Origin Project Terms of Use

Updated: April 20, 2021

Welcome to Origin! By using this site, you:

  • Acknowledge that while we (Environmental Investigation Agency, Inc., the operators of Origin) are providing a platform of information generally provided by companies about the origin of raw materials in their products, and we are taking steps to encourage companies to provide accurate and up to date information,  we cannot and are not vouching for the accuracy of any individual origin information provided.  
  • Agree that we are not liable for any loss or damage that arises from your use of Origin or your purchase of any of the products on Origin. 
  • Acknowledge that copyright in all images and text belong to their respective copyright holders.

And here’s the longer legal version of these binding terms: 

Our Terms of Use (the “Terms of Use” or “Agreement”) represent an agreement between you and the Environmental Investigation Agency, Inc. (“EIA”) for use of the Origin mobile application and website located at https://originproject.org/, hereinafter referred to collectively as “Origin”.  The terms “we”, “us”, and “our” refer to EIA. “You” and “your” refers to you, as a user of Origin.  By using Origin and its Services, you agree to be bound by these Terms. If you violate these Terms of Use, we may limit, suspend, or prohibit your use of Origin. If you do not agree to be bound by these Terms of Use in their entirety, you may not access or use Origin.  

We reserve the right to modify these Terms of Use at any time, in which case the revised Terms of Use will appear on Origin. Continued use of Origin after we post any such changes will constitute your acceptance of the Terms of Use, as modified.

Privacy. Please refer to our Privacy Policy (https://eia-origin.herokuapp.com/privacy) for information on how and what information from our users we collect, use and disclose. You acknowledge and agree that your use of Origin is subject to our Privacy Policy.

Description of Services.  Origin is provided solely for your personal, non-commercial use. Origin is intended to assist consumers make informed purchasing choices and decisions by increasing transparency and educating consumers about the origin of raw materials included in products for purchase (“Origin Information”). Origin enables consumers to scan a product’s barcode or search for a product by name and/or keyword to determine the Origin Information prior to making a purchase. If there is no Origin Information listed for a product, users may use Origin to generate a pre-populated message to a manufacturer or seller of a product (a “Company”) via a variety of contact methods to ask the Company to make such information available. Collectively, these are referred to as the “Services” provided by Origin.

Origin Information.  We obtain Origin Information in one of three ways: i) through publicly available sources, such as reports, retail websites, or other marketing materials published by a Company; ii) via communications between users and a Company that have been sent to and verified by EIA staff; or iii) via direct communications between a Company and EIA staff. While we work to ensure the integrity of the Origin Information, we cannot guarantee its accuracy or any analysis based thereon. We will correct any errors, inaccuracies, or omissions that we become aware of, and we reserve the right to change or update Origin Information at any time, without prior notice. To request an update to Origin Information or to report inaccurate Origin Information, please contact us at: [email protected].

Company Messages. Origin gives users the ability to contact a Company via a variety of contact methods with pre-populated or personalized messages for the purpose of obtaining Origin Information about a product the Company manufactures or sells (“Company Messages”). While we provide the platform to contact a Company, any Company Messages you send are sent on your own behalf and not on behalf of us. We do not have any obligation to screen or vet your Company Messages. We are not responsible for any damage or harm resulting from your Company Messages or interactions with other users or other third parties (such as a Company that makes or markets the product that is the subject of a particular Company Message). If you use Origin to send Company Messages you agree that you will not send a Company Message for the purpose of any of the following: 

  • Voicing concerns which are in no way related to environmentally conscious purchasing;
  • Spamming;
  • Selling products;
  • Fundraising or otherwise collecting money (whether for yourself or any other cause);
  • Promoting violence;
  • Displaying pornographic or explicit material;
  • Explicitly advocating discrimination against a protected group distinguished by race, religion, ethnic origin, disability, sex, age, veteran status, sexual orientation or gender identity;
  • Soliciting, promoting or encouraging criminal or clearly reckless behavior;
  • Engaging in hate speech;
  • Impersonating others;
  • Violating others’ privacy;
  • Bullying others, and/or promoting bullying, harassment or intimidation;
  • Causing harm to children;
  • Promoting and/or encouraging illegal or unlawful activity; or
  • Breaking the law.

