Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I just got this from a good friend of mine via email.

This business with saying that you're a shareholder in a company, or might be in the future, can we give that a rest? or can you put it on a page somewhere on its own.

It's just annoying and offputting, and after a while it's going to look arrogant and boastful. that's what i think anyway.

So I guess I should make a disclaimer page. Didn't realize that the disclaimers could be construed as boasting, but hindsight seems obvious.

I'll work on the disclaimer page this weekend. Any good disclaimer pages people recommend I look at would be greatly appreciated. Also, any thoughts on what should be included and how I should link to it would also be helpful.


I think that your blog as is contains enough information on your activities to serve as a disclaimer, and nothing else is needed. In fact, I do not know what else you could say about your activities that is not already noted/linked here - any reader of this blob has access to information on your background/profile, economic interests (Neoteny), political interests, etc.

Perhaps I feel this way because I happen to know you better than your average reader. Or maybe I trust you to much :-)

Things that come to mind:

* Trademarks mentioned are property of their respective registrants.
* No liability for content of pages linked to.
* Decline all liability, no warranty.
* Creative Commons warranty issue (exclude warranty under point 5 of license text if you don't want to guarantee that there will be no copyright claims against your blog content). Maybe integrate copyright notice with disclaimer.
* Privacy policy, especially: Displaying e-mail adress on the web if people enter them in comments and don't enter an URL as well. This warning should probably be also on the template for entering comments.
* Conflicts of interest: Whatever your policy is in that regard. I think that it is preferable to disclose economic interests in every individual post, as opposed to only describe a general policy somewhere in a disclaimer page many people might not read.

The pages here and here might help.

Probably a wise thing to do. Putting up a disclaimer. It never occurred to me either. But you're doing Biz and in a policially charged space, so cover your butt. As an educator, I have to do that a lot as well, even though people tell you not to bother. It only becomes important when the shit hits the fan.

Joi... we had to deal with this issue head-on, given that we write alot about industries we invest in. Our lawyers scrubbed our legal language quite heavily. You'll notice that we just reference August Capital's portfolio via a link in our legal language and leave it at that.

Please crib as you need, although I can't promise that the laws are the same in Japan as in California :)

beyond the usual legal mumbo jumbo, the disclaimer your friend is asking for doesn't make sense to me. he sounds like he's asking you put or categorize content based on whether it involves your personal/business dealings or relationships. I think this is nonsense. This is a blog. I don't see that you're using to solicit nor conduct business. This is not the neoteny (sp?) blog. This is simply Joi's ongoing journal. If someone doesn't like the content, they don't have to read it. Today Halley talks about visiting her shrink - should she put that on another page that would be deemed more appropriate. The issue this friend has is simply perception. He perceives your comments as arrogant. What disclaimer could possibly address his perception. To me this sounds like a personal problem and not a Joi problem. Not long ago Dave Winer went on about losing and winning and eventually becoming rich and a Harvard Fellow... arrogant? Who cares. I think that you've got a creative commons license and you might want to protect like Karl notes that if you use names, logos etc of companies that you attribute the fact the copyright belongs to its rightful owner. You might then consider looking at how newspapers handle op-ed pages in that the views/opinions are of the individual and not the paper. We call it the mouse type.

CNN does disclaimers all of the time ("AOL-TimeWarner the parent of this network"). It is actually interesting to see what it is you are doing in real-life, and though it is a disclaimer, it is also an insight into the world you live in. And if you respond to every negative comment or criticism, you will soon have nothing to write about at all.

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