terms_of_useGlobal cooperation among journalists – this is our goal with Hostwriter! However, we are aware that this platform needs to be protected against abuse: Supporting colleagues with an advice doesn´t mean to reveal sensitive sources, engaging in research-teams is not an invitation to steal someone else´s story, sleeping overnight at a colleague´s place mustn´t be misunderstood as staying at a hotel room free of charge!

We believe that most journalists have a good heart, but in order to have a legal instrument against violations, we will include a “CODE OF ETHICS” as part of our general TERMS OF USE. All members need to accept these in order to join Hostwriter.  With the help of the lawyer´s office “Latham & Watkins LLP” in Hamburg, we came up with the draft below. Please take a moment and read this section of Hostwriter´s “terms of use” carefully – we are very happy for your feedback if you feel something is still missing!

Hamburg/Berlin, 28.2.2013 – DRAFT –

Code of Ethics

The goal of Hostwriter is to enable journalists to interact. The principles of fairness and collegiality amongst journalists must be observed and fellow users’ investigative and creative efforts and their rights therein must be respected at all times. (…) By accessing Hostwriter you agree to act responsibly within the community. In particular it is prohibited to:

a)     use Hostwriter in violation of applicable laws, this includes in particular the invocation or encouragement of illegal activities.

b)    Use Hostwriter in connection with or with the purpose of infringing or violating protected (e.g. by copyright (Urheberrecht), trademark (Markenrecht) patent (Patentrecht) design patent (Geschmacksmusterrecht, utility patent (Gebrauchsmusterrecht) or personal rights (Persönlichkeitsrecht)) third party content.

c)     engage in any activities that are likely to interfere with or otherwise improperly hinder the functionality of the Hostwriter infrastructure and thereby impede the websites’ usability for their members.

d)    contact, approach or harass other members in unacceptable ways especially by means of spam (cf. section 7 of the Law Against Unfair Competition (Gesetz gegen unlauteren Wettbewerb (UWG));

e)     stalk, intimidate or otherwise harass other members of Hostwriter.

f)     collect, store and use information about another member of Hostwriter in a manner that goes beyond the measures allowed by Hostwriter and to pass this information on to a third parties.

g)     use Hostwriter for any commercial purpose other than journalistic activities (in particular for hospitality services for remuneration).

h)    register for more than one membership account

i)      supply misleading information about your person or to pretend to be a person other than yourself, e.g., by posting specific information or leaving out certain information.

j)      attack or circumnavigate the Hostwriter infrastructure or the Hostwriter service.

k)    support third parties in the execution of above mentioned activities.

l)      misappropriate investigative or other confidential information collected or otherwise obtained by other users.

m)   abuse Hostwriter as a service for hotels or other commercial providers of accommodation, e.g., by posing as a journalist in order to arrange hotel bookings.


In case of a violation against any of the terms stated above reserve the right to: (a) terminate your access to our services, (b) deactivate or delete your account and all information and files connected to it and /or (c) bar you from access to the files or services at our own digression and without any liability. Under no circumstances are you allowed to register for another Hostwriter account in any of the above named circumstances without our prior written consent.