of Goethe-Institut e.V., Oskar-von-Miller-Ring 18, 80333 München
Telephone: +49 89 15921-0, info@goethe.de ("Goethe-Institut") for the use of the goethe.de (“Website”)

Table of contents

  1. Scope of application and subject matter of the contract
  2. Registration and concluding the contract
  3. Services of the Goethe-Institut
  4. Duties of the user and rules of conduct
  5. Sanctions for breaches of duty, exclusion from the platform
  6. Granting of rights of use
  7. Warranty and liability
  8. Term and termination of the contract
  9. Amendment of the terms of use
  10. Choice of law
  11. Dispute resolution
  12. Right of withdrawal


The following terms of use apply to the use of the personalised areas of this website following corresponding registration in the relationship between the "user" and the Goethe-Institut as the operator of the website.

The subject matter of the contract is the free use of the personalised areas of the website after registration as an information and communication platform ("service"). The distance learning courses for which a fee is charged are exclusively subject to the General Terms and Conditions of Business.


2. Registration and Concluding The contract

A prerequisite for the use of the personalised services is prior registration. Upon registration, the user must provide truthful information and refer to the privacy policy. After registration, the user will receive an e-mail with a confirmation link. With the activation of the user account by the Goethe-Institut, the free website usage contract will go into effect.

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.


3. Services of The Goethe-Institut

The Goethe-Institut permits the user to read and publish contributions on the website and to communicate with other users within the framework of these terms of use. For this purpose, the Goethe-Institut provides the user with a platform with various community functions free of charge within the scope of its technical and economic possibilities.
The purpose of the community functions is to enable topic and subject-related exchange on the educational and cultural offerings of the Goethe-Institut. The Goethe-Institut operates the platform within the framework of the tasks incumbent upon it. The platform does not serve the general exchange of opinions, the self-presentation of users, or entertainment purposes.

In the event of continuous accessibility, we may make changes to the digital product that go beyond what is necessary to maintain conformity with the contract if

  1. there is a valid reason for doing so,
  2. you do not incur any additional costs as a result of the change, and
  3. we inform you clearly and understandably about the change.
Valid reasons in this sense include cases whereby the change is necessary to adapt the digital product to a new technical environment or to an increased number of users, or whereby it is necessary for other important operational reasons.
If the change affects the user's ability to access the community functions or their usability for the user to a significant extent, the Goethe-Institut shall inform the user of the change and the user's rights by e-mail within a reasonable period of time before the change takes effect.


4. Duties of the User and Rules of conduct

When registering, the user undertakes to always provide truthful, up-to-date, and complete information about himself/herself as specified in the registration form and may not deceive the Goethe-Institut or other users about his/her identity at any time.

By publishing content on the website, the user assures that he/she is the owner of all rights required for this purpose. The user undertakes not to publish any contributions on the website or to send them to other users which violate morality or applicable law. In particular, the user undertakes not to publish any contributions or send them to other users,

  • the publication of which constitutes a criminal offence or an administrative offence,
  • which violate copyright, trademark or competition law,
  • which violate the data protection rights of others (e.g. publishing private messages without the consent of the sender),
  • which have insulting, untrue, racist, discriminatory, youth-endangering or pornographic content,
  • which contain advertising, which includes graphics or links with or without post text in a signature or within posts.
Users shall also observe common decency at all times ("netiquette") and treat each other with respect and shall not use the service to threaten, harass, otherwise injure, deceive or damage the reputation or business of any other user or third party.

Furthermore, the publication of contributions that have no relation to the topics to which the respective area of a community is expressly dedicated or that are otherwise aimed at impairing the topic-related and subject-related exchange (Section 3) is also inadmissible. This includes, in particular, the mass publication of posts which are empty or identical in content ("spamming").

If a user witnesses a violation of these terms of use by other users, he/she is obliged to inform the administrators by email to  kdf@goethe.de.


In the event of a breach or if there is sufficient suspicion of a breach of the duties set out in Section 4 above (with the exception of the obligation to report breaches by other users), the Goethe-Institut may, at its own discretion, impose the following sanctions on the user:

  • deletion or modification of the content posted by the user if, in the due discretion of the Goethe-Institut, this constitutes a breach of the rules of conduct pursuant to Section 4,
  • issuance of a warning,
  • restriction of the use of the service,
  • temporarily or permanently blocking of access,
  • termination of the user contract and deletion of all data and content of the user, also without notice and without prior contact.

If a published contribution violates Section 4, the Goethe-Institut may block the contribution without prior notice. The Goethe-Institut will inform the user so that he/she can respond. If it turns out that the contribution does not violate Section 4, the Goethe-Institut will lift the block.

The Goethe-Institut will only block the user's access without prior warning in the event of intentional, systematic, or similarly serious violations. Otherwise, the final blocking will only take place if the user again violates a rule of conduct after a warning.

Moreover, the blocking of access is initially only provisional and the Goethe-Institut also gives the user the opportunity to respond within a reasonable period of time. Only on the basis of the response or after the deadline has expired does the Goethe-Institut decide whether to block access permanently.

The user shall indemnify the Goethe-Institut against all claims made by third parties on the grounds of culpable infringement by the user of the obligations set out in Section 4 above (with the exception of the obligation to report infringements by other users). The user undertakes to support the Goethe-Institut in good faith with information and documents in the defence of such claims. The user is also obliged to bear the costs of the Goethe-Institut's necessary legal defence. Further rights and claims for damages of the Goethe-Institut shall remain unaffected.


