Redistributing Pale Moon

Even though Pale Moon is open source and the source is supplied under the Mozilla Public License, redistribution of the Pale Moon binaries (executable form) is limited by certain conditions under a proprietary license by Moonchild Productions, as permitted under 3.2b of the MPL v2.0. This has been required because of, among other things, the increasing number of rogue/altered copies and people taking advantage of the free availability of the browser to monetize upon, which is against Pale Moon's principles of free software.

Even though Pale Moon is supplied as open source, our branding included in the source tree is protected and you are not granted any rights or licenses to the Pale Moon name, logo, or other identifying official branding marks, names or phrases. To clarify the situation if you redistribute the browser in either source or executable form, please see points 8, 10 and 12 below.
Since our source code is released under a mixed license, explicitly excluding any rights to the trademarks therein, the branding assets and trademarks included remain the sole property of Moonchild (M. Straver) and rights are only granted by exception and under specific circumstances. Even though the assets are included in our source tree, you have no rights to use them or include them in any resulting software, regardless of how it is produced, unless explicitly granted by agreement or stated exceptions below.

This license covers redistribution of officially supplied binaries and some policies regarding binaries built from source with official branding, which is allowed in some circumstances. In case of any doubt, always err on the side of caution and verify with the project owner before publicly distributing Pale Moon or including it in a distribution framework.

