General Terms & Conditions of Use of SwissCommunity for Members

1.    Scope and subject of General Terms & Conditions

1.1    The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (hereinafter "the OSA"), founded in 1916, is now organized as a foundation. The object of the OSA is to inform, network, defend and advise the approximately 770,900 Swiss citizens who live abroad. With this underlying purpose, the OSA has devised and implemented the communication platform SwissCommunity (hereinafter "the Platform") for the Swiss abroad. It is available at The Platform seeks primarily to facilitate contact among and between the Swiss abroad and Switzerland and, where necessary the Swiss authorities. The Platform is divided into a public section and a section accessible only to members (hereinafter "Member Area"), which offers special services. These include news exchange, for communication with other Swiss abroad, special offers open to members, and an events calendar.

1.2    To be able to make full use of the Platform, interested Swiss citizens who live, have lived or are planning to live abroad shall register as members. Registration shall take place via a special form on the Platform.

1.3    The present General Terms & Conditions (hereinafter "Terms & Conditions") establish the conditions of membership and terms of use of the Platform. A member shall expressly accept these Terms & Conditions on registration and is bound to comply with them. Any new services, offered online in the Member Area after initial registration, shall also be governed by these Terms & Conditions. Registration and log-in shall be impossible, and expressly prohibited, without express prior acceptance of the Terms & Conditions.

1.4    The OSA reserves the right to amend the present Terms & Conditions at any time and without prior notice and shall inform members of such amendments at their next log-in. Members shall accept such amendments by checking the appropriate checkbox. The accounts of members who do not accept the amendments shall be blocked and closed 14 days after notification of the amendments.


2.    Minimum age

The services in the Member Area are not intended for people under the age of 15. The OSA reserves the right to block and close a member's account without notice, where there is evidence that a person aged under 15 is using the account.


3.    Registration

3.1    Members shall register before using the services in the Member Area. Members shall vouch that all particulars supplied on registration are true and complete. The basic information shall also be kept accurate, complete and up-to-date after registration. In particular, this includes: first name, surname, e-mail address, year of birth, canton of origin, street, postcode, place, region and country. They are bound immediately to notify the OSA of any changes in their profile particulars. It is expressly forbidden to place accounts at the disposal of third parties and to disclose access details to third parties.

3.2    At the first stage of registration, new members shall supply a valid e-mail address and select a password that they are bound to keep confidential. At the next stage, members shall state additional information such as their first name, surname, sex, mother tongue, language of correspondence, the place of residence and the occupation. There is no guarantee concerning registration. The OSA shall be free to reject applications for registration, without stating reasons. If the OSA accepts an application for registration, joining members shall receive an e-mail giving a link to activate the member’s account and to clear access to the Member Area.

3.3    Each member shall only register once and set up only one profile.

3.4    For technical reasons, OSA cannot establish with certainty whether a member registered in the Member Area really is the person he or she claims to be. OSA shall therefore provide no guarantee as to members' true identities’. Members shall therefore be responsible for verifying other member's identities for themselves.

3.5    Registration results in a contractual relationship (usage contract) between the OSA and the member. By accepting the Terms & Conditions, they become a contract component. The member receives a personal, non-transferable right, revocable at any time, to use the contents and services of the Member Area and undertakes to comply with these Terms & Conditions and the restrictions set out in them during such use.

3.6    Membership shall be free of charge.

3.7    The OSA reserves the right to modify, suspend or discontinue individual services and/or sections of the Member Area, or all of them, at any time and without prior notice, in whole or in part. The OSA reserves the further right to deny access to individual or all services, without prior notice at any time.


4.    User content

4.1    The OSA shall allow Members to publish their own content on a personal profile page, group forums, in the chat or in the events calendar, or elsewhere. Members shall alone be responsible for ensuring that such content in no way breaches the prohibitions and rules stated in these Terms & Conditions. Members shall especially be responsible for ensuring that their content is legal and that they are entitled to publish such content and make it available to third parties. The OSA hereby declines all liability for such content.


4.2    Specially labelled fields are available to members at a cost for the publication of commercial content and can be used to promote commercial activities. The negotiation of terms and conditions as well as drafting of contracts with regard to promoted products and/or services are carried out directly between members and interested parties and therefore are done so outside of the platform.

4.3    The OSA is not bound to monitor and check content added by members to ensure that no unlawful content and/or content contrary to these Terms & Conditions appears on the page, but reserves the right to so do. The OSA further reserves the right to delete such content without notice, if it discovers, or is informed by third parties, or suspicion exists, that such content breaches applicable law and/or the provisions of these Terms & Conditions.


5.    Express prohibition of illegal acts and general rules of conduct

By accepting the Terms & Conditions, members undertake to use the Member Area exclusively for lawful purposes. Members shall note that it is strictly forbidden to use, or allow third parties to use, their accounts for purposes which are illegal and/or otherwise prohibited under these Terms & Conditions. Such prohibition shall apply in particular, though without limitation, to content which:


5.1    is openly offensive and fosters or incites racism, bigotry, hatred or physical violence of any kind against groups or individuals or force of any kind against property;


5.2    is offensive, threatening, obscene, disrespectful, indecent, defamatory or libellous or causes harassment in another way or supports such undesirable forms of behaviour;


5.3    encourages sexual or violent exploitation of persons;


5.4    comprises nudity, violence or indecent images;


5.5    requires, or is designed to elicit, personal information from persons under the age of 15;


5.6    publishes information which poses a risk to the protection of personal data or security;


5.7    contains or endorses information which, to the best of the member's knowledge, is false or misleading;


