For example, we were recently negotiating with a content provider who was promising to provide us with clips from a wide variety of sources. They came highly recommended, have an impressive client base, and offered us a very reasonable deal. We were all set to go. Then I read the contract which said in part:
The xxx company:
- makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the content or the suitability or reliability of the Services;
- is not responsible for the timeliness or otherwise of the content or any Services being made available to Customer; and
- is not responsible for the timeliness, deletion or failure to store any user communications or personalisation and website customisation settings.
So the question is, are these people really that bad that they need lawyers to protect them from their shoddy work? Or are the lawyers being overly vigilant and getting in the way of a good relationship?
My hunch, is of course,that it is the latter. All to often these days legal departments are putting up barriers between organizations and their customers -- be it by banning blogging or social media participation, or with contracts like the one quoted above.
Sometime, and I'm predicting sooner rather than later, Communications, Marketing and Sales people are going to need to stand up to these relationship inhibitors and point out the damage they're doing to their reputation.