These General Terms and Conditions of Use shall be regarded as exclusive basis for all legal relationships between the „Deutsche Umweltstiftung“ (represented by Jörg Sommer, Greifswalder Str. 4, 10405 Berlin) and all users of our website “EcoCrowd”, accessible at www.ecocrowd.de.
- Legal operator of the crowdfunding platform ecocrowd.de is the „Deutsche Umweltstiftung“ which is a legally recognized non-profit organization, represented by Jörg Sommer, Greifswalder Str. 4, 10405 Berlin (EcoCrowd).
- EcoCrowd offers a platform, where users can plan, finance, look for support and publicly present environmentally relevant projects. EcoCrowd presents sustainable projects, which cannot yet sustain themselves and need to raise financial capital. Projects that look for financial support and/or guidance in terms of knowledge and skills through EcoCrowd, get checked and consulted through self-developed criteria (also check out EcoCrowd-Guidelines). EcoCrowd serves an operative function that does not include any legal consultation.
- The usage of EcoCrowd is exclusively defined by these General Terms, unless individually agreed. Deviating terms or conditions of users that are not officially approved by EcoCrowd are not binding for EcoCrowd, even if they do not specifically contradict them.
- Users in the sense of these General Terms can be consumers and entrepreneurs but also legal persons, as school classes or groups of common interest. A Consumer (§13 BGB) is defined as a natural person who commits a legal act for a neither commercial nor professional activity. After this definition, users can also be entrepreneurs. An entrepreneur (§ 14 BGB) is a natural or fictitious person or a legal partnership who works within his*her commercial or independent professional activity.
- Is the user acting as an entrepreneur (§ 14 BGB), legal entity under public law or special fund under public law, these GTC apply to all future legal transactions connected to EcoCrowd, even if they are not explicitly arranged again.
- The legal relationships between users (i.e. between project starters and supporters, as well as between project starters and helpers) are governed by the separately made contracts which might also define the usage of the contributions. In this context, EcoCrowd does not take legal sides and simply works as an intermediary between the participating parties, indicating that EcoCrowd can never be held responsible for the fulfilment of the contracts.
The following definitions apply:
- “Disbursement of maturity” is the point in time that is reached at the earliest, 15 days after the end of the financing phase in which (a) the funding goal has been achieved and (b) the project starter accepts the money. (The point in time of the disbursement of maturity is only relevant for projects that were started before September 14, 2015 using the all-in-or-nothing strategy); for all projects that started using the flexible funding model, the disbursement of maturity becomes due with the expiry of the financing phase.
- “Contribution“ defines the concrete financial amount (in Euro) a supporter dedicates to a project;
- “Help“ defines the concrete amount of time for a certain task, a helper donates to a certain project; the help/assistance is defined as support through donations in time;
- “Financial limit” is a limit that can be voluntarily set by the project starters before the project launch. It defines a maximum of the financial volume of a project that is on the upper range of the funding goal. When reaching the chosen financial limit, the project will automatically be closed. This means that further contributions are not accepted anymore; the achievement of the financial limit corresponds to the achievement of the funding goal;
- “Financing phase” (“crowdfunding phase”) is the time frame, in which the supporter or helper is able to contribute to the project in monetary and non-monetary terms. The duration of the phase is at least 30 days. The “financing phase” ends after the predetermined time but can be extended for justified exceptions upon consultation and arrangement with EcoCrowd. The extend of the prolonging is at EcoCrowd’s sole discretion;
- “Financing amount” is the actual amount of all financial contributions the project starter receives;
- “Funding goal” is the amount of money a project starter realistically needs to complete his*her project. The highest monetary amount is 100.000,00 EUR net. In special cases through an arrangement with the management higher amounts might be possible;
- “Flexible Funding” is a financing model that has been used on EcoCrowd since July 15, 2015. It implies that the project starter is allowed to keep all collected money even if the funding goal has not been achieved or has been exceeded;
- “Helpers” are the users who want to contribute to one or more projects through donations in time;
- “Users” are any natural or legal person as well as every legally responsible body of persons registered on EcoCrowd, natural or fictitious persons and “rechtsfähige Personenmehrheiten”, e.g. school classes or groups of interest;
- “Project” is the presented plan of a project starter, including a statement of all planned activities from beginning to end, timeframe, calculated costs, needed resources and a concrete goal;
- “Project start” is the point in time when the project is launched and the beginning of the financing phase;
- “Project completion” is the point in time a certain project when the financing phase is finished;
- “Project starters” are the users setting up a project to be funded on EcoCrowd as a platform to find financial and physical supporters and helpers;
- “Reward” (material and/or immaterial) is a gift provided by the project starter for a financial or physical support of the project if wished by the supporter and when reaching the funding goal (the project starters have to predetermine the date of shipment for the rewards before the project launch);
- “Supporters” are users that support one or more projects of project starters and want to finance (“fund”) a project.
