General Terms & Conditions (T&C)

applicable on using the “” website

Revised: March 20th, 2015

1. Scope of Application

Kirchenbuchportal GmbH (“Provider”) operates the website “” (“Archion” or “Platform”). The following General Terms & Conditions contain the basic rules for using Archion. Users’ terms of business that diverge from the T&C given under shall not apply.

2. Object of Use, Definitions

2.1. Archion is an online platform that is dedicated to the subject of genealogy. The main feature of the service is the provision of digitalised archives that enable an ancestral search to be made in original sources. On the Platform, non-registered users can inform themselves about genealogical research generally, and to a limited extent view digitalised church records free of charge. On payment of a fee, Archion enables registered users to search digitalised church records, and also to index them and download extracts. In addition, registered users can upload their own genealogical content and documents on to the Platform, and also network in a forum to connect with users with similar interests.

2.2. “User” within the meaning of these General Terms & Conditions shall mean any individual person, legal entity or association who or that uses Archion.

2.3. “Consumer” within the meaning of these General Terms & Conditions shall mean any individual who concludes the contractual agreement for purposes that are not mainly attributable to their trade, profession or self-employed work.

2.4. “Entrepreneur” within the meaning of these General Terms & Conditions shall mean any user who concludes the contractual agreement in connection with their trade, profession or self-employed work.

2.5. “Digital Content” within the meaning of these General Terms & Conditions shall mean data made available by the Provider for retrieval exclusively in digital form, in particular digitalised church records.

2.6. “Time Pass” within the meaning of these General Terms & Conditions shall mean a limited subscription, under which the user – on paying a one-off fee for the contractually agreed period – can call up any amount of the digital content that is provided, and is allowed to download the contractually agreed volume of content.

3. Scope of the Service

3.1. The Provider makes the Platform available in the respective form and with the respective functions existing at the time. The User shall not be entitled to have specific functions provided and maintained. The User shall not be entitled to have specific documents made accessible.

3.2. Insofar as is possible, the Provider endeavours to ensure the Platform’s permanent availability. However, technical faults, maintenance work and further development of the service may result in the availability of the Platform being restricted for a short time or briefly interrupted.

4. Registration, Contract Closure, User Account, Access Authorisation

4.1. Registration is not needed for merely visiting the Platform and for obtaining static information from the Platform.

4.2. In order to be able to use Archion to the full, Users have to register and set up a User Account. To register, a User must provide its email address, first name and surname, and country of residence or normal place of abode, and must choose a user name (together referred to below as “Access Data”). The User must keep its password secret and protect it against unauthorised third-party access. If the User loses its password or suspects that its Access Data is being used by a third party, it must report this to the Provider immediately.

4.3. The User is under obligation to provide the particulars requested on registration both accurately and in full. If the data collected change after registration has been completed, the User must update the particulars in its User Account without delay or – it this is not possible – immediately notify the Provider of the changes.

4.4. On sending off the registration form, the User submits to the Provider an offer to conclude a contract for use. If the Provider accepts the registration, the User receives a confirmatory email containing the Access Data for logging in. To complete the registration process, the User must log in to the Platform with the Access Data. The contract for use is brought about between the Provider and the User when the User logs in for the first time.

4.5. The Provider is entitled to reject individual registrations without stating any reasons.

4.6. The Access Data are intended exclusively for the User’s own personal use. The User is not entitled to pass on the Access Data to third parties or to otherwise disclose them. If the User is a legal entity or an association, access authorisation shall be restricted to a single person out of the group constituting the User.

5. User’s General Obligations

5.1. The User undertakes:

a) not to pick out information from the Platform or from Archion’s database using any systematic or automatic procedure;

b) not to use the Platform in any manner which might overload Archion’s systems or cause faults in said systems;

c) not to copy, modify or otherwise use the content and databases supplied by the Provider and not to make them publicly accessible other than by means of the functions offered by Archion, unless the Provider has granted the User the rights of use required for doing so.

5.2. The Provider reserves the right to take appropriate measures against Users who violate the aforementioned General Obligations, and in particular to exclude such Users from further use of Archion.

6. Use of the Forum

6.1. Registered Users can network on genealogical topics in Archion’s forum free of charge. The rules on forum use must be obeyed.

