Terms of Use

Section 1 – Provider, content and substance of the services provided

(1) Provider of the website www.civic-europe.eu (hereinafter referred to as “Platform”) is MitOst e.V., Herzbergstr. 82-84, 10365 Berlin, Germany. The following terms regulate the rights and obligations between the Provider and the respective User of the Platform.
(2) The Provider operates the Platform to enable Users to submit, discuss, and vote on project ideas online as part of the Civic Europe Idea Challenge competitions (“Idea Challenge”).

Section 2 – Access requirements, registration

(1) Every visitor to the Platform will be able to view the project ideas published and all comments made on them without needing to meet any particular requirements.

(2) Anyone wishing to submit and publish their own project ideas, and to add or change a comment to such ideas, will need to register previously.

(3) A User can apply online for their registration on the Platform by entering a user name (pseudonym) of their choice, their e-mail address, and a password of their choice. Further information may be added on a voluntary basis. Alternatively, registration can be applied for on the basis of an existing User account with Facebook or Google. If the Provider accepts the registration application, the User will receive a corresponding confirmation by e-mail. Registered Users have to confirm their registration and verify their e-mail address; they will receive a corresponding e-mail asking for verification.

(4) Only one registration may permissibly be filled per natural person. It is not permissible to register on behalf of third parties. The Provider reserves the right to terminate any User relationships without notice if they are based on one and the same natural person having registered several times, or having done so on behalf of a third party.

(5) The use of the Platform is free of charge.

Section 3 – Submission of project ideas, rights granted

(1) Registered Users can participate in the Idea Challenge competition by submitting and publishing project ideas on the Platform.

(2) In submitting a project idea, the User assures that this is based essentially on their personal considerations and objectives and that they personally authored it. To the extent that any third parties have assisted with developing the project idea, the User submitting it assures that all parties assisting with it have agreed to submit such project idea. The Provider reserves the right to disqualify Users from the Idea Challenge that obviously committed plagiarism or fraud. Project ideas must be written in English.

(3) The User grants the Provider the right to publish, reproduce, and make publicly accessible, or otherwise disseminate all components of the project idea (texts, images, video, audio, and other data) including the User's full name, both on the Platform and in print products that the Provider may produce as part of its competition and/or to advertise its statutory activities. The granting shall be made as a non-exclusive right, unrestricted in time and geography.

(4) The User grants the Provider the right to distribute and share the full idea proposal and the content of a submitted application form to a contracted reading team, to jury members of the Idea Challenge, and to employees of the Provider in order to complete the application and selection process of the running Idea Challenge round as well as to execute mapping or research activities in the frame of the Civic Europe program.

(5) The rights granted pursuant to paragraph 3 and 4 also comprise the right to grant said rights to Sofia Platform, Bulgaria, 1124 Sofia, 62 Evlogi and Hristo Georgiev Blvd., ap. 5, with whom the Provider collaborates as official partner of the program as well as to Stiftung Mercator GmbH, Huyssenallee 40, 45128 Essen, Germany, from whom the Provider receives funding, the intention being to allow the grantees to use the corresponding materials to document and advertise the competition and their work in accordance with their articles.

(6) When using third-party content (text, music, images, videos), the User is responsible for informing him/herself about the possible need to obtain rights of use and releases from authors or collecting societies and for obtaining these rights and releases accordingly. The User guarantees to the Provider that they hold all of the required rights to all component parts of its project idea and contributions; this also applies to the personal rights of persons depicted or reproduced in any photos, video, or audio files submitted as well as personal data (e.g. e-mail addresses of co-workers added to the application). The User exempts the Provider from all claims made by third parties due to possible infringements of rights by the contribution. The claim for indemnification also includes the costs of an appropriate examination and, if applicable, legal defense that become necessary in such a context, unless the participant is not responsible for the third party's complaint.

(7) The rights are granted at no charge.

(8) Furthermore, the funding conditions for the Idea Challenge of the Provider apply to the submission of project ideas, which will be published on the Platform. The Provider may refrain from publishing any project ideas and/or refuse to allow a project idea to participate in the Idea Challenge if the project idea submitted is not compliant with these funding conditions. This provision shall not affect any other grounds for rejection, such as obvious violations of the law.

(9) It is the responsibility of the User to store the original data of submitted content securely. Only copies of this data will be transmitted and made available to the Provider.

Section 4 – Community Award voting

(1) Registered Users who have submitted an idea proposal as well as Users who were added as co-workers of an idea in the application will be able to vote for their favorite ideas in the Community Award competition. They can vote for an infinite amount of ideas – except for their own idea. The voting period for each Idea Challenge will be announced in good time on the Platform by the Provider. Please read the Netiquette and the detailed description of each Community Award for more information.

(2) The Provider may disqualify any User from the Community Award voting who does not comply with our funding conditions or who does not follow the Netiquette rules of the Idea Challenge. This provision shall not affect any other grounds for rejection, such as obvious violations of the law.

