General Terms and Conditions of Use ("Terms of Use")

1. Acceptance of Terms

The following terms and conditions govern all use of the Discuss Data Platform (the Platform) and the services available on or at the Platform (the Platform and the services taken together, the Service) by you and any third parties who use your Account. Use of the Service is offered subject to acceptance of and compliance with all of the terms and conditions contained herein (the General Terms of Use) and all other applicable operating rules, policies and procedures of the Service. By clicking ‘I accept’ and/or by your use of the Service, you agree and accept all the terms in this Terms of Use document (Agreement).

2. Modification of Terms

Discuss Data reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to modify or replace any of the terms in this Agreement at any time without prior notice to Users.

Users will be notified if modifications to the Terms of Use are made and need to accept changes before continuing using the service.

3. General Rules of Conduct

In using the Service, you represent that you have read and understood the Platform’s Rules and Best Practices in full. You shall abide by all applicable local, state, national and international laws and regulations in your Use of Service, and your Use of Service shall not:

  1. Infringe any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, right of publicity or other right of any other person or entity
  2. Be unlawful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, deceptive, fraudulent, invasive of another’s privacy, or otherwise offensive or unlawful
  3. Constitute spamming
  4. Cause, introduce into the Service, or otherwise use software viruses or any other computer codes, files, or programs that are designed or intended to disrupt, damage, limit or interfere with the proper function of any software, hardware, or telecommunications equipment, or that are designed or intended to damage or obtain unauthorized access to any system, data files or other information of Discuss Data or any third party
  5. Impose an unreasonable or disproportionately large load on Discuss Data’s (or its third-party providers’) infrastructure (to be determined by Discuss Data in its sole discretion). Uploads of Data Collections exceeding 2 Gigabytes require the approval of the responsible Curator(s)
  6. Interfere or attempt to interfere with the proper working of the Service or any activities conducted on the Service
  7. Bypass any measures Discuss Data may use to prevent or restrict access to the Service (or other Profiles, computer systems or networks connected to the Service)

4. Conduct Requirements

As a condition to your gaining Use of Service, you are required to register for and be logged into a Profile on Discuss Data. You shall provide Discuss Data with accurate and complete Registration Information and regularly update such information to maintain its completeness and accuracy. Failure to do so may result in immediate termination of your Profile. Discuss Data reserves the right to refuse registration of or cancel a Profile in its sole discretion.

You are solely responsible for any activity that occurs on your Profile and shall be responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your Profile password. You shall never use another Registered User’s Profile. You will immediately notify Discuss Data in writing of any unauthorized use of your Profile, or other Profile-related security breach of which you are aware.

In having a Profile on the Service, you acknowledge that:

  1. Your Profile details (including first name, last name, and email address) are searchable by other Registered Users;
  2. Your Profile details may be recorded when you download Data Collections, and that information can then be viewed by the owner of the Data Collection and the responsible Curator(s); and
  3. Your first name, last name, and affiliation will be displayed on the Service in connection with your User Uploads.

5. Services

The Service provides you with the ability to upload and download Data Collections, post comments and references related to Data Collections as well as search for Registered Users and Data Collections. The Service may be extended through further functionalities in the future.

5.1 User Uploads

After the successful pre-Publishing preparation process (see ‘Best Practices for Data Submission’), the Data Depositor can Publish the Unpublished Data Collection. The Data Depositor has the right to determine the access/download restrictions for the specific Data Collection.

Discuss Data has no obligation to monitor the Platform, Service, Content, or User Uploads. Discuss Data may remove any User Upload at any time for any reason (including, but not limited to, upon receipt of claims or allegations from third parties or authorities relating to such User Upload). In this case, the Data Depositor will be informed of removal.

You acknowledge that Discuss Data does not endorse, take responsibility for, or make any representations or warranties for any User Uploads, and will not be liable for (1) User Upload content, format, metadata, or lack thereof; (2) representations or warranties made by the User about the User Uploads; and (3) any loss of or damage to User Uploads, either in whole or in part, from whatever cause.

5.1.1 Restrictions

In contributing content to the Platform, you must ensure that the content complies with the Terms of Use. If your User Upload does not comply with the Terms of Use, Discuss Data has the right in its sole discretion to take down your User Upload. The Service also gives each Curator the ability to change Data Collection access/download restrictions by designating User Uploads if violations of copyrights or privacy rights have been reported. Thus, Curators can modify the access restrictions and Publish or deactivate any User Uploads at any time.

