I was tempted to ask the following question:

When doing a parody of a registered trademark, how can you ensure its a parody?

Wisdom got the better of me, I remembered that I have a lawyer in my office and I'm probably going to ask him the same question tomorrow.

This leaves a close or don't close paradigm for the new site. In most cases where you would say "Talk to a lawyer", should we just have a close reason as "Should seek qualified legal advice" ?

Then we have the reverse of that (Jeopardy style question) where someone DID talk to a lawyer, and posted the advice. Do we close that as well? I tend to think we should, as its just one (possibly) expert's opinion.

Other scenarios where this may come up is conforming to USC 2257, etc. We should probably reach a consensus now, prior to the public beta.

Then of course, should it be "Advice" or "Advise" .. or can it be locale specific ? :)

  • +1 for a "Find legal counsel / This question should be answered by qualified legal counsel for the jurisdiction(s) concerned." close reason - these questions invite lots of discussion but it is not fair to the asker to allow answers will not be likely to hold in a court of law. (While legal issues may concern webmasters, these are also off-topic questions in that they are decidedly not about day-to-day webmastering)
    – danlefree
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 21:34

2 Answers 2


I admit to a certain amount of discomfort over the legal questions and have steered clear of answering them. I wouldn't be surprised if there is liability for both individuals and the site in presenting legal advice without being lawyers.

  • That basically explains my trepidation as well.
    – Tim Post
    Commented Jul 15, 2010 at 12:00

I usually call it academic discussion not advice (IAAL). Obviously, nobody even a lawyer can give legal advice over the Internet. However, we can all state opinions that are more or less academically founded about certain issues. This does not remove the responsibility of someone who needs particular advice to go to a proper consultation with a lawyer. When the question is very specific, I usually mention this also in form of a disclaimer.

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