Do we have any lawyers in the house? Got a question regarding forums

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by samdjr74, Jul 3, 2019.

  1. samdjr74

    samdjr74 Silver Supporting Member

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    Hello all,

    So I have a legal question. Is it possible for a company or individual to take a company/individual to court over a forum post that could cause damage to property because of the post content?

    For example, say HP has a forum that they host on their website. This is an official HP forum and the only way to access this forum is to be a HP customer and you are approved as a user by HP. One forum user asks a question on how to fix his HP network server, another user gives him bad advice (could be on purpose or not, either way) and that bad advice destroys the server and deletes all content. Would HP be responsible in anyway for this?

    This hasn't happened (as far as I know) but I'm just wondering if it's a valid concern.

    Thanks,
    Sam
     
  2. wrxplayer

    wrxplayer Supporting Member

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    I suspect that when you signed up to participate in the forum in question you agreed to a pretty broad waiver of claims as part of the registration boilerplate that would prohibit the type of lawsuit you mention.
     
  3. sundog964

    sundog964 Supporting Member

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    If it was an HP employee doing official support, maybe. If not, then not a chance.
     
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  4. Benz2112

    Benz2112 Supporting Member

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    Well... if I answer your question, and it is bad advice, are you then going to sue me?
     
  5. samdjr74

    samdjr74 Silver Supporting Member

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    Ok so even if it's an official HP forum, HP can't be held responsible for information that's posted on that forum which could cause a system failure.
     
  6. samdjr74

    samdjr74 Silver Supporting Member

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    I'll try not to :D

    Seriously though, this came up in a meeting the other day and no one on the call had any legal knowledge. But someone said there has never been a lawsuit like this and I find it hard to believe.
     
  7. samdjr74

    samdjr74 Silver Supporting Member

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    Now let me throw a wrench into this. What if HP was responsible for all the content posted on the forum, does that change anything?
     
  8. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    It depends.

    Seriously, this is hardly the forum to address it at length, and as in many things, it depends on other facts not relevant to this place (imo).

    This is not legal advice. Consult a lawyer where you live, etc. :cool:
     
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  9. jblake

    jblake Member

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    Most user to user forums contain a disclaimer in their terms of use that address this.
     
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  10. sundog964

    sundog964 Supporting Member

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    Then everything would have to be moderated before posted. I think that it is quite a stretch. If it was posted as a general method of fixing a problem, then it destroyed your data, I'll still bet the first thing would be "Make sure you have a full backup, in case something goes wrong."

    I've had cases where updating firmware, or OS software the power went down and the battery backup wasn't enough to keep it running to complete. And the systems were in bad shape. There is basically no recourse, as I had to restore the entire server from backups.
     
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  11. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    This is from the Gear Page terms of use

    6. CONTENT AND RELATED PROPRIETARY RIGHTS
    The Gear Page, LLC is a distributor of content supplied by third parties. Accordingly, The Gear Page, LLC has no editorial control over such content. Any opinions, statements or other information in content available on or through the site are those of the respective author or distributor (some of whom have elected to remain anonymous) and not of The Gear Page, LLC. The Gear Page, LLC neither endorses nor is responsible for the accuracy or reliability of any content made available on or through the FORUM. The Gear Page, LLC may at any time change the content it offers as a part of the FORUM. Under no circumstances will The Gear Page, LLC be liable for any loss or damage caused by content available on or through the FORUM. It is the responsibility of users to evaluate the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any content available on or through the FORUM.
     
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  12. sundog964

    sundog964 Supporting Member

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    And that is a great thing, considering how much advice is given about high voltage amps, guitar repairs, etc. on this site!
     
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  13. Okra

    Okra Member

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    Get the telecaster; you know you want it.
     
  14. Peteyvee

    Peteyvee Premium Platinum Member

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    That is the first thing written on every help forum post I've ever seen.
     
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  15. frankg11

    frankg11 Member

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    Bad advice is just bad advice. If you take the recommendation from a forum, well sometimes you get lucky. Most times not.

    Here is a example of a real person: P.S. I stole this from another place but you get the drift.

    So a garage door repair man comes to my home and say the 1/2 HP motor is too small to raise the door I need a 1/4HP motor.
    When asked why a smaller motor the guy says: " 4 is bigger than 2 it's a stronger motor" I have to smack my head....
    He didn't work on my door.
     
  16. RhytmEarl

    RhytmEarl Member

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    Start trading him half dollars for quarters. Stat!!!!

    EDIT: Your quarters for his half dollars. I just re-read my post and it looked like I was an idiot. Which I occasionally am, but not this one time. :D
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
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  17. ToneDeVille

    ToneDeVille Member

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    I'm not a lawyer but sometimes I play one on TV.
    That said, it is the responsibility of the participant/user to evaluate anything stated on the internet for accuracy, whether it be in a forum, on a news page, or anywhere else.
    Caveat Emptor applies to all things internet, be it merchandise or something as simple as offered advice from a stranger.
    So, to answer the original question, and this is with the previously mentioned disclaimers: No.
     
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  18. wrxplayer

    wrxplayer Supporting Member

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    Then it's no longer a forum.
     
  19. samdjr74

    samdjr74 Silver Supporting Member

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    Why wouldn't it be?
     
  20. wrxplayer

    wrxplayer Supporting Member

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    A forum by definition requires communications from more than one "person." If all content came from HP that removes the multi-person aspect that's at the core of "forum."
     
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