Let me start by saying that I am not a lawyer.

There is a question on the front page:Title my resume “Electronics Engineer” w/o an EE degree? which has some answers and comments that cause me concern. We've seen others about MP3 codecs and SD card compatibility recently that also have significant legal implications.

  1. Are we legally liable for any information contained in questions that may advise illegal actions?
  2. Is discussion of these issues beneficial? Assuming that the right answer is "It's a local issue, it's like this here but you should really ask a lawyer", are these questions useful?
  3. If the answer to either of the above questions indicates that this isn't a good subject for discussion, where should we send these questions?
  • \$\begingroup\$ What are the laws (are there any?) about providing health advice, for example? I think those laws are asinine, as it should be obvious it's caveat emptor when asking Anonymous on the internets. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nick T
    Dec 1, 2010 at 19:59

2 Answers 2


Perhaps it would be beneficial to have the 'legal' tag trigger the webserver to put up a boilerplate header about not taking any of the discussion as legal advice, seek an attorney, etc...


Often, the correct answer is going to depend on the country.

I think so long as everybody says "I am not a lawyer, here's how it is in my country" I don't see any problem with discussion.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The issue is that if the question could be asked again for every country then it is too localized and by SO rules needs to be removed. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Nov 12, 2010 at 16:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, "I am not a lawyer, here's how it is in my country" is legal advice, if I get sued for answering a question, I could then point at you and pass on the lawsuit. I am in no way saying I intend either thing to happen, just dropping the note. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Nov 12, 2010 at 16:24
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I think those questions, although local, are good to be on the site. If someone where to google search and find the question they would be able to figure out that it is something that is different everywhere. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kellenjb
    Nov 12, 2010 at 16:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ That is the opposite of what SO has decided to do. We could generate 100000 questions just for this type of question. I understand that you may not agree with this, but a large amount of work goes into making these decisions, not to mention a large amount of thought. Options that are location dependent also change very often, making answers invalid quickly. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Nov 13, 2010 at 6:33

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