6.2. In the event of any breach of duty by the User, the Provider shall be entitled to take appropriate steps in order to prevent such breach. In particular, Users who break the rules on forum use can be excluded from further use of the forum. Moreover, the Provider reserves the right to temporarily block or permanently delete any illegal content or other content that is against the rules on forum use.

6.3. On publishing any item of content, the User grants the Provider in perpetuity the non-exclusive, worldwide right to keep the contribution on the forum pages together with the rights of use required for this purpose, in particular the right to store the content on the Provider’s server, to make it available to the public, and to keep it available for retrieval by third parties through the Internet or other data networks. The User’s consent shall be required for any manner of usage beyond this.

7. Uploading the User’s Own Content, Granting of Rights

7.1. Registered Users can upload and publish their own genealogical content on Archion free of charge.

7.2. Users shall not be entitled to have specific uploaded content published and distributed by the Provider.

7.3. The User undertakes not to upload, post, publish or otherwise distribute any illegal or illegally created content on or through the Platform. The following content in particular shall be inadmissible:

a) content for the use of which the User does not hold the necessary rights of use;

b) content which infringes another party’s right to privacy and other personality rights, such as the right to one's own picture of the persons depicted;

c) content publication of which is in breach of data protection law;

d) content the making of which involved infringing the proprietary rights of a property owner or some other entitled party;

e) content that contains pornographic, obscene or debasing motifs;

f) content that infringes another party’s copyrights, ancillary copyrights or trademark rights, or which is otherwise liable to civil action or prosecution.

7.4. The User shall be under obligation:

a) before posting content, to ensure that use thereof is permitted by law;

b) before uploading content, to obtain the consent of any persons concerned to the publication of their personal data, insofar as this is necessary; the Provider draws attention to the fact that publishing the vital records of living persons is only permitted with their prior consent;

c) insofar as is necessary, to obtain rights of use in content that entitle the User to in turn grant the rights of use specified in Item 7.6 below; and

d) to immediately notify the Provider if it establishes that it has posted illegal content on the website.

7.5. In the event of any breach of duty by the User, the Provider shall be entitled to take appropriate measures to prevent such breach. The Provider shall be entitled in particular to modify, block or delete any content that constitutes an infringement.

7.6. To the extent that is necessary for operating the service, the User shall grant the Provider in perpetuity those non-exclusive worldwide rights of use in the content it posts and publishes, such as are required for running the website.

In particular, the User shall grant the Provider:

a) the right to store the content on Archion’s server and post it on the Platform, and also to make the copies that are required for doing this;

b) the right to modify the content, insofar as is necessary for converting it into a data format suitable for the Platform;

c) the right to transmit the content, make it publicly accessible or otherwise reproduce it in public, and in particular the right to keep the content available for retrieval by third parties through the Internet or other data networks;

d) the right to use content or extracts from it for editorial reporting on Archion and for advertising the Platform in all manner of media – in particular via the Newsletter sent out by Archion – and to make the copies that are required for doing this, and also to grant third parties the rights of use needed for this purpose;

e) the right to permit third parties to download the content on to fixed or mobile devices and allow usage of the content for its designated purpose.

The granting of rights shall be effected on uploading an item of content on to Archion’s server. The User warrants to Archion that it is entitled and able to grant rights of use to the above-specified extent. If in doubt, Archion shall be entitled to demand proof from the User to the effect that the User holds the required rights of use in all the content it has posted which enjoys special legal protection.

8. User’s Liability / Indemnification

The User knows that in cases of illegally uploaded content or illegal forum postings, there is a risk of third parties asserting claims on the Provider by reason of the infringements of rights thus caused. If the User has culpably violated obligations laid down in these terms and conditions, thus infringing rights on account of which a third party makes claims on the Provider, the User shall be under obligation to indemnify the Provider from and against all the claims asserted by the third party. Indemnification shall also apply for all the necessary costs incurred on the Provider for its own legal defence, such as lawyer’s fees.

9. Retrieval and Downloading of Digital Content

9.1. Contract Closure, Period of Use, Device Limit

9.1.1. In return for payment, Archion keeps Digital Content – in particular digitalised church records – ready for retrieval by Users. A Time Pass has to be acquired for retrieving Digital Content. A Time Pass entitles the User to call up any amount of Digital Content during the contractually agreed period, and to download the contractually agreed volume of Digital Content.

