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 seek to abolish it will be terminated. Petitions that call for hatred and violence or that condone, deny or trivialize the crimes of National Socialism will be ended. Petitions that question the Basic Law or the criminality of sedition will be terminated. Petitions that are directed against the European Conventions on Human Rights or international law will be terminated.
    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 based on gender, age, appearance, origin, social status, religion, disability, marital status or sexual orientation.
    4. Petitions containing false statements of fact, missing sources, or misleading omission of relevant facts will be terminated. openPetition reserves the right to subsequently request sources in controversial 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 infringe the copyrights of third parties. When using copyright-protected texts, images or videos, the petitioner is responsible for obtaining the consent of the rights holders and citing 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 represent 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 have the same or similar content as existing petitions will not be listed publicly, but can still be signed. In the interest of the cause, as many signatures as possible should be bundled together 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 accuracy of statements in a petition is disputed, or if the statements are speculative, contradictory or not sufficiently scientifically proven, supporters will be informed of this and the petition will not be listed publicly. openPetition asks that you search for information on the topic of the petition from appropriate sources before signing.
    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.
    8. If the content of a petition is formulated in a very one-sided manner, if there are significant, contradictory expert opinions or basic, additional information on the topic, openPetition reserves the right to point this out to those supporting it.
  3. Usage fees on openPetition
    1. Petitions are free.
    2. Participation in petitions and the use of all functions on openPetition are free.
  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 itself to the addressed committee if the petition has not been submitted by the petitioner himself 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 no longer pursued 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. Signature lists and collection sheets may not be forwarded by the petitioner to anyone else except the petition recipient.
    13. After completing the information work, the petitioner is obliged to destroy all signature data provided to him in digital or printed form.
  5. Copyright law
    1. Your own texts, images or videos published on openPetition are under the Creative Commons license by-nc-sa. Attribution includes mentioning the openPetition platform and naming the author (if he is known).
    2. If a supporter signs a petition anonymously and adds a comment to their 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 anonymized supporter.
  6. Transparency
    1. Published petitions are permanently stored and accessible for reasons of traceability of political processes. Every change to petition content is saved and can be reconstructed publicly.
    2. Upon request, personal data published in petition texts will be anonymized.
  7. Editorial changes
    1. openPetition reserves the right to remove texts and links in petitions, comments, debate contributions and blog entries that refer to external websites or documents. This particularly applies 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 editorially, provided that 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.
    5. openPetition reserves the right to remove calls for donations in the petition text. If a call for donations serves the goal of the petition, it may be published in a notification to supporters. Point 4.8. The terms of use remain unaffected.
  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 more gender-neutral language as an important step towards achieving 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 German spelling rules of Duden
    • Where it does not disrupt the flow of language, we refer to both genders using the complete or shortened pair form
    • Where appropriate, we use the male and female forms alternately.
    • Every now and then we use established gender-neutral words, plural nouns, the passive form or direct address.
    • In individual cases we use the more common male or female form
    • The content of our users is retained in its current form

    As a platform, we will accompany the change in language towards a gender-appropriate language. We will not force change or try to prevent it.

    We strive to use inclusive language, particularly 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.

As of: March 2024

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