General terms of use for registrated users


Date: 17.02.2021

1. Scope of application, change of terms of use

1.1. The Vogel Communications GmbH & Co. KG (hereinafter: Vogel), Max-Planck-Straße 7/9, 97082 Würzburg, provides certain services on its websites that require registration from users. The following general terms of use (GTOU) (exclusively) apply to the contractual use of these services and to the user agreement to be concluded by the user with Vogel. For certain services, additional conditions apply which are explicitly mentioned to and accepted by the user upon registration.

1.2. These GTOU apply to entrepreneurs and consumers. Entrepreneurs are any natural or legal entity or judicable partnership that acts within the scope of its commercial or self-employed work when entering into a legal agreement. Any user entering into a user agreement with Vogel for uses that cannot primarily be attributed to the user’s commercial or self-employed work is acting as consumer. Additionally, the provisions of section 11 apply to consumers.

1.3. Vogel reserves the right to change these GTOU given an objective reason while considering the justifiable interests of and the appropriateness for the user. Vogel will inform the user of any change to the GTOU and provide them the opportunity to object to the changed GTOU within a certain term. Given a user’s objection to the changed GTOU, the GTOU last accepted by the user remain effective. If any essential parts of the user agreement change (i.e. its subject of agreement), Vogel will inform the user of the changes. In this case, the customer has the right to terminate the user agreement immediately. If the customer fails to do so, the changed GTOU will be included into the user agreement automatically.

2. Conclusion of contract and user account

2.1. The premise for using given services is entering into the user agreement. The user agreement is formed upon the user’s registration and Vogel’s confirmation of said registration.

2.2. The user can register by entering their e-mail address and a password of their own choosing during the registration process. Additionally, the user needs to consent to these GTOU that the user agreement is based on, and to also provide a declaration-of-consent. Upon doing so, the user will receive an e-mail from Vogel at the address provided during the registration process prompting him to confirm the e-mail address using an activation link. The registration is completed and the user agreement between Vogel and the user is entered upon confirmation of the e-mail address.

2.3. Upon entering the user agreement, Vogel creates a so-called user account for the user. The user can activate this user account and log in utilising the user name and password (so-called login). If necessary, the user can access the data used for the registration and provide further personal data in the user account. Furthermore, the user can access information regarding the services they signed up for in the user account. The text of the contract (these GTOU and declaration of consent) cannot be accessed in the user account and is no longer accessible after registration or enrolment for specific services. However, the user may save or print the text of the contract using their browser. The current status of these GTOU and of the declaration of consent is also available at GTOU and DOC.

2.4. The user is personally obligated to provide necessary updates to their user account and to keep the data provided up to date. Non-personal registration info provided by the user may be corrected or adjusted by Vogel mainly to correctly perform offered services and to fulfill other contractual obligations towards the user. Contractual declarations regarding this user agreement can be delivered to the user at the e-mail address they provide.

2.5. Activation of the user account does not mean the user is entitled to specific services. Activation of the user accounts merely provides the user with the opportunity to sign up for the services offered. In addition, Vogel is allowed to change services for which the user is registered while considering what is reasonable, and if the changes serve the development of the respective service, or are technically (e.g. to increase availability of the service) or legally required.

2.6. If the user registers for certain services during the activation process of the user account, these services will then be made accessible for the user as well.

2.7. Using the respective services requires the user to provide their data to Vogel within the scope of the registration process specified under section 2.2, and to also provide the declaration of consent during the registration process. Using said services is generally free of charge unless specifically stated otherwise by Vogel as part of the offer.

2.8. Some of the services require the user to consent to the promotional usage of his data. The user is not required to give this consent. Once the user has provided consent, they can then revoke it at any point for the future without the need to provide specific reasons. In this case, the user is no longer entitled to use the respective services.

3. Vogel services

3.1. Vogel provides services to its users, e.g. in the form of editorial content from numerous specialist fields which may come with a comment feature. As a service, the user automatically receives an editorial newsletter regarding a specific topic in a special field of his interest when registering for the newsletter or registering. The user can cancel this newsletter service by using the “unsubscribe” link provided in each newsletter or as described in the section on editorial newsletters in the data protection declaration.

3.2. Furthermore, Vogel users may actively publish for Vogel. Users are given the opportunity to publish their own editorial technical papers to be published within the Vogel media world and other media under Vogel’s responsibility.

