thanks to Prof. Lenz.)

(3) It’s worth noting that the licenses’ copyright warranty, on the one hand, and our disclaimer regarding general legal information, on the other, serve the same goal: to remind every licensor that the decision to use or not to use a license is a serious matter, and ultimately a decision for the licensor alone.

(4) As I said in my last post, we’re reconsidering the warranty issue. Until we take a decision, the warranties apply. To us, too.

One Response to “On Warranties: Part III”

  1. Karl-Friedrich Lenz says:

    Thanks for the clarification. I have updated my post to reflect your reaction. And I have called another witness for my theory that disclaiming the warranty is actually tolerated right now.

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