Services provided by EcoCrowd, fees
- EcoCrowd provides the technical requirements for the usage of the EcoCrowd Crowdfunding-website, checks the projects for their compatibility with EcoCrowd’s goals (Rule § 1 art. 2 of this GTC) and advises project starters at its own discretion. Project starters, helpers and supporters do not have the specific right for a check and consultation.
- EcoCrowd provides the user with a profile, pursues marketing and PR strategies for its own website and for respective projects. The kind and extent of public relations work of EcoCrowd and its published projects lays at EcoCrowd’s own discretion. Same regulations apply to the project’s examination by EcoCrowd (rule §1 art. 2 of this GTC); this implies that EcoCrowd is allowed to reject projects without being obligated to formulate specific reasons.
- Details about the procedure from registration and demands of other services can be found on the respective site on EcoCrowd’s website. EcoCrowd has the right to perform updates and extensions of services by own choice.
- EcoCrowd has the right to provide services by third parties.
- As long as EcoCrowd’s usage is for free or a user is not a dedicated project starter of a project in its financing phase (art. 6) there is no right to get consultation or even a maintenance of the EcoCrowd website. EcoCrowd is allowed to stop its free offers without any warning and without a notice of withdrawal (n. 15 of this GTC).
- Costs only occur to project starters (art. 7). Supporters and helpers can use the website EcoCrowd for free.
Project starters who initiated their project
- Until November 14th 2017 on the website EcoCrowd, are charged with a net fee of 8,0 % of the net sum of all money received in the financing phase.
- From November 15th 2017 on the website EcoCrowd, can determine a percentage net fee of the net sum of all money. This fee is set independently and autonomously by the project team. After the first submission of the project, a correction is neither possible nor valid anymore. Project starters have to pay the independently predefined fee to EcoCrowd as a percentage net amount of the total net amount of the received money.
EcoCrowd has the right to withhold the fee even before the project starters receive their financial amount (no. 7 of this GTC). This fee is a service fee and refundable even when contracts between users are not valid anymore or in any other case EcoCrowd is not the representative.
Registration as user, Conclusion of contracts for EcoCrowd’s use
- Everyone can visit EcoCrowd’s website and access approved areas without registration. If someone wants to use EcoCrowd, i.e. initiate and/or support a project on the website, a registration is necessary. Registrations are for free. All users have to specify their correct first names and surnames and a correct e-mail-address. All other personal details are optional.
- During registration a user has to choose a user name and a password. The user name should not consist of a e-mail or internet address, does not infringe rights of third parties (especially no name or signature rights), does not offend good manners and be vulgar, racist or offensive in any form.
- The users are held responsible for any activities happening with the usage of his*her user name. This indicates that passwords are to be kept confidential, ensuring a protected profile access.
- With conclusion of a registration on EcoCrowd, users send an offer of a conclusion of a contract to EcoCrowd. This contract includes the usage of the services offered on EcoCrowd.