Discuss Data aims to, but is in no way obliged to, review all User Uploads before they are made available on the Platform, or before they are Published. Therefore, you will be held legally and financially responsible for all damages if content you contribute violates anything in this Agreement.

By posting User Uploads, or by allowing others to do so, you make the following representations and warranties to Discuss Data:

  1. User Uploads do not infringe upon the copyrights or other intellectual property rights, including, but not limited to patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, right of publicity or other right of any third party
  2. User Uploads do not violate any laws
  3. In the event you become aware of any issues after submitting a User Upload, you will promptly notify Discuss Data and the relevant Curator(s) of any confidentiality, privacy or data protection, licensing, or intellectual property issues regarding the User Uploads
  4. User Uploads do not contain software viruses or any other computer codes, files, or programs that are designed or intended to disrupt, damage, limit or interfere with the proper function of any software, hardware, or telecommunications equipment or to damage or obtain unauthorized access to any system, data files, or other information of Discuss Data or any third party
  5. User Uploads have been given all relevant, obligatory, and applicable approvals for posting such materials with the Content included and in the format uploaded, including, but not limited to, approvals from third parties with whom Registered Users have relevant contractual obligations
  6. User Uploads must be void of all identifiable information, such that re-identification of any subjects from the amalgamation of the information available from all of the materials (across Data Collections) uploaded under any one Author, Data Depositor and/or Registered User should not be possible. Specifically, User Uploads cannot contain social security numbers; credit card numbers; medical record numbers; health plan numbers; other Profile numbers of individuals; or biometric identifiers (fingerprints, retina, voice print, DNA, etc.). The only exceptions for when identifiable information is allowed are when:
    • The information has been previously released to the public
    • The information describes public figures, where the data relates to their public roles or other non-sensitive subjects
    • A sufficient length of time has passed since the collection of the information
    • All identified subjects have given explicit informed consent allowing the public release of the information in the Data Collection. The respective consent forms (or scans of them) have to be submitted together with the Data Collection
    • All identified subjects are deceased and no legal statute explicitly restricts the release of the data

5.1.2 Licences and Permissions to Discuss Data

All necessary permissions and required licences you want to grant to Discuss Data to make the content you submit or deposit available for archiving, preservation and access, within the Platform and with partner online data repositories cooperating with Discuss Data, are explicitly specified in the Data Submission Agreement you sign with the FSO.

This may include the permission to:

  1. Re-disseminate copies of the content in a variety of distribution formats according to the Terms of Use of Discuss Data
  2. Promote and advertise the content in any publicity (in any form) for Discuss Data and partner repositories
  3. Describe, catalogue, and document the Data Collections
  4. Store, copy or re-format the content in any way to ensure its future preservation and accessibility, and improve usability and/or protect respondent confidentiality
  5. Incorporate Metadata or the Documentation of Data Collection in the content into public access catalogues

You may also grant to Discuss Data all necessary permissions, waivers and required licences to share any published content’s Metadata you submit or deposit.

You represent and warrant that you are lawfully entitled and have full authority to licence to Discuss Data the content you submit or deposit in the ways described in these Terms of Use; and you are not under any obligation or restriction created by law, contract or otherwise that would prevent you from entering into and fully performing these Terms of Use.

None of the above supersedes any prior contractual obligations with third parties that require any information to be kept confidential. Nothing in this Agreement obligates you to disclose information to Discuss Data if such information is otherwise confidential or proprietary. Discuss Data aims to, but is not obliged to, approve User Uploads before they are posted; therefore, you are solely responsible for the User Uploads you post on or through the Service and all possible confidentiality or other privacy issues that may arise from your posting any User Uploads.

5.1.3 Data Usage Licences

Discuss Data offers four forms of Data Usage Licences for Data Depositors to choose from. The licenses define, how a Data Collection can be used:

[A] the Open Data Commons Attribution License (ODC-BY), where the Data Depositor permits others to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work, as well as make and distribute derivative works based on it, if proper attribution is provided;

[B] the Open Data Commons Open Database License (ODbL), where the Data Depositor permits others to create and distribute derivative works, but only under the same or a compatible license (“share alike”); and

[C] a "No sharing"-License, where the Data cannot be shared, reused or redistributed.

[D] an Individual Licence Agreement defined by the Data Depositor.

Whenever any use of or reference to any content of the Data Collection is made, the Data Collection has to be cited according to our ‘Citation’ rules.

