Terms of use

We are a platform for social and political change. We are happy about our engaged users and we invite everybody to stand up for his or her concern - free expression is always welcome. To ensure that expressions do not harm others, we set up a few rules for using our platform.

  1. Illegal petitions
    1. Petitions that violate the free, democratic basic order or want to abolish it will be ended. Petitions calling for hatred and violence or approving, denying or trivializing the crimes of National Socialism will be ended. Petitions that question the Basic Law or question the criminal liability of hate speech will be ended. Petitions directed against the European Human Rights Conventions or international law will be ended.
    2. Petitions against court judgments are only admissible if further legal remedies are sought by normal legal process or if a legal regulation is demanded which would make a jurisprudence challenged by the petitions impossible for the future.
    3. Offensive, derogatory and discriminatory petitions will be terminated and blocked. This includes, but is not limited to, insults, degradation and discrimination against individuals or groups of people who are assigned to groups or who identify themselves according to one or more of the following criteria: gender, age, appearance, origin, social status, religion, disability, marital status or sexual orientation.
    4. Petitions with false statements of fact, missing sources or with misleading omission of relevant facts will be terminated. openPetition reserves the right to subsequently request sources in disputed cases or to have essential facts supplemented.
    5. Petitions which, from a subjective point of view, disparage (the behaviour of) persons or groups and judge them in general terms will be terminated and blocked. Petitions in which blanket attributions are made to entire groups of people that cannot be substantiated and merely reflect one's own opinion are also inadmissible. An objective and justified criticism of public persons or groups in relation to their public activity is permissible.
    6. Petitions which only refer to other petitions and do not state their own independent goals will be ended and blocked. This is also the case for petitions on other platforms.
    7. Petitions with satirical content are banished to the troll tower
    8. Petitions with direct or indirect advertising for own products, services or parties will be terminated. Petitions with direct or indirect advertising for parties are admissible if the party has launched the petition itself. Petitions that are launched by sympathisers or members of a party and contain direct or indirect advertising for parties are not admissible.
    9. Petitions are only admissible if the petitioner registers with his own full name or on behalf of a legal person, stating the full address and the Email address actively used. The Email address will be used for verification. The address may also be used for verification by public authorities.
    10. Petitions must not violate the copyrights of third parties. When using copyrighted texts, images or videos, the petitioner is responsible for obtaining the consent of the rights holder and naming the sources.
    11. To publish personal data of non-public persons requires the consent of this person.
    12. Petitions must be written in the respective official language of the country. Additional language variants of a petition can be created.
    13. Petitions, whose content and/or the demand of the original petition were changed or extended afterwards seriously, are blocked.
    14. Petitions that constitute a mistranslation of the original language petition by differing in relevant content or claim will be terminated.
  2. Restricted petitions
    1. Petitions which are not addressed to specific persons, legal entities, parliamentary bodies or organisations in politics, business, society or to the public as a whole will not be publicly listed.
    2. Petitions that do not meet our quality requirements for petitions must be revised by the petitioner. Petitions in revision are not publicly listed.
    3. Petitions that exclusively pursue the interests of the petitioner are treated as individual concerns. Individual concerns are not publicly listed.
    4. Petitions that are the same or similar in content to petitions that are already running will not be listed publicly, but can still be signed. In the interest of the matter, as many signatures as possible should be bundled under one petition.
    5. Petitions addressed to a recipient who is not in charge of a decision will not be listed publicly and the supporters will be informed about that fact.
    6. If the correctness of statements in a petition is disputed or if the statements are not sufficiently documented, the supporters will be informed and the petition will not be publicly listed.
    7. In case of slight violations of our terms of use for permitted petitions, a period of 3 days may be granted to rectify the violations. During this period, the petition will not be publicly listed.
  3. User fees on openPetition
    1. Petitions are free.
    2. Participation in petitions and use of all functions on openPetition are free of charge.
  4. Rights and responsibilities of the petitioner (author of the petition)
    1. The petitioner can set the period of time, in which the petition can be signed. It has to be between one week and one year.
    2. The petitioner has the right to revise the text during the subscription period, provided that the main purpose of the petition is not distorted.
    3. The petitioner can choose his own goal if he doesn't address the petition to a parliament, a government or an administration.
