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Terms of use
E-mail service

Terms of use of the Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland e.V. for the e-mail service under the domain fragdenstaat.de 


1. scope of application

1.1- The following terms of use regulate the rights and obligations of the parties involved in the use of our email service under the internet domain fragdenstaat.de. The parties involved are the Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland e.V. (OKF DE) as operator of the service and you as participant.

1.2 Deviating, conflicting or supplementary terms and conditions on your part, even if known, do not become part of the agreement unless the operator has expressly agreed to their validity in writing.

2. e-mail service

2.1- The purpose of the Operator's service is to facilitate electronic communication with public authorities within the scope of the regulatory area of the Freedom of Information Acts of the Federal Government and the Länder and to process such communication on behalf of the Participants. The latter is done by means of the SMTP, POP3 and IMAP e-mail protocols. Accordingly, the operator keeps publicly accessible e-mail boxes available for you on the server infrastructure administered by it. By sending an enquiry via the e-mail service, you authorise the operator to transmit your enquiry as messenger to the respective selected authority and to accept its reply to you as receiving messenger. You may in turn reply to responses from the authority via the Operator's system and so on.

2.2- The Operator strives for an accessibility of its servers of 99% on an annual average. This does not include times when the servers cannot be reached via the Internet due to technical or other problems beyond the control of the Operator (force majeure, fault of third parties, etc.). The Operator may restrict access to the services if the security of network operation, the maintenance of network integrity, in particular the avoidance of serious disruptions to the network, the software or stored data so require.

2.3- The transmission of the e-mails takes place automatically via the Internet as initiated by you as a participant. In view of § 88 para. 3 sentence 1 TKG, the content of the e-mails is neither editorially checked nor otherwise examined by the Operator. Accordingly, the operator cannot guarantee that the receiving agency selected by you is responsible for your request. The provision of the addresses of authorities stored in the system is also made without guarantee.

2.4- Furthermore, the operator points out that although the transmission of your request by e-mail is formal for requests under the Federal Freedom of Information Act (IFG), special federal freedom of information laws and the freedom of information laws of individual Länder contain written form requirements in some cases. It follows from section 2.4 above that the Operator does not check whether your request must comply with other formal requirements, such as the written form.

2.5- You hereby further acknowledge that requests under the Freedom of Information Act may trigger fees and expenses. Only simple information is free of charge according to § 10 para. 1 sentence 2 IFG of the Federation. Whether or not information is simple information depends on the specific administrative effort involved in answering it. The operator has made a text suggestion in the e-mail form, according to which the receiving authority should inform you if it does not consider the request to be simple information and costs are incurred. According to our legal opinion, the authority must comply with this request in the exercise of its discretion and may then accordingly not take action without warning and incur charges. However, the operator can neither guarantee that the authority will dutifully exercise its discretion in this regard, nor assume fees or expenses on your behalf. You, the participant, are therefore always the only party liable for reimbursement of costs.

For guidance as to which costs are usually incurred for which type of request, the operator has compiled the following table for estimating costs - without any claim to completeness and without any guarantee as to content: Table for estimating costs.

3 Registration, participation and access data

3.1- In order to submit a request under the Freedom of Information Act (IFG), you must register free of charge at fragdenstaat.de with a valid e-mail address as a participant. Your account will be active as soon as you have authorised your e-mail address.

The operator also expressly refers to its data protection statement at this point.

3.2- Participants of the service can be legal entities or natural persons (especially consumers). You may also use our service under a pseudonym, but you may not knowingly use data of third parties. 

Terms of Use Archive Platform

1. scope of application

1.1- The following terms of use regulate the rights and obligations of the participants for the use of our archive platform under the internet domain fragdenstaat.de. The parties involved are the Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland e.V. (OKF DE) as operator of the service and you as participant.

1.2 Deviating, conflicting or supplementary terms and conditions on your part, even if known, do not become part of the agreement unless the operator has expressly agreed to their validity in writing.

2. archive platform

2.1 The purpose of the Operator's archive platform is to map the electronic correspondence between you and public bodies that takes place via the underlying e-mail service, to make it accessible and comprehensible to the general public and to archive it permanently. In accordance with the objectives of the Freedom of Information Act, this is intended to facilitate the exercise of information freedoms, enable more extensive reception of responses to Freedom of Information Act requests, increase their social benefit and reduce the number of superfluous multiple requests.

2.2- The operator strives for an accessibility of its servers of 99% on an annual average. This does not include times when the servers cannot be reached via the Internet due to technical or other problems beyond the control of the Operator (force majeure, fault of third parties, etc.). The Operator may restrict access to the Services if the security of network operation, the maintenance of network integrity, in particular the avoidance of serious disruptions to the network, the software or stored data so require.

2.3- The platform contents are available in open formats on computer systems based on free and open source software. The majority of the content is contributed by the participants. In view of § 88 para. 3 sentence 1 TKG, this content is not editorially checked by the operator and is only viewed at all at the express request of the participants in individual cases, for example to make manual redactions. Accordingly, the operator expressly distances itself from the content of any material that has not been submitted by the operator itself, see also section 4.3 below. In addition to your forum contributions and IFG enquiries, the responses from the authorities sent to you as a participant via the operator's e-mail service will subsequently be entered into the archive platform solely by you.

2.4 As long as your registration and your account for the e-mail service and thus also for the archive platform continue to exist, you as a participant will always remain primarily responsible for the publication of your own contributions and enquiries as well as the responses of the authorities on the website fragdenstaat.de. The operator is only a facilitating host provider. For this reason, corresponding functions are available on the platform with the help of which you can control the publication status of each contribution, each IFG request and each incoming response. However, the operator is not obliged to display your contributions and enquiries and reserves the right to deactivate or delete them at any time and without justification. If possible, however, the operator will give a reason. As a rule, experience has shown that these are indications of misuse of your account and/or the service.

2.5- The archive on fragdenstaat.de should remain permanently available and, if possible, be re-usable for all conceivable purposes without any obstacles. Property rights to the material could hinder or even thwart this. With regard to responses from public authorities, the operator assumes that these are generally in the public domain as "official works" within the meaning of Section 5 of the Copyright Act. This does not necessarily apply in the same way to contributions and enquiries written by you, which is why the operator provides for a deliberate declaration of abandonment by you:

By contributing your own contributions and enquiries to the archive platform, you are at the same time comprehensively relinquishing or releasing any rights to this material to which you are entitled under copyright law or other intangible property law regulations in accordance with the "CC0" release declaration (also known as "CC Zero"). By actively participating, you confirm that you have read and understood the CC0 declaration text, which is permanently available on the Internet at the URL http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.de, and that you are aware of the effect of this release declaration. The declaration text also states that, with respect to those jurisdictions that do not permit complete abandonment of copyright, it contains a so-called fallback licence that anyone may use without condition.