Section 5 – Comments

(1) Registered Users have the opportunity to discuss the project ideas that other Users have submitted by posting contributions via the “comments” function of the Platform. Contributions must be in English. If comments are written in other languages the Provider reserves the right to delete the comment.

(2) Contributions must be fact-based and neutral in tone; they may not be advertisements or spam (same content contribution posted under several ideas); they may not be insulting and may not have content that is prohibited under criminal law or civil law. The Provider may censor or delete contributions that do not fit those criteria. For further guidelines on communicating on the site, please see our Netiquette, which is available for review online.

(3) The granting of rights pursuant to Section 3 shall apply mutatis mutandis to posted contributions on the Platform.

Section 6 – Data protection

(1) In order to provide and within the scope of the services described in these Terms of Use and in connection with the application for the Idea Challenge, the Provider receives personal data from the Users, e.g. in connection with the entries, e-mails, and telephone calls. The User agrees that this personal data may be stored and processed automatically by the Provider. In any case, this data processing is based on Article 6(1)(b) DSGVO. The Provider processes personal data to which it has access exclusively for the purpose for which the User has provided it. The data will not be used for any other purpose.

(2) In all other respects, the provisions of the privacy policy apply, which can be viewed here.

Section 7 – Termination of the User relationship

(1) Each party may terminate a User relationship at any time by giving notice in text form (e.g. e-mail to civiceurope@mitost.org). If the Provider provides a technical function on the Platform for termination by a User, this shall also preserve the form.

(2) The termination of a User relationship by a User shall not affect the rights granted to the Provider and respective third parties to the User’s contributions up to that point; these shall continue to apply. The participant's legally indispensable rights remain unaffected, e.g. to recall their rights, to revoke, or to terminate for good cause.

(3) Contributions of a User remain publicly accessible on the Platform even after termination of the User relationship, however, the User name originally published with a contribution may be removed and replaced by a notice that the authoring participant is no longer active on the Platform.

(4) The Idea Space Platform is being operated for an indefinite period; the Users do not have a claim to its term being unlimited.

Section 8 – Liability

(1) The processes of the Idea Space Platform are automated, in particular the receipt and publication of project ideas and the comment function. Prior to their publication, the Provider will not review the data submitted as to whether or not their content is appropriate and/or factually correct, nor will the Provider review them for any violations of the law. However, the Provider enters into the obligation to immediately follow up on any specific indications that data or content are problematic.

(2) The Provider is not responsible for any damages arising in connection with the lack of availability or proper functioning of the Internet.

(3) The liability of the Provider for financial losses is excluded; this does not apply if a financial loss is based on intent or gross negligence of the Provider, its legal representative, or one of its vicarious agents. The liability of the Provider for damages resulting from injury to life, body or health, which is based on a negligent breach of duty by the Provider or an intentional or negligent breach of duty by a legal representative or vicarious agent of the Provider, remains unaffected.

(4) The liability of the Provider for financial losses due to damage to or loss of content transmitted to the Provider or stored on its servers is limited to the consequences of a data backup intentionally or grossly negligently omitted by the Provider, insofar as the Provider was obliged to make such a data backup. The User is aware that data loss can never be completely ruled out, even if the Provider takes due care, and that this applies both to the original data and to backup copies.

(5) It is the User’s responsibility to regularly back up the data relevant to them on their own storage medium. The backup serves to minimize damage in the event of loss or damage to data submitted to the provider, which can never be completely ruled out; such an event can occur even if the Provider takes the care required for the respective service. This obligation on the part of the participant exists irrespective of whether the Provider has also assumed a data backup obligation.

Section 9 – Out-of-court Dispute Resolution

(1) For settling consumer disputes out of court, the European Union offers a platform for online dispute resolution (“ODR Platform“) at ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr.

(2) The Provider is neither obliged nor willing to participate in consumer dispute resolution proceedings.

Section 10 – Changes to the Terms of Use, possibility of transferring the contract

(1) From time to time it may be necessary to amend these Terms of Use. In such a case, the Provider shall notify the User of the intended change by e-mail at least six weeks before it comes into effect.

(2) If the User does not object in text form within four weeks of receipt of the announcement, their consent to the change shall be deemed to have been given. The Provider will specifically draw the User's attention to this legal consequence of tacit consent in the announcement.

(3) If the User objects to the announced change in due time, the change shall not take effect with regard to this User.

(4) The Provider is entitled to transfer all rights and obligations arising from the usage relationship in whole or in part to a third party with a notice period of four weeks. The User's right to terminate from Section 7 remains unaffected by this.

Section 11 – Final provisions

(1) The laws of the Federal Republic of Germany shall apply, to the exclusion of the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods (UNCISG). However, German law shall not apply to transactions with consumers having their permanent residence abroad to the extent the national laws applicable to those consumers set out provisions that cannot be contracted out to the detriment of the consumers.