3.3. Part of the contract is also the processing of information, including personal data, which the user provides during the registration process and when using Vogel's services, or which are obtained and processed via technical procedures during this, e.g. using those listed in the cookie statement section of the privacy policy, with the aim of providing the user with a special user experience in the Vogel media world that is tailored to their individual needs and interests, and to provide personally tailored offers. This information may include, for example, the user's behaviour on Vogel websites, their activity on social media platforms (e.g. Facebook), their IP address, information from registration forms, and other technical features. Further information on this can be found in the section purposes and legal basis of the data protection declaration.

3.4. Vogel does not guarantee permanent and uninterrupted access of websites and offered services. Vogel guarantees a minimum access rate of websites and thus services of 95% based on a given month. Not included in this period reasonable downtime necessary for system maintenance or downtime caused by force majeure or unavoidable causes. Availability in this sense is understood as the ratio of actual time (IZ) to desired time (SZ). The availability (in %) is calculated as follows: IZ/SZ * 100.

4. User duties; usage rights

4.1. The user is required not to pass on their password and their account to third parties and to protect said password and account from third party access. The user is liable for improper use of their accounts for which they are to blame.

4.2. The user may only use services provided by Vogel for their own information purposes. For this, information made available to the user may be printed out and - if made possible by Vogel - saved on the user’s data storage device. Beyond this, any reproduction, publication, or use of the information is not permitted. The user is explicitly prohibited from passing on content to third parties or using it for purposes other than information, e.g. for an offer of their own. Assistants to the user and IT service provider are not considered third parties in this sense. Additionally, the user may not edit the provided contents in any way, e.g. change, translate, or remove author labels. Vogel or the respective authors explicitly reserve all rights.

4.3. Users agree to respect the rights of third parties, including the rights of Vogel. The user is therefore expressly prohibited from:

  • A) using information contained in the services (e.g. contact data) or the provided communication services (contacting other users) for promotional use.
  • b) sending or posting data which are of the type, nature, size, or number that allows them to damage or block the IT infrastructure of Vogel or computers of other third parties or to spy on or damage data contained therein (e.g. through viruses, Trojan horses, spam mail);
  • C) taking actions or distributing content connected to the use of the services that violate the rights of third parties (e.g. copyrights, trademark rights, personal or data protection rights) or violate applicable legal provisions, in particular criminal laws, youth protection regulations, data protection laws, or competition regulations.

5. Types of users and granting of rights

5.1. When using services based on the user agreement, Vogel grants the respective user numerous opportunities for active participation. In doing so, Vogel distinguishes between basic users (hereinafter "consumer users") and qualified users (hereinafter "contributor users").

5.2. All registered users are consumer users. With their registration and ensuing use of the services, consumer users have the opportunity to not only passively consume content, but to also comment on the content posted by Vogel or other users. Upon conclusion of the user agreement, Vogel is granted the usage right, unlimited in terms of space and time, to publish the content of the commentary of the respective consumer user on the website. Vogel is not permitted to transfer this usage right to third parties without the consent of the consumer user.

5.3 Contributor users are all registered users who are additionally entitled to write expert articles, comments, and statements (hereinafter "articles") for Vogel and to publish said articles on the corresponding platform. The following special regulations apply to contributor users.

5.3 / 1 In order to gain the status of a contributor user, registered users issue a request via the platform stating that they would like to publish articles in a certain field. Vogel approves said users as contributor users if the contribution is technically and thematically suitable for publishing on the platform. Vogel will inform contributors directly of further requirements and the procedures associated with the status of a contributor user (creation of an article, submission to Vogel via e-mail or personal posting of the article etc.).

5.3 / 2 The contributor user has no legal claim to publication; Vogel can refuse acceptance without specific reasons. The contributor user has no claim to compensation for expenses.

5.3 / 3 Vogel is entitled to editorially revise the accepted article and to change the article without the consent of the contributor user given necessity for technical reasons. The article is declared ready for publication upon electronic activation.

5.3 / 4 Upon submission and acceptance of the article, regardless of form, the contributor user grants Vogel the usage right, unlimited in terms of space and time, of the respective article, including translations, reprints, or combination with other works or parts thereof. Vogel is not permitted to transfer the usage right to third parties, unless otherwise agreed.

5.3 / 5 Also, by submitting and accepting the respective article, the contributor user directly and immediately grants the usage right, unlimited in terms of space and time, to companies affiliated to Vogel in accordance with §§ 15 ff. AktG (see list here) [as well as the named partners of Vogel and their affiliated companies in accordance with §§ 15 ff. AktG (see list here)], including for translations, reprints, reprint permissions, and the combination with other works or parts thereof. The above-mentioned contractual partners of Vogel are not permitted to transfer the usage right to third parties.