- Once the data of registration has been submitted successfully, EcoCrowd sends a confirmation via e-mail to the user. This confirmation of access is not yet a binding approval for the registration offers of the user. In fact the confirmation e-mail serves the purpose of an e-mail address verification. EcoCrowd approves a user’s offer concerning the user’s profile (if the approval is not especially explained in individual cases) regularly. A user is not bound to his*her registration offer when EcoCrowd did not approve after 24 hours.
- Only users with full legal capacity to contract or users who act with consent of their legal representatives are authorized. The minimum age of a supporter or helper is 14 years (legal regulation BGB § 110), the minimum age of a project starter is 18 years of age. A user cannot become a user again, indicating that no double membership is possible. The users are not allowed to hand their profile over to another person without EcoCrowd’s written approval.
- EcoCrowd is allowed to reject registration without naming any reasons, even if all requirements for a registration are fulfilled.
- EcoCrowd expressly states that each payment of contribution or help is stated in separate contracts with the respective project starters. Hence, an individual contract has its validity (§ 1 art. 6 of this GTC).
The legal right of withdrawal, taxes, invoices
- Regarding the conclusion of individual contracts between users concerning payments of contribution and project support and other help (e.g. depending on the contract type concerning the commissioning, acquisition or transfer of exchange items), project starters have to give information about legal preconditions and practical execution in the respective case. The rule is mentioned in § 1 Art. 6 of this GTC.
- Project starters are responsible for the categorization of contracts as a purchase-, sponsoring-, or service contract, contribution etc., as for all legal and tax-related consequences of such categorization (invoices to the supporter: yes or no, if yes with or without value added tax, taxation of articles, drafting of a contribution receipt etc.).
- Contractual relationship between project starters and supporters, rewards
- Project starters can give rewards (material or immaterial) for received contributions framed by the contract. Regarding the reward, shipping costs in Germany are covered by the regular financial contributions. Regarding shipping costs into foreign countries, supporters have to be legally informed by the project starters in advance.
- Through the supporter’s contribution, the supporter makes an offer towards the project starter about the conclusion of a contractual relationship that is not related to EcoCrowd (e.g. purchase-, sponsoring-, or service contract, contribution etc.).
- As a supporter, a user has to first choose a project (and if applicable the wished reward) on EcoCrowd and second the amount of the financial contribution. Through pressing the button “support the project” or “support project and choose this reward”, a new page now opens an overview, on which the user has the chance to check if the stated data is correct. Through a final payment on the site of a chosen payment processor, the predetermined financial amount is bindingly assigned to the chosen project. Within the financing model of flexible funding, the payment of contribution is sent to the project starter directly or the latest 3-5 business days after expiry of the financing phase.
- The project starter accepts a supporter’s offer through an expressive explanation or through the acceptance of the financial contribution after the expiry of the financial phase. For all projects that were launched until July 14, 2015 within the financing model all-or-nothing, the conditions for the disbursement maturity must be fulfilled. Project starters have the duty to provide all supporters with regular updates about the project at least until the dispatchment of the reward. Also in case of cancellation, the individual contract governs the legal situation of a cancellation of the contract.
- As a helper, a user chooses a project on EcoCrowd and a task he*she wants to perform. Through pressing the “continue” button a contact form opens up, in which a helper can describe his*her help. Through a final click on “send message” the helper’s request is directed to the project starter. Further agreements are being made between the project starter and the helper.
- In case of an early termination of a project during the financing phase, there has to be differentiated between two procedures: Option A is the early termination of the financing phase initiated by the project starter despite the planned realization of the project. Through exertion of this option the contractual relationship between the users remains. Option B is the premature discontinuance and the decision to not implement the project without executing it; in this case regulations of art. 4 shall be applied.
- Only until the expiry of the financing phase, contributions can be changed or cancelled.
- EcoCrowd provides all relevant data for the accomplishment of their mutual agreements to all involved users. Supporters and project starters agree to the needed data transfer by their payment of contribution or the upload of the project on the website. The project starters do not have the right to use, save or distribute this data differently than to the fulfilment of the contract. Here, EcoCrowds General Terms and Conditions shall be applied.