6. Granting of rights of use 

The copyright for the posted contributions, insofar as they are copyrightable, remains with the respective user. However, by posting his or her contribution on goethe.de, the user grants the Goethe-Institut the non-exclusive, worldwide right, unlimited in time, to use contributions for the following purposes:

  • permanent availability to the public on the website (also translated),
  • reproduction and distribution in printed works (also translated),
  • movement within the website and linking to other content,
  • editing, in particular shortening, translating, movement within the website and/or combining with other content, also outside the website,
  • changing or partially deleting, if this is required according to Section 5

The user has no claim to the deletion or correction of contributions made by him/her. The provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation EU 2016/679), the Copyright Act, and any legal obligation of the user to delete remain unaffected.


7. Warranty and liability

If a digital product is defective, warranty claims exist. Claims due to defects of the service pursuant to Section 1 shall become statute-barred within two years from the date of availability, but no earlier than one year following the end of the contract term.

Claims for damages by the user against the Goethe-Institut, its organs, employees and agents are excluded unless otherwise stipulated below. Excluded are claims for damages based on a guarantee or warranty given by the Goethe-Institut, on injury to life, limb or health, on the basis of the Product Liability Act, and claims for damages arising from the breach of essential contractual obligations. Essential contractual obligations are those whose fulfilment is necessary to achieve the objective of the contract. Also free from the exclusion of liability is liability for damages based on an intentional or grossly negligent breach of duty by the provider, its legal representatives or vicarious agents.


8. Term and termination of contract

This agreement is concluded for an indefinite period of time and may be terminated by either party without notice in text form (e.g. by e-mail).

After termination of this contract, the Goethe-Institut is entitled, but not obliged, to delete the content created by the user and shared with other users. However, the user may at any time request the deletion of the user account and the non-public data stored therein.

In the event of good cause, in particular due to a serious or repeated breach of the obligations in Section 4, if applicable after an unsuccessful warning, the Goethe-Institut shall be entitled to block the user's access immediately and to terminate the contract without notice. In this case, the user concerned may only register again with the prior written consent of the Goethe-Institut.


9. Amendment of the terms of use

The Goethe-Institut reserves the right to change these terms of use without giving reasons. The Goethe-Institut will inform the user of the changes in good time during the visit to the site following the change and request the user's consent to the amended terms of use. If a user does not object within a reasonable period of at least 14 days, the terms of use shall be deemed accepted. When informing the user of the change in the terms of use, the Goethe-Institut will specifically point out that it will be deemed to have accepted the change if the user does not object within the specified period. If the user objects, the Goethe-Institut may terminate the contract in accordance with Section 8.



10. Choice of law 

The contractual relationship between the Goethe-Institut and the user shall be governed by the law of the Federal Republic of Germany. In relation to consumers, this choice of law shall only apply to the extent that the consumer is not deprived of the protection afforded to him/her by the mandatory consumer protection provisions of the state in which he/she has his/her habitual residence.   


The European Commission provides a platform for online dispute resolution (ODR), which you can find here: http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/. Consumers have the possibility to use this platform for the settlement of their disputes. We are willing to participate in an out-of-court arbitration procedure before a consumer arbitration board. The competent body is the Universalschlichtungsstelle des Bundes am Zentrum für Schlichtung e.V., Straßburger Straße 8, 77694 Kehl am Rhein, www.universalschlichtungsstelle.de.   

12. right of withdrawal

Consumers have a statutory right of withdrawal.

Cancellation policy:

Right of withdrawal
You have the right to cancel this contract within fourteen days without giving any reason.
The withdrawal period is fourteen days from the day of the conclusion of the contract.
In order to exercise your right of withdrawal, you must inform us (Goethe-Institut e. V., Oskar-von-Miller-Ring 18, 80333 Munich, Phone: +49 89 15921-0, info@goethe.de) of your decision to withdraw from this contract by means of a clear declaration (e.g. a letter sent by post or an e-mail). You can use the attached sample withdrawal form for this purpose, which is, however, not mandatory.
To comply with the cancellation period, it is sufficient that you send the notification of the exercise of the right of cancellation before the end of the cancellation period.

Consequences of revocation 
If you withdraw from this contract, we must repay you all payments that we have received from you, including the delivery costs (with the exception of the additional costs resulting from the fact that you have chosen a type of delivery other than the cheapest standard delivery offered by us), without delay and at the latest within fourteen days from the day on which we received the notification of your withdrawal from this contract. For this repayment, we will use the same means of payment that you used for the original transaction, unless expressly agreed otherwise with you; in no case will you be charged for this repayment.

If you have requested that the services begin during the withdrawal period, you must pay us a reasonable amount corresponding to the proportion of the services already provided up to the time you notify us of the exercise of the right of withdrawal in respect of this contract compared to the total scope of the services provided for in the contract.

You can use the following form or formulate the revocation yourself.

Sample cancellation form

(If you wish to cancel the contract, please fill in and return this form). ​​​​​​​
To Goethe-Institut e. V.
Oskar-von-Miller-Ring 18,
80333 München

I/we (*) hereby revoke the contract concluded by me/us (*) for the purchase of the following
goods (*)/the provision of the following service (*)


Ordered on (*) _____________________ (*)/received on (*) _____________________

Name of the consumer(s)

Address of the consumer(s)


Signature of the consumer(s) (only in the case of notification on paper)


(*) Delete as applicable.