5.3.6. Furthermore, on submission and acceptance of the respective article, the contributor user shall also directly and immediately grant future, previously unknown contractual partners of Vogel usage right for the respective article, unlimited in terms of space and time, including translations, reprints, reprint permissions, and the combination with other works or parts thereof. This granting of rights is subject both to the condition precedent of Vogel's sufficiently clear and complete designation of the contracting partner and the respective type of use and period of use by Vogel to the contributor user and to the condition precedent that the contributor user does not object to the choice of the contracting partner for use or the type and period of use. Vogel is obligated to provide the above information on the contractual partner, type of use, and duration of use to the contributor user immediately after conclusion of the contract with the respective contractual partner and publication of the contribution. If the contributor user does not object within six weeks after being notified, the conditions shall be considered met and thus the outcome based on said conditions shall take effect. According to information regulations specified in this section, Vogel shall also inform the contributor user of the consequences of failing to object. The contractual partners are not permitted to transfer the usage right to third parties.

5.3.7. The content of usage rights granted according to sections 5.3.4, 5.3.5 and 5.3.6 shall include the right to reproduce and distribute in printed form and shall also include the right to

  • complete or partial recording in electronic form,
  • programming, other processing and editing for electronic use, including combining with other works to form an electronic product, and storage in own or third-party data processing systems, in electronic databases, and on data carriers, and
  • reproduction, publication including public reproduction on the platform and other uses by means of photo mechanical, electronic and other processes, particularly in electronic offline and online databases and services, by means of reproduction techniques in physical and/or non-physical form, by means of all data transmission technologies, and on data carriers, e.g. CD-ROM, DVD, stick, and comparable technologies.

5.3.8. Any content editing done by Vogel will only be carried out with the expressed consent of the contributor user and in compliance with the contributor user's moral rights. This also applies to shortening and other restructuring as well as to the creation of works derived from the contribution (e.g. abstracts).

5.3.9. Contributor users assure to hold the copyrighted usage right of their article, including all illustrations, and that they do not violate any rights of third parties. Furthermore, the contributor user shall ensure in particular that they do not publish lies or misrepresentations that could damage Vogel or third parties. This also applies to official information that has been edited or compiled by the contributor user. Vogel reserves the right to sort out or not to publish articles without prior notification if there is a justified suspicion regarding this.

5.3.10. The contributor user is not entitled to compensation in form of money, unless otherwise stated in a separate agreement.

6. Blocking/deletion of content; release from liability by the user

6.1. Articles by one or more authors are always identified by name. Articles from companies are marked as such and include the company logo. In case of the author or the company expressly waiving the aforementioned identification, an exception of this is made for the respective articles.

6.2. Vogel is not liable for third-party content, merely granting access to these articles via the services provided for use. The user is aware that articles coming with a third-party company name or logo originate from this company and therefore not from Vogel. The applies to personal articles which are recognisably from another user, e.g. expressions of opinion by a user in the form of comments or specialist articles including copyright designation.

6.3. Users who consider their rights violated by an article, have the possibility of informing Vogel via the contact form of this infringement of rights, citing the article and providing a detailed description of the perceived reasons for such an infringement. Vogel will request the author of the article to submit a statement within a period of time reasonable under the circumstances. If no response is received within this period, the objection is deemed to be justified and Vogel will delete the objectionable entry. If the person responsible for the article supplies evidence to deny the allegations and if justified doubts arise as a result, Vogel will inform the person concerned and, if necessary, request evidence from which the alleged infringement of rights can be deduced. If the person concerned fails to respond or fails to provide crucial evidence, Vogel is not obligated to continue investigating If, however, the opinion of the person concerned or the provided evidence, also taking into account any statement by the person responsible for the article, reveals an unlawful violation of personal rights, Vogel will delete the article in question. In such a case, and based on careful consideration of the affected interests as well as on a thorough investigation of the cast, Vogel reserves the right to block the responsible author from writing further content, and in the event of repetition to exclude them completely from any further use and to terminate the usage contract without notice.