Ranking. Origin’s databases are dynamic, which means that any ranking numbers used may change based on how many products are listed, new Origin Information, or other factors. Please be advised that we do not recommend that companies create marketing materials based on our database ranking systems, given that the rankings may change as the database is updated.

User Representations. By using Origin, you represent and warrant that: 1) all registration and other information you submit, if any, is truthful, accurate, current and complete; 2) you will maintain the accuracy of such information and promptly update such registration information as necessary; 3) you have the legal capacity and you agree to comply with these Terms of Use; 4)  you are not under the age of 13; and 5) you are not a minor in the jurisdiction in which you reside, or if a minor, you have received parental permission to use Origin. 

User Registration. You may be required to register with Origin and assigned a username and password with which to access restricted areas. You agree not to use the username or password of another user at any time or to disclose your password to any third party. You agree to notify us immediately if you suspect any unauthorized use of your username or access to your password. You are solely responsible for any and all uses of your username and password.

User Generated Content (UGC). The UGC functionality provides the opportunity to share knowledge and post other helpful or meaningful information. By submitting content or information of any type (a “Posting”) to the functionality, or by otherwise using the functionality to transmit or display a Posting, you automatically grant EIA a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive right and license to use, reproduce, modify, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, transmit, perform, and display such content or information (in whole or in part) worldwide and/or to incorporate into other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed for the full term of any rights that may exist in such content or information. You also acknowledge that such submissions are non-confidential for all purposes. Moreover, you agree that by using the UGC functionality you will not include in a Posting any of the following materials:

  • Statements or materials that, in EIA’s sole judgment, may endanger or otherwise affect EIA’s tax-exempt status, including but not limited to content on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office, and content that contains propaganda or that otherwise attempts to influence legislation; 
  • Statements or material that are unlawful, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic, indecent, lewd, suggestive, harassing, abusive, threatening, invasive of privacy or publicity rights, abusive, inflammatory, fraudulent, or otherwise objectionable; 
  • Unauthorized copyrighted materials or any other material that infringes on the intellectual property rights, trade secrets, or privacy of another; 
  • Statements or material that violates other contractual or fiduciary rights, duties, or agreements; 
  • Statements or material that encourages criminal conduct or that would give rise to civil liability or otherwise violates any law or regulation in any jurisdiction; 
  • Statements or material that contains vulgar, obscene, profane, or otherwise objectionable language or images that typically would not be considered socially or professionally responsible or appropriate in person; 
  • Statements or material that impersonates any other person or entity, whether actual or fictitious, including employees and representatives of EIA;
  • Anything that violates the privacy or publicity rights of any other person; 
  • Promotions, advertising or solicitations;
  • Statements or material that are off-topic, irrelevant, or inappropriate; 
  • Statements or materials that, in the sole judgment of EIA, are objectionable or which restrict or inhibit any other person from using or enjoying Origin, or which may expose EIA or its users to any harm or liability of any type; 
  • Statements or material that constitute junk mail, spam, or unauthorized advertising or promotional materials; and 
  • Files that contain malicious code, viruses, corrupted files, or any other similar software or programs that may damage the operation of another’s computer, network, or Origin.

Third Party Websites and Content.  As part of the Service, we may provide you with links to third party website(s) (“Third Party Sites”) as well as articles, photographs, text, graphics, pictures, designs, music, sound, video, information, applications, software, and other content or items belonging to or originating from third parties (“Third Party Content”).  These links and content are provided as a courtesy for the convenience of our users. Third Party Sites and Third Party Content are maintained by third parties over which we have no control and have not necessarily been reviewed by us. Use of Third Party Sites and Third Party Content is at your own risk.  We expressly disclaim any responsibility for the content, materials, the accuracy of the information and/or quality of the products or services provided by, available through, or advertised on these Third Party Sites or in Third Party Content, and we disclaim all liability with regard to your access to and use of Third Party Sites and Third Party Content.  

