Buy Nothing Project
Open Source Attribution
We have chosen to offer our foundational Buy Nothing Project documents as a freely-given gift in ways that empower people to join our Project and worldwide movement. Several years ago, we began to license our materials to people via Creative Commons Licenses that allow non-commercial use, sometimes with the power to use our documents to create derivative works. This allows local Buy Nothing communities to bring our Project to life in ways that meet their unique local cultural and historical realities and needs. The Buy Nothing Project includes a variety of Local Variation communities who are bringing our ethos and documents to life in ways that serve their own particular gift economy needs. The documents that carry a Creative Commons License that allows for derivative changes are our Fine Print and our Group Description document.

Other foundational documents carry a Creative Commons License that allows you to share them for non-commercial use without any modifications. All of the Creative Commons Licenses we use require that you retain full attribution, including our names and the link to the original document that we provide, in your version and any future versions of the work you license from us. That’s the beauty of open source documents: They preserve each work’s lineage and allow many voices to join a shared narrative without anyone losing credit for their work.

This page contains information to help you license the Buy Nothing Project Creative Commons License documents in ways that respect copyright law.

Check the bottom of each document you are using, as Buy Nothing Project documents have a variety of copyright types. Some are traditional, with all rights reserved (these can’t be reproduced without permission and cannot be changed); some have a Creative Commons License that allows for non-commercial use with no derivative works allowed (you can share these documents in their entirety, as they are written, without making any changes); some have a Creative Commons license that allows for personal, non-commercial use with derivative works allowed (a "derivative work" is one that allows you to make edits to the original, provided that follow the rules of the license and attribute your changes to yourself and the original text to us). All of the Creative Commons Licenses we use require full attribution in any and all future derivative works.

Below is a full attribution paragraph that meets your obligation under the Creative Commons Licenses we use for our Buy Nothing Project documents. By using this attribution on any Buy Nothing Project Creative Commons License documents, along with your own attribution, you will be in compliance with the license we grant you. All you need to do is to add the document title and link to that document’s Creative Commons License (you will find this information in each document) - in the text below, we have indicated where this information goes, see the “PASTE...” text below:

This work was created by Liesl Clark and Rebecca Rockefeller on behalf of the Buy Nothing Project. By using this document, you license it from us. This document (PASTE DOCUMENT TITLE HERE) is available to license as a gift to the world for non commercial use, with attribution and this link: to support the international Buy Nothing gift economy movement. You must include this entire attribution section in any version of this document, including any derivative versions you create. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License (PASTE LINK TO LICENSE HERE - this varies from document to document; copy and paste the one that replicates the license on the document you are using).

As a general rule, your community will be included as a Buy Nothing community on our free website directory if:
  • It remains a gift economy, in which everything is freely given without expectation of any reward;
  • You are using Buy Nothing Project documents as a basis for your group rules and mission;
  • Your use of Buy Nothing Project materials complies with copyright and trademark laws;
  • Your community is an expression of the Buy Nothing Project ethos and mission.

Possible changes that are in line with the Buy Nothing Project ethos include, but aren’t limited to:
  • Changing age limit to join. Please be aware that some social media platforms have their own age limits that control ability to participate.
  • Not allowing gifting of animals, or certain categories of animals
  • Requiring people to post in a certain format such as only posting asks on one thread or making people label their posts “Give” or “Ask”