    4. The petitioner must check online and offline signatures and delete signature which are obviously invalid.
    5. The starter of the petition commits to respond to all requests in a timely manner during the time period, where the petition can be signed. All requests will be transfered via an e-mail based on an online contact form.
    6. The petitioner is obliged to hand over the petition to the recipient of the petition promptly after the end of the subscription period. 12 months after the end of the subscription period, non-submitted petitions are given the status "failed".
    7. If the recipient is a petition committee, openPetition reserves the right to submit the petition to the addressed committee if the petition has not been submitted by the petitioner within 3 months.
    8. The petitioner has got the right and duty to inform his/her supporters regarding the progress of the petition. The possibilty to inform supporters will be restricted, if the messages do not refer to the issues of the petition.
    9. By creating a petition via the online platform of openPetition gGmbH, the petitioner authorizes openPetition to be able to represent him within his right of petition, provided that the petitioner does not make use of his right of petition himself. This does not result in any obligation for openPetition gGmbH to represent the right to petition in any case.
    10. Petitions that are not pursued further by the petitioner can be transferred from the previous petitioner or from openPetition to a new petitioner.
    11. The petitioner may end his petition prematurely, if the issue of the petition become obsolete or the aim is achieved by other means. The petitioner has to inform his/her supporters about the reason for endling the petition.
    12. The petitioner may not forward the signature lists and collection forms to anyone else, except to the petition recipient.
    13. After completing the information work, the petitioner is obliged to destroy all signature data made available to him in digital or printed form.
  5. Copyright law
    1. Own texts, images or videos published on openPetition are subject to the Creative Commons license by-nc-sa. The attribution includes mentioning the openPetition platform and naming the author (if known).
    2. If a supporter signs a petition anonymously and adds a comment to his signature, this anonymity must be respected and protected. As a result, neither openPetition nor the petitioner has the right to publish the comment in connection with the name of the anonymous supporter.
  6. Transparency
    1. Published petitions are permanently stored and retrievable for reasons of traceability of political processes. Any change to the content of a petition is saved and can be publicly reconstructed.
    2. On request, personal data published in petition texts will be anonymized.
  7. Editorial changes
    1. openPetition reserves the right to remove text and links in petitions, comments, contributions to debates and blog entries that refer to external websites or documents. This applies in particular to links to pages or documents and texts that
      • violating state law and basic democratic values
      • do not correspond to the European Convention on Human Rights or International Law
      • contain insulting and discriminatory statements towards individuals or groups of people)
      • do not meet our quality conditions
    2. openPetition reserves the right to add suitable sources for better comprehensibility and to edit petition texts, provided these edits serve to improve readability and do not change the essence of the petition.
    3. openPetition reserves the right to remove petition images and videos in the following cases:
      • may have a shocking effect on people
      • show violence or atrocities against humans or animals
      • private recordings that violate privacy
      • are ponographic
      • satirical depictions
      • Representations that contradict the petition request
    4. openPetition reserves the right to add pictures to petitions, if they can illustrate the petition's issue in better way.
  8. User comments and debate

    These terms of uses extend to user comments and debate. The basis for the moderation of comments and debate you find in the Netiquette.

  9. Gender-appropriate language

    We see a more gender-neutral language as an important step to achieve gender equality in our society.

    As a platform, we take into account the form in which people are used to communicating with each other.

    • We use the official Duden spelling rules
    • Where it does not disrupt the flow of speech, we refer to both sexes using the full or shortened pair form
    • Where appropriate, we alternately use the masculine and feminine forms.
    • From time to time we use already established gender-neutral words, plural nouns, the passive form or the direct form of address.
    • In individual cases we use the more common masculine or feminine form
    • Content from our users will be retained in the given form

    As a platform, we will accompany the change in language towards gender-appropriate language. We will not force the change, nor will we try to prevent it.

    We strive for an inclusive language, especially through the use of simple language.

  10. Disclaimer

    For the unlinkely case that openPetition should be unavailable for some time or we experience data loss, you will abstain from compensation claims for damage that might have occured or for expenditures that might have resulted.

  11. Subject to modifications

    openPetition reserves the right to modify or extend these terms of use. Changes with retroactive effect will not be made.

Status: December 2020

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