5.2 Downloading Data Collections

The Platform represents that it will use all reasonable efforts to maintain open access to Data Collections for Users to download, subject to Data Depositors’ restrictions and any applicable legal restrictions. The Platform collects and stores Download Data from each download for all Registered Users, which can then be accessed by the Data Depositor and the responsible Curator(s).

Downloaders represent that, in downloading any material from the Platform, they:

  1. Have read and understood the Platform’s Rules and Best Practices in full
  2. Will abide by the applicable Data Usage Licence of the Data Collection
  3. Have done their due diligence in ensuring that they do not download and use any Data Collections or other materials where prohibited by applicable law

VI. Termination

If you wish to terminate your Profile, you may use the ‘Terminate Profile’ function in your Profile settings. Discuss Data may terminate your access to all or any part of the Service at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice, effective immediately.

All provisions of the Terms of Use which by their nature should survive termination shall survive termination, including, without limitation, ownership provisions, warranty disclaimers, indemnity and limitations of liability.

VII. Warranties

The Service (including, without limitation, all Content and User Uploads) is provided ‘AS IS’ and ‘AS AVAILABLE’ and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of title, non-infringement, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, and any warranties implied by any course of performance or usage of trade, all of which are expressly disclaimed.

Without limiting the forgoing, Discuss Data does not warrant that: (A) the Content or User Uploads are timely, accurate, complete, reliable or correct in their posted forms on the Service; (B) the Service will be secure; (C) the Service will be available at any particular time or location; (D) any defects or errors will be corrected; (E) the Platform, Content or any User Upload are free of viruses or other harmful components; or (F) the result of using the Service will meet your requirements. Your use of the Service is solely at your own risk.

VIII. Limitation of Liability

In no event shall Discuss Data and its affiliates, or their directors, employees, agents, partners, or suppliers, be liable under contract, tort, strict liability, negligence or any other legal theory with respect to the Service or any Content or Data Collection (1) for any direct damages, or (2) for any lost profits or special, indirect, incidental, punitive, or consequential damages of any kind whatsoever.

Discuss Data is not responsible for third party contents this Platform links to and this Platform is linked by.

IX. Indemnification

You will indemnify and hold Discuss Data harmless from and against any and all loss, cost, expense, liability, or damage, including, without limitation, all reasonable attorneys’ fees and court costs, arising from i) your use or misuse of the Service; (ii) your access to the Platform; (iii) your violation of the Terms of Use; or (iv) infringement by you, or any third party using your Profile, of any intellectual property or other right of any person or entity, including but not limited to infringements upon any and all representations made by you in this Agreement. Such losses, costs, expenses, damages, or liabilities shall include, without limitation, all actual, general, special, and consequential damages.

X. Dispute Resolution

You and the Research Centre for East European Studies at the University of Bremen agree that any cause of action arising out of or related to the Service must commence within one [1] year after the cause of action arose; otherwise, such cause of action is permanently barred.

These Terms of Use shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with German law (excluding the conflict of laws rules thereof). The default place of jurisdiction is Bremen, Germany. You consent to the jurisdiction of such courts and waive any jurisdictional or venue defences otherwise available.

XI. Integration and Severability

This Agreement is the entire agreement between you and Discuss Data with respect to the Service and use of this Platform, and supersedes all prior or contemporaneous communications and proposals (whether oral, written or electronic) between you and Discuss Data with respect to this Platform (but excluding the use of any third-party software, widgets, and applications that may be subject to a separate end-user licence agreement).

Should individual provisions of this Agreement be invalid or impracticable or subsequently become invalid or impracticable, this shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions. The invalid or impracticable provision shall be replaced with a valid and practicable provision that comes as close as possible to the purpose that the Contracting Parties pursued with the invalid or impracticable provision. The aforementioned provisions shall also apply accordingly should the Contract prove to be incomplete.

XII. Miscellaneous

Discuss Data may assign, transfer or delegate any of its rights and obligations hereunder without consent. No agency, partnership, joint venture, or employment relationship is created as a result of the ‘General Terms and Conditions of Use’ and neither party has any authority of any kind to bind the other in any respect outside the specified terms of this Agreement. In any action or proceeding to enforce rights under these Terms of Use, the prevailing party will be entitled to recover costs and attorneys’ fees.

*The General Terms and Conditions of Use are based on the Harvard Dataverse Sample Data Usage Agreement. Copyright (c) 2014 Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science.