9.1.2. On sending off the order form, the User submits a binding offer to conclude a purchase contract for the Time Pass that has been selected. The contract is brought about on receipt of the confirmation of order which the Provider then sends by email. Provision of access to the Digital Content shall be equivalent to the Provider issuing an express declaration of acceptance.

9.1.3. Together with the confirmation of order, the User shall receive a full copy of the wording of the contract, including the details of the order and these General Terms & Conditions, likewise sent by email. At any time, the latest version of the General Terms & Conditions can also be viewed by the User on the Provider’s website, which can be accessed generally.

Apart from this, the wording of the contract is not stored by the Provider, nor can it be accessed by the User in any other manner.

9.1.4. The period of use commences on receipt of the confirmation of order and on access thereupon being activated by the Provider.

9.1.5. A monthly pass entitles the User to retrieve Digital Content over a period of thirty days from the date on which the period of use commences. A yearly pass entitles the User to retrieve Digital Content over a period of one year (365 days) from the date on which the period of use commences. Time Passes for a fixed number of days entitle the User to retrieve Digital Content on the agreed number of days during a single year; the days on which the User accesses content can be freely chosen. One day shall be a period of 24 hours from the initial login in each case.

9.1.6. Retrieving Digital Content is limited to one device per User Account.

9.2. Prices, Payment

9.2.1. All prices include statutory turnover tax. Agreed fees fall due for payment immediately and are payable in advance.

9.2.2. For effecting advance payment, the User can choose between instant transfer, PayPal or credit card. Inside Germany, payment on receipt of invoice can also be chosen. Payments are handled via a payment service provider. After completing the ordering process, the User is taken to a page on the payment service provider’s website for the purpose of initiating payment procedure.

9.2.3. If payment by credit card is selected, the User on entering its credit card data authorises the Provider to charge its credit card in accordance with the general terms applying for credit card payments.

9.2.4. The User is under obligation to provide full and correct billing particulars in each case and to keep the information up-to-date. If the data cannot be updated in the password-protected user area, any changes must immediately be notified to the Provider.

9.3. Accessing Digital Content, Downloading, Availability, Scope of Use

9.3.1. The Digital Content made available by the Provider is accessed after the User has logged in with its Access Data.

9.3.2. The Digital Content offered is displayed to the User via the browser, in a viewer that is compatible with most current web browsers.

9.3.3. The services rendered may be restricted or impaired for reasons that are outside the Provider’s sphere of influence. These include in particular activities by third parties not acting under instructions from the Provider, technical conditions in the Internet over which the Provider has no control, and force majeure. The hard- and software as well as the technical infrastructure used by the customer may affect the Provider’s services. Insofar as any such circumstances affect the availability or functionality of the Provider’s performance, this shall have no influence on the services’ conformity with the contract.

9.3.4. For use outside the browser environment, Digital Content can be downloaded in PDF format to the extent agreed in the contract. The User needs a compatible PDF reader for viewing the document; using Adobe Reader is recommended, which is available free for numerous platforms.

9.3.5. Individual items of Digital Content which the User downloads with the help of the integrated download function are not subject to any usage restrictions imposed by the Provider.

9.4. Right of withdrawal for Consumers

If a User who is a Consumer acquires a Time Pass for retrieving Digital Content, it shall have a statutory right of withdrawal, regarding which the Provider gives the following information:



9.5. Legal Warranty Rights

In the event of defects emerging in the possibility of retrieving Digital Content that is acquired on purchasing a Time Pass, the User shall be entitled to the warranty rights laid down by law. The statutory warranty period is two years as from the date on which the Time Pass is acquired.

10. Contractual Term, Termination of the Contract

10.1. The contract for use is concluded for an indefinite period. The User shall have the right to give immediate notice terminating the contract at any time. If the User deletes its User Account, this shall be equivalent to giving notice. The Provider shall have the right to terminate the contract for use on giving 14 days’ notice.

10.2. This shall be without prejudice to the right of both contracting parties to terminate this agreement extraordinarily for good cause.

