Ugly, ugly email disclaimers

What do you think of email disclaimers? The kind that say things like:

This confidential e-mail is for the addressee only. If received in error, do not retain/copy/disclose it without our consent. You must delete it immediately and return it to us. Please do not infer from this communication that we like you. We are not responsible for any damage caused by a virus or alteration by a third party after it is sent. Outgoing attachments are scanned prior to leaving our server but they are opened at your own risk and you are advised to scan incoming email for viruses before opening any attached files. Don’t think we won’t sue your ass. We give no guarantee that any communication is virus-free and accept no responsibility for virus contamination or other system loss or damage of any kind. Nothing you do is our fault. Nothing that happens is anything to do with us. Emails are not necessarily secure. Opinions held within this document and/or attachments are those of the author and not necessarily those of the company. We as a company operate under a groupthink principle, and no advice or help given by an individual is of any use whatsoever. We as a company take no responsibility for anything, but demand money nevertheless. Even this disclaimer is not to be trusted. It may have been altered by a third party. Any advice given herein should not be followed without consulting appropriate legal counsel.

I hate them. They repeat themselves, clog up inboxes, are normally all HTML, make email conversations ridiculously hard to follow, must take up insane amounts of bandwidth and have the air of businesswank. I also find them dubious. I send an email to the wrong person, and my telling them to delete it actually has any legal bearing? And surely there must be rules regarding the liability of a virus-laden email – does saying ‘it might have, but it’s nothing to do with me’ make any difference? I am not a lawyer, but that sounds dodgy. Research suggests that they’re advisable rather than legally binding, but nevertheless it seems OTT.

One of my clients has been told to put these ridiculous things in their emails, and it looks dreadful. I’ve recommended they put a link to disclaimer text hosted on their website. It’s still a bit of HTML, but far better than all that kak. Of course, nobody’s going to read it. But nobody reads it anyway, so what’s the difference? But maybe I’m wrong – any opinions?