Redistribution license

Last updated: 6 September 2022

If you wish to redistribute Pale Moon, you are free to do so, with the following limitations and restrictions:
  1. There is NO CHARGE for the download or distribution of the browser package.
    It is therefore not permitted if, without limitation:
    1. You charge for the download of the binary packages (e.g. paid hosting service, pay-per-download, subscription, etc.) or access to them (password protected sites/archives/etc.)
    2. You charge for redistribution rights of the browser binaries, yourself (you have no rights to it)
    3. You charge for a physical medium like a CD or DVD. Example: If you provide a "cover disk" with a printed magazine, that is considered a "no charge" item (free bonus item with the magazine) and is therefore allowed. If you provide a disk-based magazine (digital) that includes Pale Moon, the medium itself is paid for and considered a "charge" item, and is therefore not allowed.
  2. You don't require the obligatory submission of personal data (name, e-mail, telephone number, address, age, gender, ID, or similar) to download the binaries. If you require registration of users before they can download Pale Moon, you are not allowed to distribute it. Users must, at all times, have the clear and equal option to download Pale Moon without surrendering any personal information to you.
  3. The binaries and/or archives are completely UNALTERED. This includes addition or removal of any component of the browser or redistributing modified parts of the browser as-built (including, without limitation, predefined profile components, altered jar or omni files, or modified .exe or dll components). Redistribution is therefore not permitted if, without limitation:
    1. You have re-packed the browser in a different archive format (either common or proprietary).
      1. An exception to this is re-packaging required for specific target operating systems' package management, e.g. rpm, deb, pet.
      2. This exception is only permitted if repackaging does not materially alter the browser or its configuration.
    2. The binaries are packaged in "bundle" archive formats like AppImage, flatpak, SNAP or similar formats that include any other libraries or files not in the original package.
    3. You have added language packs/add-ons/plugins/etc. to the downloadable/installable unit
    4. You have added third-party tools/toolbars/utilities/etc. to the downloadable/installable unit.
    5. You have changed supplied default preferences of the browser, including but not limited to search engines, home page, network settings and rendering settings.
    6. You include a pre-set user profile or template.
    7. You have removed any component from the browser package.
    8. You have edited or removed text or script files (including license files, readmes, JavaScript modules, etc.).
    9. The binaries have been in any way infected with or include a virus, trojan, or other malware.
    10. The binaries and program structure have been in any way obscured (e.g. by using application virtualization) making it difficult or impossible to check for the previously listed alterations.
  4. The browser can be obtained without the use of third-party software not officially endorsed, including but not limited to: download managers, stub installers, wrappers, proprietary clients or proprietary protocols. This includes any offering of such unendorsed downloading software or methods, regardless of offering "direct" downloads or allowed methods alongside the unendorsed ones.
    1. An exception to this is system-supplied package managers for various Linux distributions.
  5. The binaries are not supplied or built as an integral part of a commercial/non-commercial software package/larger works ("package"). If you wish to do this, you must contact us beforehand to obtain permission and discuss terms. Inclusion in a package will be subject to an individual agreement (either extemporaneous or legalized) which may or may not involve compensation.
  6. The binaries are not supplied or built as an integral part of a commercial/non-commercial website/web service/on-line venue/etc. ("service"). If you wish to do this, you must contact us beforehand to obtain permission and discuss terms. Inclusion in a service will be subject to an individual agreement (either extemporaneous or legalized) which may or may not involve compensation.
  7. An exception applies to points 5 and 6 of this license for educational purposes if bundled with other open source software or supplied as part of a curriculum or in-college resource for students.
  8. An exception applies to point 5 of this license for inclusion of the officially branded binaries in non-commercial variants of UNIX-like operating systems (e.g. Linux). This exception only applies to unaltered versions of the Pale Moon binaries or officially branded variants specifically built for the target operating system from source that have not been materially changed (including build configuration not necessary for the resulting binary's proper operation and brand-specific configurations like e.g. home page, default search engine). If any of the essential settings or build configuration of the browser are altered beyond what is strictly needed for providing a working and stable build on the target operating system, the exception in this point does not apply and the license defaults to point 10, instead.
    1. Clarification of "officially branded variants specifically built for the target operating system": If an officially-built binary (i.e. built by our team) is available for the target operating system (e.g. existing Linux binaries), then those binaries will always, in principle, take precedence over a third-party build to ensure necessary QA and compatibility. Building and distributing a binary with official branding is in that situation only in principle allowed if an actual variant build is required for the target distribution's compatibility (e.g. kernel or library requirements) or operation, and otherwise not impacting the material content of the browser package as a whole. QA of and user support for the resulting variant binaries will in that case fall on the maintainer who will have to take full responsibility for the variant binary.
    2. When redistributing the browser in source form through a distribution system that imposes or can impose a specific configuration for building and run-time operation (e.g. portage ebuilds, ABS/AUR PKGBUILDs, port Makefiles) that configures the build system to use official branding in the resulting binary, you (as a package maintainer/distributor) must adhere as closely as possible to the build configuration used in official generic binaries. You must not reconfigure the build system or browser preferences beyond what is necessary to produce the browser on the target operating system. Any individual additional configurations done on the browser (either build- or run-time) must be done by the end user, not imposed by package maintainers/distributors. In principle, browser preferences and the supplied profile defaults must not be changed for the exception outlined in this point.
  9. This redistribution agreement and any Individual Agreements for the redistribution of executable code are provided by Moonchild Productions ("Moonchild", "M.C. Straver") explicitly for the Pale Moon executable code, and not by the Initial Developer or any Contributor. The Initial Developer and every Contributor is hereby indemnified for any liability incurred by the Initial Developer or such Contributor as a result of these terms.
  10. The only exception to this redistribution license not otherwise covered in points 7 or 8 is if the repackaged or specialized build with official branding has been pre-approved by Moonchild for redistribution. Contributed builds with official branding are subject to a screening process, may be accepted or rejected, may be re-screened at a later time, and may have their endorsement for use of official branding removed at any time if there is any reason to do so, in Moonchild's sole discretion, from which point forward redistribution of the officially-branded build(s) in question is no longer allowed.
    For redistribution in source form (e.g. through any of the various source packaging systems such as portage, ABS/AUR or ports) under our mixed license with protected trademark assets included, with significant configuration changes imposed (see 8b), pre-approval of the build configuration and preference changes is likewise required if the use of official branding is configured and the resulting binary on the end user's system will be identified as an official Pale Moon distribution. If not approved, you must not instruct the build system to produce officially-branded binaries on the target system.
  11. If a distribution is authorized as per point 10, the contributed build may be redistributed in unaltered form by third parties as set out in the points above, and under the same conditions.
  12. If you wish to independently distribute binaries for other platforms, building from Pale Moon source code ("contributed builds"), you may not use official branding unless these builds have also been approved as a contributed build as per point 10 of this license or if they are exempt under the conditions defined in points 7 or 8 of this license. Notwithstanding the above, you obtain no rights to the Pale Moon name or logo, merely the permission to use it for the contributed build, and only for as long as it is officially endorsed or satisfies the conditions for exemption. In all other cases you must use significantly different branding files/graphics and a significantly different name for the browser.
  13. Unofficial branding ("Browser") as supplied in the source code may be used for unendorsed binaries. Thusly branded binaries with the unofficial logo and product name are not subject to the endorsement and exception rules as set out in previous points of this license and may be freely distributed in altered or unaltered form, subject to the Mozilla Public License as regards source code changes and availability. This permission does, however, not include any rights or license to the Pale Moon name and logo that may still be present in the resulting unofficially branded binaries. This unofficial branding is provided as a courtesy for transitional use only and intended only for the transitional period (of reasonable length) in which a new product identity is established. Use of unofficial branding should not be unduly perpetuated and should be ceased at the earliest opportunity when a product identity is established.
    Unofficially branded binaries may not, in any way, be presented as officially-endorsed or otherwise related to Pale Moon, Moonchild Productions or the project as a whole.
  14. We reserve the right to withdraw permission for the use of official branding and/or redistribution of officially-branded binaries either as a whole or for specific target environments at any time, with or without stated reason. If this permission is withdrawn, you must remove any and all copies of the officially-branded browser or imposed build configuration with official branding from your distribution channel(s)/system(s) and cease distributing the officially-branded software immediately.
    1. Withdrawal of permission is done via notice from the trademark owner(s), either publicly or privately.
    2. Withdrawal of permission overrules any exception or exemption that may exist (e.g. those listed under points 7 and 8).
    3. Withdrawal of permission terminates any individual agreements that may exist with third parties if they are in conflict with a withdrawal notice, and the withdrawal is explicitly including the third party (e.g. by name or product name).
  15. At all times, the latest version of this redistribution license will prevail in case of a conflict of terms of the latest version with any previously existing versions of this license.

This license may be updated without notice, so please make sure to check back on occasion if you redistribute the browser in any form. That being said, there is no intention of making changes to the core of this license and the main premise of free availability behind it.

If you have any questions about this redistribution license, think anything is in error or wish to discuss individual redistribution terms for your specific scenario, then please get in touch via legal{at}

Authorized inclusions

Pale Moon may be authorized for inclusion in commercial or non-commercial software packages in its executable form following an individual agreement (as explained in the redistribution license above). For reference, always contact us if it is not clear if inclusion of the Pale Moon browser is authorized, especially when it comes to commercial software. There are some individual agreements with software vendors, which may not be public, listed, or announced, so if there is any doubt, get in touch first. This will tackle two problems at once:
  1. If an inclusion is authorized, it potentially prevents incorrect bad press for the company, which should never be anyone's intention. So before making public posts about a suspected breach of the above license, always contact us to verify!
  2. If an inclusion is not authorized, contacting us will alert us to the issue at hand (we don't have the time to constantly scour the Internet for this kind of thing) so people can be called to order if needed.

Site and contents Copyright © 2009-2023 Moonchild Productions - All rights reserved
Pale Moon is subject to the following licensing.
Policies: Cookies - User Content - Privacy.