5.8    infringes intangible property rights (to trademarks, designs, patents or copyright), especially which constitutes or promotes illegal or unauthorized copies of copyright works of other persons, e.g. pirated copies of computer programs or links to them, information on defeating copy protection set up by manufacturers and pirated copies of music or links to pirated copies of music files;


5.9    entails sending junk mails, chain letters or unsolicited mass mailings, SMS, spinning or spamming;


5.10    has restricted, password-only access or contains hidden pages or images;


5.11    promotes or supports unlawful acts or plans or contains instructions on illegal acts, e.g. making or buying illegal weapons, breach of privacy or the supply or development of computer viruses;


5.12    requires other users to disclose passwords or personal particulars for commercial or illegal purposes, or is designed to do so;


5.13    contains commercial activities unless they can be found in point 4.2;


5.14    contains photographs or videos of other people, which have been published without the consent of those people;


5.15    infringes, or attempts to infringe, in particular privacy laws, contract law or the rights of third parties;


5.16    contains website links which are prohibited under this Article.


5.17     an appropriate tone and relevant comments are required in discussion forums. The code of conduct that applies to the discussion forums shall be adhered to.

6.    Intellectual property

6.1    By using the services in the Member Area, members shall obtain neither intangible property rights to the contents nor any rights to the software underlying the services. Members shall expressly acknowledge that the software, the pages themselves and all contents are protected by copyright and that members hold no licences whatsoever, other than for their own, personal use. Members shall expressly recognize that they hold no other intangible property rights and/or claims to such rights. All rights pertaining to the Platform shall belong to the OSA.

6.2    By the uploading of content, members shall grant the OSA a world-wide, free licence, which may be sublicensed, to use such content.


7.    Cancellation of contractual relations between OSA and members

7.1    The OSA reserves the right to debar members from the Member Area at any time, without stating reasons, and to block and close their accounts without claims against the OSA arising. If illegal activities are presumed to have taken place, the OSA reserves the right to notify the competent prosecuting authorities.

7.2    Once the OSA has closed and removed a member's access, that member shall be forbidden from entering the Member Area and especially from re-registering as a member, without the express, prior, written consent of the OSA. Other members shall be prohibited from allowing ex-members, or other persons whose accounts have been blocked and closed, to use their accounts.

7.3    Members shall be free to close their accounts at any time in the Member Area using the profile settings.


8.    Data protection and use of information

8.1    The protection of members' and users' data is important to the OSA. The OSA shall comply accordingly with Swiss data protection legislation.


8.2    Our Privacy Policy is an integral part of these General Terms and Conditions.

8.3    When registering for full access to the Member Area of the Platform, members shall furnish information such as e-mail address, password, first name and surname, sex, language of correspondence, mother tongue, canton, postcode, city, country and occupation. Members may also supply extra profile information during registration. After registration, members may retrieve their profiles at any time, to add to or delete - as long as the information is not compulsory - personal information.

8.4    The OSA shall use such data for registration purposes and, if so desired by the member, for distributing any newsletters from the canton(s) chosen by the members, and for sending the OSA newsletter and the SwissCommunity Online Magazine and a one-off mailing of the Swiss Tourism “Network Switzerland” Kit. Members not wishing to receive further issues of the OSA newsletter or individual communications can make the relevant changes in their user profile in the Member Area at any time.

8.5    The OSA reserves the right to record all communications and further data in relation to the activity of a member, to enable it to immediately remove any illegal statements or statements contrary to the Terms & Conditions and/or content which may come to its knowledge, and thus prevent offences or contractual infringements in particular from taking place and to prevent recurrent offences. Such data may also be stored to provide evidence in investigations and any legal proceedings. The OSA shall be entitled to store the content recorded in this way for at least 10 years within the scope of the legal retention period and to support its own claims.


8.6       After the closing of an account, the OSA is entitled to retain or delete all activities on the platform (e.g. contributions on the discussion forum, events etc.)


9.    Guarantees

9.1    No guarantees shall be given as to the accuracy of information and opinions conveyed via the Platform, either expressly or implicitly.

9.2    The OSA shall give no guarantees regarding the minimum availability of the Platform and/or of the Member Area. It shall, however, endeavour to maximize such availability. Members shall note that software underlying the Platform is continually undergoing development and that processes cannot be guaranteed to be fault-free at all times. The OSA expressly reserves the right to block the Member Area without notice, where necessary to investigate malfunctions, for maintenance work or for closer examination of cases of abuse.


10.    Liability

10.1    The OSA hereby disclaims all liability for the Platform, in particular for content displayed thereon and communications passed via it. The OSA shall likewise not be liable for any losses arising from impossibility of use of the Member Area. Such disclaimer shall also apply to interruption, temporary suspension or termination of the services.

10.2    The OSA shall in no case be liable for content provided by members. Members shall alone be responsible for all information and data which they send, display or notify via the Member Area.

10.3    The OSA shall accept no liability for the behaviour of members and/or third parties or for content or statements forwarded by members and/or third parties in the context of the services.

10.4    The OSA shall accept no liability for links, for contents of pages linked in the Member Area, and for content uploaded by other members and/or third parties. The OSA has no influence on third-party websites. If the OSA incurs loss through the behaviour of members and/or third parties, they shall indemnify the OSA accordingly. The OSA shall accept no liability for misuse of members' accounts by third parties. The member shall be liable him/herself for all action taken by third parties using a member's access details.

10.5    The OSA shall not be liable for minor negligence or indirect losses.


11.    Final provisions

Should any provision of these Terms & Conditions be considered unworkable, this shall not affect the validity of all or any other provisions. Failure by the OSA to implement a provision shall imply no waiver thereof.


12.    Applicable law and jurisdiction

Swiss law alone be applicable; sole jurisdiction shall be Berne.



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