6.4. Should Vogel be held liable by a third party, a court, or an authority due to culpable behaviour on the part of the user, in particular due to a culpable breach of the obligations mentioned under section 4 and section 5.3.9, the user is obligated to indemnify Vogel from any claims and to assume the costs of legal defence. Vogel will inform the user immediately of the assertion of such claims. The user shall aid Vogel in the best possible way in defending said claims. If the user does not meet this obligation within a reasonable period of time to be set by Vogel, Vogel is entitled to settle the third party's claim at its own appropriate discretion, taking into account the factual and legal situation as it presents itself to Vogel. The costs of this settlement shall be borne by the user, also in the event that the settlement subsequently proves to be disadvantageous due to the user withholding information.

7. Liability of Vogel

7.1. Vogel shall only be liable for intent and gross negligence as well as in the event of a breach of an essential contractual obligation (cardinal duty). Cardinal duties are those which are essential for the fulfilment of the contract and on which the contracting partner regularly trusts and may trust. In the event of a slightly negligent breach of a cardinal duty, Vogel's liability shall be limited to damage foreseeable at the time of conclusion of the contract and typical for the contract. Vogel is not liable for slightly negligent breach of collateral duties that are not cardinal duties. In cases of initial impossibility, Vogel is only liable if the impediment to performance was known or the ignorance is due to gross negligence, unless this concerns a cardinal duty.

7.2. If the liability of Vogel is excluded or limited, this also applies to the personal liability of the employees, workers, co-workers, representatives, and proxies of Vogel.

7.3. The exclusions of liability mentioned above shall not apply in the event of fraudulent concealment of defects or the assumption of a guarantee of quality, to liability for claims based on the product liability act and for bodily injury (life, body, health).

7.4. With the exception of claims resulting from section 7.3, the user's claims for damages, for which liability is limited according to this section, shall become time-barred after one year, calculated from the start of the statutory limitation period.

8. Contract term

8.1. The contract term of this user agreement is indefinite. It can be terminated by the user at any time without notice using the contact form, and by Vogel with a notice period of two weeks. Partial terminations of certain services used by the user (e.g. unsubscribing from certain newsletters) are possible. In case of doubt, not the user agreement as a whole is terminated, but only the service mentioned in the termination notice.

8.2. Vogel's right to extraordinary termination without notice for good reason remains unaffected.

8.3. Furthermore, Vogel is entitled to temporarily exclude and ban the user from using services for good reasons (e.g. in the event of a breach of the obligations in accordance with section 4.3). Vogel will inform the respective user of this without delay, stating reasons, and will lift the exclusion or ban if the basis for this no longer applies.

8.4. In case of termination of the contract, the user's account including the associated personal data will be deleted. An exception is made for such data that is subject to a legal obligation to retain.

9. Competitions and raffles

Unless otherwise stated, the following conditions of participation apply to temporarily announced competitions and raffles:

9.1. Participating in competitions and raffles is free of charge. Eligible to participate are residents of Germany, Switzerland, and Austria who are at least 18 years of age at the time of entry. Employees of Vogel as well as employees of the partners referred to in section 5.3.5., and other persons involved in the design and implementation of the competition or raffle are excluded from participation. The participant in the competition or raffle is the person who owns the e-mail address provided during the registration process.

9.2. Winners will be drawn randomly by lot out of a pool of all participants. Maximum of one win per participant. All winners are informed by Vogel in writing. If a winner does not confirm the win to Vogel in text form (by letter, fax, e-mail) within 13 weeks of being notified by Vogel, the claim to the prize shall be forfeit and a replacement winner shall be drawn in accordance with the same procedure. The winner will again be expressly informed of this requirement in the notification following the win. Cash payment or trade of winnings is not possible.

9.3. Vogel reserves the right to change these conditions of participation given objective reasons and taking into account the legitimate interests of those involved. Furthermore, Vogel reserves the right to cancel or halt the competition or raffle at any time for good reason without prior notice. This applies in particular to such reasons that would have a lasting impact on or prevent the proper procedure of the competition or raffle.

10. Applicable law, place of jurisdiction, severability clause

10.1. The law of the Federal Republic of Germany shall apply, excluding the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods. In the event that the user is a consumer, this shall only apply to the extent that the granted protection is not withdrawn by mandatory provisions of the law of the state in which the consumer has their habitual residence.

10.2. In the event that the user is a merchant, legal entity under public law, or special fund under public law, the place of jurisdiction for all disputes resulting from this contract is Würzburg.

10.3. Should one of the provisions of these GTOU be invalid or not be part of the contract, this shall not affect the validity of the remaining contract.