(2) Where the User is a merchant, an entity under public law, or special assets under public law, the parties agree that the Provider’s registered office in Berlin shall be the exclusive place of jurisdiction.

(3) Should individual provisions of the present General Terms and Conditions prove to be invalid or impossible to implement, this shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions.

Netiquette

Dear User,

We are happy that you joined the Civic Europe Idea Challenge. Our aim is to create a space where ideas can be shared freely and openly – a space for discussions and exchanges. With your involvement, we want to foster a dialogue based on the sharing of knowledge and experiences – a dialogue in which people across borders learn from one another.

Please bear in mind that any comment you make on the Idea Space Platform can be viewed by the public. That means it can be read by anyone and found by search engines. Because of this, please do not share any information that should not be public. This especially applies to postal addresses, e-mail accounts, or telephone numbers.

We would like to inform you about the rules we have established in order to ensure a friendly space for a vibrant exchange:

Rules

  1. We encourage you to treat other users on the Idea Space Platform with respect. As moderators, we wish to foster a platform for a free and open exchange of ideas and thoughts, knowledge, and experiences.
  2. Stigmatization based on ethnic background, religion or belief, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, or social status are not allowed. Comments that aim to degrade an individual or a group of people will be deleted.
  3. By registering with Civic Europe, you commit yourself not to create or upload any content that is indecent, impious, attacks people's dignity, or that glorifies violence.
  4. Defamatory comments and statements of obvious historical revisionism will be deleted.
  5. The moderators may delete comments that deliberately provoke arguments or disrupt on-going exchanges. In such cases, we will first point out the comment in question and only delete it if the disturbance is clearly made willfully and/or the user is not willing to refrain, explain, or adapt the comment in question.
  6. The language used on the Idea Space Platform is English. The Idea Space is a place for exchange, networking, and mutual support; having a common language lays a basis for reaching those aims and since Civic Europe is an international community with members from different countries across Europe, English is the language we use to communicate on the platform.
  7. Contributions and comments should relate to the submitted project idea or discussion, be phrased in an understandable way, and follow the basic rules of spelling and grammar.
  8. By commenting you commit yourself to only share content for which you have the rights of use.
  9. Contents that openly serve advertising purposes will be deleted. Contents that advertise or motivate voting for the user’s own idea in the frame of the Community Award may be deleted or censored by the Civic Europe team.
  10. Systematically repetitive text contributions under other ideas, which only serve the purpose of promoting one's own idea, are categorized as so-called spam and can lead to general exclusion from the community award. Furthermore, in such cases the community itself has the possibility to report other users as spam to the moderators of the platform. Such cases will be investigated by the moderator and may also lead to exclusion from the Community Award.
  11. We are open to constructive criticism about our work. Such criticism should be formulated in a factual way and not contain insinuating or insulting content.
  12. Multiple accounts are discouraged (see also terms of use section 2 (4)). Please register only once. You can submit several proposals through one account.
  13. The above-mentioned criteria also apply to links or other web content that you post.

Enjoy the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and experience!

For technical or any content-related questions, please contact civiceurope@mitost.org.

Moderation

We strive to make our moderation as transparent as possible. In the following, we describe how and when we will step in:

  • We will intervene if a contribution violates the above-mentioned rules.
  • We will point out if comments or discussions do not refer to the submitted proposal or stray from the themes of the Idea Space Platform.
  • In most cases we will not delete an entire contribution; only passages. We will give reasons for our intervention via short comments and will indicate where we have made changes in the comments. Should a contribution lose its meaning as a result, we will delete it completely and will indicate this change in the comment section.
  • Contributions that contain infringements under criminal law or violate the dignity of others will be deleted immediately. This will be followed by an explanation from the moderators about the reason for the deletion, as set forth in this Netiquette and the conditions of use. A criminal complaint may be filed.
  • If a user infringes upon our rules continuously or severely, they will be warned via e-mail. In severe cases, or in the case of regular infringements, we reserve the right to exclude a user from the community and the Idea Challenge.
  • Users have the option to report comments if they perceive them problematic for some reason. Then the Idea Challenge team will investigate the case and take necessary steps, censor, or delete the contribution if necessary.

Please share your questions or comments about moderation with us privately. You can contact civiceurope@mitost.org about this at any time.

Origin of ideas

As stated in the terms of use, Civic Europe does not verify the origin of submitted ideas. As a user, you bear responsibility for your comments and contributions. As a user, you carry the responsibility for ensuring that the idea or proposal(s) you submit are either your own or are being used with the consent of their originator(s). See also terms of use section 3 (2).

Finally

We wholeheartedly encourage you to re-read your contributions before hitting “send.” Could the comment be misunderstood as an insult by others? Is it formulated in an understandable way? Does it say what you want to say and should the whole world hear this opinion?

Have a great time!

Your Civic Europe - Team