No Endorsement. Inclusion of products in Origin, Origin Information, or ranking does not imply approval or endorsement of a product or a Company. Inclusion of, linking to, or permitting the use or installation of any Third-Party Websites or any Third-Party Content does not imply approval or endorsement thereof by us. Any purchases you make through Third-Party Websites will be through other websites and from other companies, and we take no responsibility whatsoever in relation to such purchases which are exclusively between you and the applicable third party. We make no representations or warranties about any of the products in Origin. We hereby disclaim all warranties with regard to the products in its databases, including express, statutory, implied warranties of merchantability, or fitness for a particular purpose.

Prohibited Activities.  You may not access or use Origin for any purpose other than that for which we make it available. Origin may not be used in connection with any commercial endeavors except those that are specifically endorsed or approved by us. As a user of Origin, you represent and warrant that you will not:

  • systematically retrieve data or other content from Origin to create or compile, directly or indirectly, a collection, compilation, database, or directory without written permission from us;
  • make any unauthorized use of Origin, including collecting usernames and/or email addresses of users by electronic or other means for the purpose of sending unsolicited email, or creating user accounts by automated means or under false pretenses;
  • circumvent, disable, or otherwise interfere with security-related features of Origin;
  • engage in unauthorized framing of or linking to Origin;
  • misuse or abuse the hashtag #OriginProject or any other hashtag created to promote Origin; trick, defraud, or mislead us or users of Origin;
  • make improper use of our support services or submit false reports of abuse or misconduct;
  • engage in any automated use of the system, such as using scripts to send comments or messages, or using any data mining, robots, or similar data gathering and extraction tools;
  • interfere with, disrupt, or create an undue burden on Origin or the networks or services connected to Origin;
  • attempt to impersonate another user or person or use the username of another user;
  • use any information obtained from Origin in order to harass, abuse, or harm another person or company;
  • use Origin as part of any effort to compete with us or otherwise use Origin and/or the Content for any revenue-generating endeavor or commercial enterprise;
  • decipher, decompile, disassemble, or reverse engineer any of the software comprising or in any way making up a part of Origin;
  • attempt to bypass any measures of Origin designed to prevent or restrict access to Origin, or any portion of Origin; 
  • harass, annoy, intimidate, or threaten any of our employees or agents engaged in providing any portion of Origin to you; 
  • delete the copyright or other proprietary rights notice from any Origin Content;
  • copy, adapt, or redistribute Origin’s software, including but not limited to Flash, PHP, HTML, JavaScript, or other code; 
  • upload or transmit (or attempt to upload or to transmit) viruses, Trojan horses, or other material, including excessive use of capital letters and spamming (continuous posting of repetitive text), that interferes with any party’s uninterrupted use and enjoyment of Origin or modifies, impairs, disrupts, alters, or interferes with the use, features, functions, operation, or maintenance of Origin;
  • upload or transmit (or attempt to upload or to transmit) any material that acts as a passive or active information collection or transmission mechanism, including without limitation, clear graphics interchange formats (“gifs”), 1×1 pixels, web bugs, cookies, or other similar devices (sometimes referred to as “spyware” or “passive collection mechanisms” or “pcms”);
  • except as may be the result of standard search engine or Internet browser usage, use, launch, develop, or distribute any automated system, including without limitation, any spider, robot, cheat utility, scraper, or offline reader that accesses Origin, or using or launching any unauthorized script or other software;
  • disparage, tarnish, or otherwise harm, in our opinion, us and/or Origin; and
  • use Origin in a manner inconsistent with any applicable laws or regulations.

Website and Application Management. We reserve the right, but not the obligation, to: (1) monitor Origin for violations of these Terms of Use; (2) review and investigate users suspected of violating these Terms of Use and take any appropriate action against such users that we determine necessary in our sole discretion; (3) take appropriate legal action against anyone who, in our sole discretion, violates the law or these Terms of Use, including without limitation, reporting such user to law enforcement authorities; (4) in our sole discretion and without limitation, notice, or liability, to remove from Origin or otherwise disable all files and content that are in any way burdensome to our systems; and (5) otherwise manage Origin in a manner designed to protect our rights and property and to facilitate the proper functioning of the website and mobile application.