Pay services and payment of contributions on EcoCrowd
- EcoCrowd offers its supporters different payment methods including information about each method. Which method can be used depends on the methods chosen by the respective project starters. For the purpose of payment, all user’s relevant payment details are handed over to the chosen pay service.
- Regarding the provided pay services, the respective General Terms of Service are valid with their separate fees (as in case of PayPal). In the model of flexible funding, all contributions are directly sent to the project starter’s bank. The supporters using PayPal directly, send their money to the starter’s PayPal-account. In case of payment contributions through SOFORT transfer, the money is directly sent to the starters bank account. Contributions sent by a supporter via bank transfer, arrive at the bank account of the project starter.
- EcoCrowd is not liable for damage and lost profits that occur because of mistakes of the pay service; regulations concerning limitation of liability in no. 12, art. 4 of this GTC shall be applied.
Disbursement of the financing amount
- The option to support a project on EcoCrowd ends only after the expiry of the financing phase and not with the achievement of the funding goal; thus, the actual financing sum can exceed the funding goal (overfinancing). If the project starter sets a financial limit, the latest the project ends with the achievement of the financial limit. The project starter’s requirement of acceptance (the acceptance of the financial sum) and within that the supporter’s contributions, shall remain unaffected.
- The project starter of a crowdfunding project within the financing structure of “flexible funding” receives the contribution depending on the different payment services according to the regulation in nr. 7, art. 1 of this GTC (less charges mentioned in nr. 3, art. 6 and 7 in this GTC) directly and before the expiry of the financial phase. The requirement of acceptance, meaning the simultaneous acceptance of contributions by the project starter, remains the same for the disbursement (§ 2 of this GTC).
- For warranty of a proper procedure of usage of EcoCrowd, a user has to follow certain rules of behaviour. Non-compliance can lead to disadvantages for a user – especially for a termination and assertion of claims for damages raised by EcoCrowd. A user has the duty to:
- tell the truth during registration and other needed requests for achievements of contract purposes (e.g. during project development),
- to refrain from a second registration (prohibition of double registration for users) and/or registration or display of his*her project on another crowdfunding platform during the financing phase (exclusivity in favour of EcoCrowd),
- verify all subsequent changes in the provided administrative function,
- make sure that the username and the associated password is not accessible for any third party,
- prevent any usage of EcoCrowd’s services with a user account of third parties,
- stop using automatic default features for the password and immediately tell EcoCrowd if any misuse of the password or any misuse of the user-account occurs or indications of a prospective improper use exist,
- A user is responsible for all content (e.g. text, data, photos, photo-series) he*she provides to EcoCrowd. Content put on EcoCrowd is not verified before its publication and does not represent EcoCrowd’s opinion. They do not contain EcoCrowd’s own content but external content provided by EcoCrowd’s users. EcoCrowd reserves the right to verify the communicated content in individual cases.
- EcoCrowd is interested in all users’ opinions around the subject of “Eco-Crowdfunding” and might provide them with a blog for the publishing of their opinions. EcoCrowd owns the right to verify all opinions individually. The users do not have the legal right of a publication of their claimed opinions.
- It is the user’s responsibility to make sure that the content and opinions are legal, do not break the law and do not harm any rights of third parties. In particular, the user has to make sure that the communicated content and/or mentioned opinions do not break criminal provisions, copyright, competition law, youth protection law, trademark law, industrial property rights and personal rights of third parties. It is forbidden to transmit content and/or formulate opinions that are
- Insulting, defamatory, threatening, obscene or harassing,
- Racist, Nazi or illegal,
- Glorifying and/or trivialising drugs,
- Glorifying and/or trivialising war,
- Violating good manners, good tone and good behaviour,
- Grossly offensive,
- Pornographic or sexual,
- Liable to corrupt the young,
- Advertising for a terroristic or extremist political association,
- Calling for a crime,
- Containing defamatory statements,
- Criminal or punishable in any other way,
- Linked to unlawful content or
- Containing propaganda
- The user’s communicated content and/or expressed opinion should not include any untruths about third parties and violate rights, especially not against personal rights of third parties.