10.3. Notice of termination must be given in text form (e.g. email, letter). If the Provider integrates a delete function for the User Account in the password-protected user area, the User can also use this function to effectively give notice.

10.4. On termination of the contract for use, the User Account of the User shall be blocked. Following termination of the contract, the Provider shall be entitled to finally delete the User Account after a period of six months.

10.5. On termination of the contract for use, any remaining still unused portions of the Time Pass shall lapse without compensation, if the contract was terminated by the User or if the Provider was entitled to give extraordinary notice owing to a breach of duty by the User. The User shall have no right to claim reimbursement of any usage fees already paid. If the Provider terminates the agreement for reasons for which the User is not responsible, the Provider shall be obliged to refund pro rata to the User the fees for any still unused portions of a Time Pass.

11. Provider’s Liability

11.1. The Provider shall be liable in accordance with statutory provisions for any losses sustained by the User, insofar as such losses were caused with intent or owing to gross negligence, result from the lack of a guaranteed feature of performance, are based on a culpable breach of cardinal duty (see paragraph 2) or on culpably caused mortal injury, physical harm or health damage, or if liability applies under the Product Liability Act.

11.2. Cardinal duties are contractual obligations, performance of which is a prerequisite for due implementation of the contract in the first place and may always be relied upon by the contractual partner, and which conversely may jeopardise attainment of the contractual purpose if breached.

11.3. In the event of a breach of cardinal duty, liability shall be limited to those losses that have to be anticipated, by reason of the fact that they are predictable and typically associated with the provision of an offer such as that made by the Provider. The Provider shall only be liable for losses occurring atypically or unpredictably, insofar as such losses have been caused with intent; this shall not apply if mortal injury, physical harm or health damage are involved.

11.4. If damage sustained by the User is the result of losing data, the Provider shall not be liable insofar as the damage could have been avoided by the User regularly saving the entire relevant data at intervals commensurate with the value of the data. The User shall make a full data backup at regular intervals itself, or have this done by a third party.

11.5. If the User is an Entrepreneur, contractual liability in the event of a negligent breach of duty shall always be limited to the value of the Time Pass acquired. When determining the value, any reduction that has been agreed for claims for defects shall not be taken into account. Unless otherwise agreed, claims for lost profits shall be excluded; this shall not apply if mortal injury, physical harm or health damage are involved.  

11.6. In all other respects, liability on the part of the Provider and its vicarious agents for whatsoever legal cause shall be excluded.

12. Data Protection

Information on how the User’s personal data is collected, stored and used can be obtained from the Provider’s Privacy Policy.

13. Amendments to the General Terms & Conditions

13.1. The Provider shall have the right to supplement the General Terms & Conditions with provisions on the use of any newly introduced additional functions on Archion. Planned supplements to the General Terms & Conditions shall be announced to the User at least four weeks before the planned effective date, by being sent by email to the email address the User has provided. An amendment to the General Terms & Conditions shall be deemed approved by the User unless it objects to the amendment in text form (e.g. letter, email) within a period of two weeks, commencing the day after the amendment is announced. When announcing an amendment, the Provider undertakes to specifically draw attention to the possibility of objecting, stating the deadline for filing an objection, the requirement for text form, and the significance or consequence of failing to object.

13.2. If the User objects to an amendment to the General Terms & Conditions in good time and in due form, the contractual relationship shall be continued on the terms applying hitherto. The Provider reserves the right in this case to terminate the contractual relationship within two weeks of the objection being filed.

13.3. The General Terms & Conditions can be amended at any time with the User’s express consent.

14. Place of Jurisdiction, Governing Law

14.1 If the User is a registered trader, a legal entity under public law or a special institutional fund under public law, Hamburg (Germany) shall be exclusive venue for all and any claims arising from the contractual relationship.

14.2 The contract shall be exclusively governed by German law, excluding CISG. If the User is a Consumer, the compulsory consumer protection provisions in force in the country where the User has its normal place of abode shall apply, insofar as those provisions afford the User more far-reaching protection.

Kirchenbuchportal GmbH
Balinger Str. 33/1
70567 Stuttgart

Phone: +49 (0) 711/78237880
Chief Executive Officer: Harald Müller-Baur
Commercial Register / Registration Number:
Stuttgart Local Court / HRB 746037