e-platform for the Faculty of Humanities



Legal questions concerning the usage of AGORA

1. AGORA and Copyright

Is it allowed to use copyrighted materials on the AGORA platform? Yes, it is, provided that they are used for scientific or teaching purposes within limited communities (such as seminars or research teams). For more information on the legal situation see chapter III.6 of the guideline »Rechtsfragen bei E-Learning«.

External download: Rechtsfragen bei E-Learning (in German language)

2. Terms and Conditions

In order to create an account for the AGORA platform you have to accept some terms and conditions. (Creating a new account you find the relevant button at the end of the corresponding page.) On this page you can read the terms and conditions without creating an account.

Virtual Workspace

AGORA is the webbased communication platform for the Faculty of Humanities at Hamburg University. Teaching staff, researchers as well as students are encouraged to set up project-rooms - i.e. online virtual workspaces for project-communities - in AGORA for their seminars and project needs, as long as these are within the institutional range of the Humanities at Hamburg University. The thematic focus of project-rooms may vary from this definition, the moderators are authorized to remove and ultimately erase inappropriate or abusive project-rooms. The use of this internet service is free of charge for all registered users.

Commercial use of project-rooms and other online facilities within AGORA is strictly prohibited.

Terms of use

Login ID and password

AGORA is used for scientific purpose within a university context. For this reason it is necessary that users have to give their real names. The moderators checks newly created accounts in respect to this rule and inform users, should the need arise, about a necessary change. If this demand is not complied with within a specified time, the account will be deleted without further notice by the moderators.

Inactive accounts and rooms can be affected by automated deletions. These take place  after a defined period of time (as a general rule: after one year of inactivity).

If one’s access data is however unwillingly being exposed to any other person’s eyes, the user is supposed to change his/her password in AGORA immediately or contact the AGORA-Team.

This is important to ensure that users are not suspected of breaches of the terms that they did not commit.

The users themselves are in charge to make sure they do not violate any applicable law while using AGORA. In particular:


The users are committed to observe the applicable paragraphs of German copyright law and jurisdiction (particularly §§ 106 ff.). Alternatively, if indicated in the particular document, the legal rules of the Creative Commons Public License (CCPL) can apply.

If a document or file from the AGORA sources and foundries is not explicitly distributed under the CCPL, the German copyright law and jurisdiction apply. In this case, the document or file may only be redistributed or republished with explicit permission of the author(s) or authorized licenser. For exceptions to these rules please refer to German Copyright law (UrhG).

Please note: This principle applies especially in case of redistribution or republication via other homepages.

Please note: The materials that are subject to ‘normal’ copyright are distributed only for scientific or teaching purposes within limited communities (such as seminars or research teams)!

Please note: Copyright applies to all contents in AGORA, if no else license model is indicated. Therefore, it is not allowed to redistribute your fellow students term papers or handouts via other websites without permission. This is possible only for materials being explicitly distributed under the CCPL.

Illegal contents

AGORA may not be used to distribute materials and contents that are themselves subject to prosecution, however technically realized in textual, graphic or audio format (§ 184 StGB, insbes. Abs. 5; § 86 StGB, § 130 StGB). Protection of personal rights

Users may not post or distribute any however personally offensive, defamatory or threatening contents via AGORA (§§ 185 ff. StGB).

Each user is supposed to respect each other’s privacy. Actively spying out closed data is strictly prohibited (§ 202a StGB).

Protection of technical infrastructure

Users may not install, set up or use any applications or scripts that are capable to change or breach the technical structure of the AGORA network facilities. (§ 303a/b StGB).

Invoking action by moderators and admins / user liability

If the moderators get any information that raise suspicion about possible breaches to the above rules and procedures, normally the user in question will receive a warning via email first. In case the user continues to violate the terms of use the moderators are authorized to terminate the user’s access to AGORA.

Furthermore, contents that themselves are part of this violation can be made unaccessible for the AGORA-community until the legal status of the material can be clarified.

If a breach of the above terms of use results in serious damage to the technical facilities of AGORA or the Local Computing Center (RRZ), the user is liable to the extent that the default was on his/her part.


All materials and information within the public sections of AGORA that the AGORA-team accounts for are being controlled and revised thoroughly and with the aim to be comprehensive. Nevertheless, the may still be some errors. AGORA is not liable for any damage or disadvantages that may result from using the information delivered. Also, AGORA is not liable for contents on pages on other servers that AGORA-pages may link to.

AGORA is not liable for contents that users of AGORA post in project-rooms or community-rooms. The moderators do not have administrative access to the materials users share in their rooms. The moderators are not liable for contents that users post in AGORA.

AGORA is also not liable for damage that may be inflicted to client-side hardware or software through possible bugs or insufficiencies in the AGORA-software or AGORA’s hardware appliances.