- Within the communication of content, every user assures to own the required rights for an online publication of the respective content. Furthermore the user guarantees and ensures that the communicated content is not charged with the right of third parties.
- Before the communication of a picture, all users have to make sure that they own the photo’s and/or the data’s rights of use, including the right through the internet.
- All users are obligated to set EcoCrowd free from third party claims because of the harm of their rights, especially their copyrights, industrial property rights or other property rights of the communicated content. Moreover they are obligated, to tell EcoCrowd immediately if they find out that they do not own the needed publication rights of various content or when they later find out that the used content is not lawful. EcoCrowd has the right to hand over personalized data of users to third parties if EcoCrowd has the reasonable suspicion that the communicated content was hurting third party’s rights and third parties mention their right’s harm to EcoCrowd.
- If a user does not fulfil his*her duties, he*she has the duty to replace the possibly caused damage or to release third party’s claims unless the user did not cause the breach of duty.
- Beginning with the start of the financing phase until at least one year after the end of the project, all project starters on EcoCrowd are obliged to put the “financed on EcoCrowd” quality sign into all communication channels. The EcoCrowd quality sign is provided by EcoCrowd’s team and is only to be used in EcoCrowd’s provided form. The use permission can be deprived – an edit or distortion is not permitted. A usage, which suggests the advertised project as an EcoCrowd initiated, is not allowed either.
Copy- and other protective rights concerning user-generated content
- Within the communication of content, EcoCrowd’s users give EcoCrowd and its service partners the irrevocable, temporally and spatially unlimited right to publish, reproduce, exhibit, make publicly accessible, change, translate and to save, independent from the fact that a project had been financially successfully realized or not. This includes the right to edit, design, customize to the different file formats, to change or improve the different display qualities and the right to advertise for EcoCrowd with the projects’ content. This admission of right of use stays throughout the contract’s period, meaning that within the termination of the contract, EcoCrowd is not obligated to delete the content that has been communicated to EcoCrowd; regulations in §11 art. 4 of this GTC remain unaffected.
- The users’ notification and indemnity obligation concerning EcoCrowd (nr. 9 art. 9 of this GTC) remains unaffected by this, but is dropped if the users notify that they do not own the rights of usage for the publication (anymore) or the content is not valid (anymore) in their point of view and EcoCrowd is not eliminating this content within an appropriate amount of time. Users have the duty to specifically point out the respective content to EcoCrowd (time and place of the upload, blog etc.) because only in that way it can be guaranteed that EcoCrowd is able to eliminate the respective content in an appropriate amount of time.
- Content provided by EcoCrowd or other copyright holders are subject to a special protection. Therefore a user is not allowed to copy, edit and/or disseminate these contents.
- Data protection regulations shall be applied on EcoCrowd. EcoCrowd does not aim for an edit or usage of personal data of users. EcoCrowd treats all users’ personal data in accordance with the data protection regulations.
- The client’s personal data communicated during registration is only used within BDSG’s and TMG’s frame.
- User’s personalized data is only surveyed if a user informs about such data during EcoCrowd’s usage. Editing and handing over to third parties (e.g. to another party of the supporter – project starter relationship contract) can only happen as far as it is necessary for the contract’s implementation between EcoCrowd and its users. That means data might get handed over to shipping companies instructed with the delivery of rewards and also if needed, gets handed over to the instructed bank or with the instructed institute for processing of payment. Any other form of a transfer of data to third parties is not taking place.
- Every user has the (free of charge) right to know about his*her saved personalized data and a right of correction, blocking and deletion of this data. Questions concerning survey, processing and editing or usage of personalized data of users, disclosure, correction, blocking or deletion of data and the revocation of consent can be sent to EcoCrowd to the mentioned E-Mail- and post-address in nr. 1 of this GTC and in the imprint.
- The content of the data protection information is to be found at ecocrowd.de/privacy.