11. Special provisions for consumers (section 1.2.)

11.1. The user has the right, if he is a consumer, to revoke this contract within fourteen days without giving reasons. The revocation period is fourteen days from the day of entering into the agreement. In order to exercise their right of revocation, the user must inform Vogel (Vogel Communications GmbH & Co. KG, Max-Planck-Straße 7/9, 97082 Würzburg, telephone: 0931-418-0, e-mail: ,via the contact form) by means of an explicit statement (e.g. a letter, fax or e-mail sent by post) regarding his decision to revoke this contract. The user may use the form in appendix 1 of these GTOU or the sample revocation form, which is not mandatory.

In order to comply with the revocation period, it is sufficient for the user to send the notification of the exercise of the right of revocation before the end of the revocation period.

11.2. If the user revokes this agreement, Vogel shall, if the user has paid a fee for the use of Vogel's services, refund all payments received by Vogel from the user without delay and at the latest within fourteen days from the day on which Vogel receives notification of the user's revocation of this agreement. For this refund, Vogel will use the same means of payment that the user used for the original transaction, unless expressly agreed otherwise with the user; the user will not incur costs for this refund.

If the user has not paid a fee for services from Vogel, but has only made his data available for the purposes stated in these GTOU and the data protection declaration, Vogel will stop using the data and delete the user’s account. Excepted from this are those user data that are subject to a statutory obligation to retain data.

11.3. Prior to the conclusion of the user agreement, the user shall be informed of all circumstances and criteria relevant to the conclusion of the agreement in accordance with appendix 2 of these GTOU.

Appendix 1 right of revocation

Consumers are entitled to the following right of revocation:

Revocation instruction
Right of revocation

You have the right to revoke this contract within fourteen days without giving reasons.

The revocation period is fourteen days from the day of entering into the agreement.

In order to exercise your right of revocation, you must inform us (Vogel Communications GmbH & Co. KG, Max-Planck-Straße 7/9, 97082 Würzburg, Germany, telephone: 0931-418-0, E-Mail:, or via by means of an explicit declaration (e.g. a letter sent by mail, fax, or e-mail) of your decision to revoke this contract. You can use the attached sample revocation form for this, however, using said form is not mandatory.

In order to comply with the revocation period, it is sufficient to send the notification of the exercise of the right of revocation before the end of the revocation period.

Consequences of revocation

If you revoke this agreement, we shall, if you have paid a fee for the use of Vogel's services, refund all payments we have received from you immediately and at the latest within fourteen days of the day on which we receive notification of your revocation of this agreement. For this refund, we will use the same means of payment that you used for the original transaction, unless expressly agreed otherwise with you; in no event will you be charged any fees for this refund. We will stop using the data and delete your user account. Excepted from this are such data that are subject to a statutory retention obligation.

If you have not paid a fee for services from Vogel, but have only made your data available for the purposes stated in the general terms of use for registered users and the privacy policy, we will also stop using the data and delete your user account. Excepted from this are such data that are subject to a statutory retention obligation.

Sample revocation form

If you want to revoke the contract, please fill out this form and send it back.

  • To (Vogel Communications GmbH & Co. KG, Max-Planck-Straße 7/9, 97082 Würzburg, E-Mail:
  • I hereby revoke the contract concluded by me for the provision of the following service "conclusion of the usage contract for Vogel/Service XY services" [please specify]
  • ordered on (date of registration/received on (date of receipt of confirmation email))
  • Consumer name
  • Consumer address
  • Consumer signature (only for messages on paper)
  • Date
Appendix 2 Consumer information

Vogel is obligated to provide you with the following information:

  1. Vogel gives you access to the full Vogel media world, including the categories of services and offers from Vogel described in Section 3 of the general terms of use for registered users.
  2. The full company name with full address and all contact details can be found in the imprint at
  3. As a user, you owe the provision of your personal data to the extent specified; you do not have to pay any separate remuneration or price. If, in exceptional cases, services require the payment of a fee, Vogel will appropriately inform you of this as part of the offer.
  4. Vogel provides the services described under section 3 from the time of successful registration (activation of user account); if there is any reason for complaints on your part, you can send your request at any time to
  5. You can terminate the user agreement at any time without notice. An exception is possible if you write articles for Vogel yourself and are bound by a separate contractual agreement, e.g. via a licence agreement. If, exceptionally, services are provided over a certain minimum term (usually for a fee), you will be informed at the appropriate place in the Vogel offer of important information in this respect, such as the term, the amount of the fee in cash, and termination options.
  6. Vogel does not take part in alternative dispute resolution proceedings and is not legally obligated to do so.