Intellectual Property Rights.

(A) Our Limited License to You. Unless otherwise indicated, Origin and all content and other materials on Origin, including, without limitation all trademarks, service marks, designs, texts, graphics, pictures, information, data, software, methods, inventions, sound files, other files and the selection and arrangement thereof (collectively, the “Origin Materials”) are the proprietary property of us or our licensors, or users and are protected by U.S. copyright, trademark, and other intellectual property laws. We permit you to view and use a single copy of the materials obtained from Origin solely for your personal and noncommercial use. Except as expressly permitted on Origin, you agree not to license, distribute, create derivative works from, transfer, sell or re-sell any information, Origin Materials, or Services obtained from Origin. No graphics, photographs or other visual elements obtained through Origin may be used, copied, or distributed separate from the accompanying text without the prior express written consent of the original owner or us. This permission given to you terminates automatically if you breach any of these Terms of Use. You are not permitted to use Origin Materials except as expressly set forth herein. You may not under any circumstances attempt to deface, shut down or otherwise damage Origin. You may not, without our written permission, “mirror” any content contained on Origin or any other server.

(B) Notice of Copyright Infringement. If you are a copyright owner who believes your copyrighted material has been reproduced, posted, or distributed via Origin in a manner that constitutes copyright infringement, please report the violation to our designated copyright agent by sending written notice by U.S. mail to P.O. Box 53343, Washington, DC 20009 or by email to [email protected]

(C) Restrictions on Linking and Framing. You may establish a hypertext link to Origin, provided that the link does not state or imply any sponsorship or endorsement of your site by us. Framing is permitted only if you obtain prior written permission from EIA.  

Mobile Application Use License.  If you access Origin via a mobile application, then we grant you a revocable, non-exclusive, non-transferable, limited right to install and use the mobile application on wireless electronic devices owned or controlled by you, and to access and use the mobile application on such devices strictly in accordance with the terms and conditions of this mobile application license contained in these Terms of Use. Apple and Android Devices. The following terms apply when you use a mobile application obtained from either the Apple Store or Google Play (each an “App Distributor”) to access Origin: (1) the license granted to you for our mobile application is limited to a non-transferable license to use the application on a device that utilizes the Apple iOS or Android operating systems, as applicable, and in accordance with the usage rules set forth in the applicable App Distributor’s terms of service; (2) we are responsible for providing any maintenance and support services with respect to the mobile application as specified in the terms and conditions of this mobile application license contained in these Terms of Use or as otherwise required under applicable law, and you acknowledge that each App Distributor has no obligation whatsoever to furnish any maintenance and support services with respect to the mobile application; (3) in the event of any failure of the mobile application to conform to any applicable warranty, you may notify the applicable App Distributor, and the App Distributor, in accordance with its terms and policies, may refund the purchase price, if any, paid for the mobile application, and to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, the App Distributor will have no other warranty obligation whatsoever with respect to the mobile application; (4) you represent and warrant that (i) you are not located in a country that is subject to a U.S. government embargo, or that has been designated by the U.S. government as a “terrorist supporting” country and (ii) you are not listed on any U.S. government list of prohibited or restricted parties; (5) you must comply with applicable third-party terms of agreement when using the mobile application, e.g., if you have a VoIP application, then you must not be in violation of their wireless data service agreement when using the mobile application; and (6) you acknowledge and agree that the App Distributors are third-party beneficiaries of the terms and conditions in this mobile application license contained in these Terms of Use, and that each App Distributor will have the right (and will be deemed to have accepted the right) to enforce the terms and conditions in this mobile application license contained in these Terms of Use against you as a third-party beneficiary thereof. 

Disclaimer. Your use of Origin and the Services is at your own risk.  All content on Origin and the Services is provided to you on an “as is” “as available” basis without warranty of any kind.  Without limiting the foregoing, we expressly disclaim all warranties, whether express, implied, or statutory, regarding Origin or the Services, including, without limitation, any warranty of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title, security, accuracy, and non-infringement.  Without limiting the foregoing, We make no warranty or representation that access to or operation of Origin or the Services will be uninterrupted or error-free.  We do not warrant, endorse, guarantee or assume responsibility for any Company Messages sent by a user or any product or service described on or offered by a third party on Origin and we will not be a party to or in any way be responsible for monitoring any transaction, including Company Messages, between you and any third-party providers of products or services. You assume full responsibility and risk of loss resulting from your downloading and/or use of files, information, content, or other material obtained by Origin or the Services.