Limitation of liability
- EcoCrowd dissociates itself from all content connected to links on other sites and has no responsibility and liability for this content. The providers of such content on other sites are responsible themselves.
- EcoCrowd does not guarantee the constant availability and functionality of its Internet sites but is trying to keep the sites available constantly. EcoCrowd is not taking the responsibility for breakdown, loss of data and mis-transfer. EcoCrowd is not liable for interruptions of quality concerning the access to EcoCrowd’s services. EcoCrowd has the right to shut down the service without any announcement at all times. EcoCrowd’s liability concerning damage or following damage is not covered.
- For illegal content EcoCrowd is only liable (§ 10 TMG) if:
- EcoCrowd knows about illegal content or EcoCrowd is aware of facts or circumstances from which illegal content is obvious and
- EcoCrowd did not take action immediately to delete the information or block the access as soon as finding out about it.
- Furthermore, EcoCrowd is only liable for damage within intentional or grossly negligent action and damages that are resulting from slightly negligent breaches of contract. In the latter case all reliability is limited to the foreseeable damage. These limitations of liability also apply to breaches of duty of EcoCrowd’s legal representatives or vicarious agents. Preceding limitations of liability are not valid if the life, body or health is affected by this breach of duty.
- Any other liability by EcoCrowd is excluded to the extent permitted by law.
Contract term and termination
- The contract about the usage of EcoCrowd is entered into undefined time. It is withdrawable immediately and without fulfilment of a time limit from both sides.
- As soon as an initiated project is still in its financing phase during a cancellation, the user is liable to all supporters and EcoCrowd for all damage resulting from this cancellation i.e. he*she releases EcoCrowd from all claims for damages of supporters after the first call; the same applies to the case of an early termination of a project through the project starter.
- If a supported project is still in its financing phase during cancellation, the user is liable to the project starter through the deposed contribution unless the user has recalled the contribution successfully (regulation in nr. 5)
- When there are concrete indications about users hurting legal law, rights of third parties or this GTC (especially regulations in nr. 9), EcoCrowd is allowed to completely or partly delete the communicated content without any warning or limitation, to restrict the rights of usage in the blog or other categories of use, to warn users or block or delete their user profile and cancel the contract. Taking these actions, EcoCrowd will include the interest of all users involved.
- The right to terminate without notice for a cause remains unaffected. Reasons mentioned in Nr. 14 of this GTC count as important reasons.
- Terminations are to explain via text (e.g. e-mail), written or per telefax. The deletion of a user profile counts as a cancel. A cancelling of contract concerning EcoCrowd’s usage is always leading to a deletion of a user’s account.
Changes of this GTC
EcoCrowd reserves the right to change this GTC without giving any reasons. The changed conditions are sent to the users via mail at least 30 days before being. If a user sends no statement of opposition within two weeks after receiving the e-mail, the changed GTC is applied. EcoCrowd will mention this time limitation of two weeks in the respective e-mail that contains the changed conditions.
- The contract concluded under this GTC’s conditions underlays the German substantive law free from UN’s purchase-right (CISG). Is a user a consumer (i.S.v. § 13 BGB) and has no domicile in Germany, the contract applies within the substantive law of the state, the user has his*her residence at the point in time when the contract is made.
- Place of jurisdiction for all disputes from and out of the contract is Berlin, Germany. Has a user, if no entrepreneur, no residence in Berlin, Germany, concerning the jurisdiction, the rules of the state apply, where the user has his*her usual residence (in Germany the regulations of ZPO) at the point in time when the contract is made.
- Indispensable standards of the state a user has his*her usual residence in, independent of the status of a consumer or entrepreneur, remain unaffected by the mentioned choice of law and legal domicile regulations.
- Changes and additions of the contract have to be recorded at least in written form. This also applies to the change or cancellation of the regulations in art. 4 as far as the parties did not agree differently.
- Is a provision of this GTC invalid, all other provisions shall remain unaffected.
This GTC is valid for all registered members from the moment they register on ecocrowd.de under agreement of this GTC.