Terms Archive

valid till 15 July 2022 | Terms of Use

of Goethe-Institut e.V. (“Goethe-Institut”) for the use of the goethe.de (“Website”)

Table of contents

  1. Scope and subject matter of contract
  2. Registration and formation contract
  3. Services of the Goethe Institute
  4. Duties of user and code of conduct
  5. Sanctions in the event of violations, bans from the platform
  6. Concession of rights of use
  7. Warranty and liability
  8. Term and termination of contract
  9. Amendment of the terms of use
  10. Choice of law​​​​​​​

1. Scope and subject-matter of contract

With respect to the use of this Website, in relations between the “User” and Goethe Institute (as the operator of the Website) the following Terms of Use apply. The User accepts these Terms of Use upon registration.

The subject-matter of this contract is the use of the Website, free of charge, as an information and communication platform (“Service”). The fee-based distance learning courses are exclusively the subject-matter of the General Terms and Conditions of Business.


2. Registration and formation of contract

The prerequisite to the use of the Website’s personalised services is prior registration. At the time of registration, the User must provide truthful details and is informed of the data protection rules and asked to provide consents under data protection law. Following registration, the User receives an email containing a confirmation link. At such time as the Goethe Institute activates the User’s User account, the gratuitous Website User agreement is formed.

The User has no claim of right to activation of an account. The unlimited proprietary and domiciliary rights of Goethe Institute shall apply. In particular, Goethe Institute and its administrators and moderators shall have the right to exclude certain users.

The User may not permit third parties to utilise his access to the Website and, as the holder of the Website account, is responsible for protecting that account from misuse. For this reason, the User bears a duty to keep his access data secret and to protect them from third party interference. The use of protected brand names or names of other natural persons or legal entities as User names is not permitted.

The User may discontinue his use of the Service at any time, and may delete his registration and registration data for any reason whatsoever.


3. Services of Goethe Institute

Within the scope of these Terms of Service, the Goethe Institute permits the User to read and publish postings on the Website and to communicate with other users. For this purpose, the Goethe Institute provides the User with a platform offering various community functions, free of charge, so far as it is technically and commercially able to do so.

Goethe Institute shall endeavour to keep its Service available without interruptions to the extent possible. Goethe Institute does not assume any Service obligations beyond the foregoing. In particular, the User has no claim of right to constant availability or undisrupted operation of the service. 

Goethe Institute reserves the right to modify, extend, interrupt or cease at any time all or individual components of its Service, with or without notification to the User, temporarily or permanently, which may also entail deletion of existing User accounts and/or User content.


4. Duties of User and Code of conduct

Upon registration, the User is deemed to undertake that he shall at all times furnish truthful, current and complete details regarding his identity in line with the requirements of the registration form and at no time deceive the Goethe Institute or other users regarding his identity. 
By publishing content on the Website, the User is deemed to warrant that he is the proprietor of all rights required for this purpose. The User undertakes that he shall not publish any postings on the Website which violate public morals or applicable law. The User, in particular, hereby undertakes that he shall not publish any postings,

  • the publication of which would constitute the elements of a crime or a civil violation,
  • which infringe on copyright, trademark law or competition law,
  • which infringe on third party data protection rights (e.g. publication of private messages without the consent of the sender),
  • the contents of which are defamatory, untrue, racist, discriminatory, harmful to youth or pornographic,
  • containing advertising, which also includes graphics or links with or without accompanying text in a digital signature or within postings.
In addition to the foregoing, users shall at all times adhere to general rules of propriety and treat one another with mutual respect, and may not use the Service to threaten, harass, injure in some other way, deceive or harm other users or third parties’ reputations or businesses. 
Where a User is a witness to any violation of these Terms of Use by another User, he must inform the administrators by email at  kdf@goethe.de.

5. Sanctions in the Event of Violations; Bans from the platform

In the event of a violation or where sufficient suspicions of a violation of the duties referenced in sec. 4 above exist, Goethe Institute may, in its own discretion, impose the following sanctions on users:

  • deletion or modification of content uploaded by the User, including where, in the discretion of Goethe Institute, such might contain a violation of law or a violation of public morals,
  • the issuance of warning or a formal warning,
  • limitations on the use of the service,
  • temporary or permanent block of access,
  • termination of the User agreement and deletion of all data and content of that User, including with immediate effect and without prior notification.

The User shall indemnify the Goethe Institute and hold it harmless against all third party claims asserted by such third parties based on culpable breaches by the User of the duties referenced in sec. 4 above. The User undertakes that he shall support Goethe Institute in good faith by providing information and documents to assist in defending against any such claims. The User shall also bear the costs of Goethe Institute’s necessary legal defence. The Goethe Institute’s further rights and claims for compensatory damages shall remain unaffected by the foregoing.


6. Concession of rights of use 

Copyright with respect to postings uploaded, to the extent they are capable of copyright protection, remains vested in the respective User. By posting contributions to goethe.de, however, the User grants the Goethe Institute the right to

  • make postings publicly accessible on a permanent basis on the Website (including in translated form),
  • to duplicate and disseminate postings in published works (including in translated form),
  • to relocate postings within the Website and to link them to other content,
  • to modify or partially delete postings where appropriate pursuant to sec. 5.

The User shall have no entitlement to deletion or correction of postings created by him.


7. Warranty and liability

Goethe Institute assumes no warranty for the correctness, completeness, reliability, timeliness and serviceability of the content it makes available free of charge or of content uploaded by users, nor does such content reflect the opinion of the Goethe Institute. User content which is in breach of the law shall be deleted promptly whenever Goethe Institute learns of the violation of law.

The User shall have no claims for compensatory damages against Goethe Institute, its legal representatives and vicarious agents, unless otherwise provided below. Excepted herefrom are claims for damages based on a warranty or undertaking given by Goethe Institute, claims based on harm to life, limb or health, claims based on the Product Liability Act, and claims for compensatory damages based on a violation of material contract obligations. Material contract obligations are obligations the performance of which is required in order to achieve the aims of the contract. This disclaimer of liability similarly does not include liability for losses based on an intentional or a grossly negligent breach by the provider, its legal representatives or vicarious agents.


8. Term and termination of The contract

This Agreement is made for an unlimited term and maybe terminated by either party without the need to comply with any deadline in text form (e.g. by email). 

Following the end of this contract, the Goethe Institute shall be entitled but not obliged to delete content created by the User. The User shall have no claim for provision to him of content created by him.
Where good cause is present, in particular based on any breach of the duties in section 4, Goethe Institute shall be entitled to immediately block the User’s access and terminate the contract without advance notice. In such case, the User in question may only register again after obtaining Goethe Institute’s prior written consent.


9. Amendment of the terms of use

The Goethe Institute reserves the right to amend these Terms of Use without the need to state grounds for such changes. The Goethe Institute shall inform the User in a timely manner regarding such amendments at the time of the User’s visit following such amendment, and shall request the User’s consent to the amended Terms of Use. Where the User fails to object, the Terms of Use shall be deemed accepted. Where the User objects, the User’s membership shall be terminated.


10. Choice of law 

With respect to the contract relations between the Goethe Institute and the User, the law of the Federal Republic of Germany shall apply. In respect of consumers, this choice of law shall only apply to the extent that it does not deprive the consumer of the protections afforded to him by the mandatory consumer protection laws of the country in which he is ordinarily resident.