So what exactly are legal disclaimers? Well, if you are writing a book or article on copyright law, or any other aspect of the law, you are going to need to explain your position clearly. This means you may need to spell out your intent or reason for writing the piece. For instance, if you are writing an article on derivative works, you must spell out to the reader clearly your intent of discussing derivative works, why and when they should use your work, how and where they may use the derivative works, and who might be able to use them. These are all the topics your article must cover in accurate and complete detail.
Some authors may find it useful to write their own legal disclaimers for books and articles. If you have written a book on copyright law, or are otherwise knowledgeable about the laws of the country you live in, it would be wise to draft your own disclaimers for publication. All too often, law students are taught about case names and where to use them in a case, but very few are introduced to the distinctions among them and how and when they should use them.
Another area that is frequently overlooked in legal writing and in book publishing is the use of contract terminology. The law is very complex, and contracts are designed to accomplish many things. The words “hire”, “hire and maintain” and “common law” are just a few examples of how the contract can be used. In legal research, for instance, these terms can be defined; and, if so desired, you can insert them into your writing. Similarly, if you are writing about property law, you will want to use terms such as “land,” “deed of trust,” “estate,” dissection.”
Because so much of today’s society is based on contracts, it is absolutely critical for legal writers to become as educated as possible about contract terminology and the nuances that exist. This knowledge can be found in any number of excellent online legal writing courses. And, even if you decide not to take any formal training, it is always helpful to read good books on contract terminology as a way to become better at recognizing what is appropriate and what is not.
In addition to using contracts as an example of legal research legal writing examples, the practice of writing law reviews is another excellent method for expanding one’s knowledge of contract and legal information law. Writing a review is simply an expression of your opinion of a legal product or service. Many law review articles include an analysis of the law or a description of the author’s take on the law. While law review articles are not necessarily meant to be used as legal research, they are still a valuable method of educating yourself. As you gain experience in reviewing the law, you may decide that you would like to write more on this area.
Legal writing and the practice of reviewing law books have become more specialized in recent years as more of the legal community has come to understand the importance of fair use. Fair use is a concept that is often not discussed in law school, but is a fundamental part of our legal system. Most publishers who publish law books are required by law to provide a fair use disclaimer statement at the bottom of the book.
When reviewing your book for possible use of the copyrighted work in a blog, a news article, a news report, or in a newsletter, don’t overlook the importance of making sure you have included a qualified fair use statement. Before sending anyone your hard copy or PDF file of a chapter or section you must first run the book through a thorough examination to determine whether it infringes the intellectual property rights of others. If it does, then you should remove the copy or PDF file and send a request in exchange. The most thorough and complete examinations will involve looking at the entire text of the work and considering if it constitutes a violation of any copyrights or patent laws. If it doesn’t, you will at least need to include a paragraph or two acknowledging the presence of a copyright or patent license clause.