Limitation of Liability. To the maximum extent permitted by law, in no event shall we, any other party (whether or not involved in creating, producing, maintaining or delivering Origin or the Services) and/or the officers, directors, funders, employees or agents of any of them be liable for any direct, incidental, or consequential damages of any kind, including, without limitation, loss of use, loss of income, loss of actual or anticipated profits, loss of business, loss of contract, loss of goodwill or reputation, loss of anticipated savings, loss of, damage to, or corruption of data, whether based in contract, tort (including but not limited to negligence), strict liability or otherwise, arising out of or in any way connected with the use of Origin, the Services, or any content or materials contained in or accessed through Origin or the Services including, without limitation, any damages caused by or resulting from reliance by user on any information obtained by us or that result from mistakes, omissions, interruptions, deletion of files or email, errors, effects, viruses, delays in operation or transmission or any failure of performance, whether or not resulting from acts of god, communications failure, theft, destruction, or unauthorized access to EIA’s records programs or services, even if we have been advised of the possibility of such damages. If you are dissatisfied with Origin, any content, materials, or services or with these Terms, your sole and exclusive remedy is to discontinue using Origin and the Services.  

Indemnification. You agree to defend, indemnify, and hold us harmless, including our subsidiaries, affiliates, and all of our respective officers, agents, partners, funders, and employees, from and against any loss, damage, liability, claim, or demand, including reasonable attorneys’ fees and expenses, made by any third party due to or arising out of: (1) your Company Messages; (2) use of Origin; (3) breach of these Terms of Use; (4) any breach of your representations and warranties set forth in these Terms of Use; or (5) your violation of the rights of a third party, including but not limited to intellectual property rights. Notwithstanding the foregoing, we reserve the right, at your expense, to assume the exclusive defense and control of any matter for which you are required to indemnify us, and you agree to cooperate, at your expense, with our defense of such claims. We will use reasonable efforts to notify you of any such claim, action, or proceeding which is subject to this indemnification upon becoming aware of it.

Termination. Notwithstanding any of these Terms of Use, we reserve the right, without notice and in our sole discretion, to discontinue Origin and any Services offered through Origin and to terminate your license to use and block your access to Origin at any time without notice. 

Severability/Waiver. In the event that any portion of this Agreement is held to be unenforceable, such portions shall not limit or otherwise modify or affect any other portion of this Agreement. The failure of either party to this Agreement to insist upon the performance of any of the terms and conditions of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any breach of that provision or of any other provision.

Attorneys’ Fees, Governing Law, and Jurisdiction. If you attempt to bring any legal action against us based in any way on its products or Services, including our databases, you agree that, in the event you do not prevail or we are the prevailing party, you will reimburse us for any costs and attorneys’ fees associated with EIA’s defense of the action. The validity, interpretation, and performance of this Agreement shall be controlled by and construed under the laws of the District of Columbia. You agree that any action at law or in equity arising or in any way relating to this Agreement shall be filed only in the state and federal courts located in the District of Columbia and you hereby irrevocably and unconditionally consent and submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of such courts over any suit, action or proceeding arising out of this Agreement.

Feedback. We welcome feedback, comments, and suggestions for improvements to Origin and its Services (“Feedback”). You can submit Feedback by emailing us at [email protected]. You grant to us a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, fully-paid, royalty-free, sublicensable and transferable license under any and all intellectual property rights that you own or control to use, copy, modify, create derivative works from, distribute, transmit, perform, display and otherwise exploit the Feedback for any purpose.

Questions & Contact Information. Thank you for your cooperation. Questions or comments regarding Origin or these Terms of Use should be directed to: [email protected]; Environmental Investigation Agency, P.O. Box 53343, Washington, DC 20009.