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,
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.
Last updated: 6 September 2022
If you wish to redistribute Pale Moon, you are free to do so, with the
following limitations and restrictions:
- There is NO CHARGE for the download or distribution of the
It is therefore not permitted if, without
- 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.)
- You charge for redistribution rights of the browser
binaries, yourself (you have no rights to it)
- 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.
- 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.
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,
- You have re-packed the browser in a different archive
format (either common or proprietary).
- An exception to this is re-packaging required for
operating systems' package management, e.g. rpm, deb, pet.
- This exception is only permitted if repackaging does
not materially alter the browser or its configuration.
- 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.
- You have added language packs/add-ons/plugins/etc. to
the downloadable/installable unit
- You have added third-party
tools/toolbars/utilities/etc. to the downloadable/installable unit.
- You have changed supplied default preferences of the
browser, including but not limited to search engines, home page,
network settings and rendering settings.
- You include a pre-set user profile or template.
- You have removed any component from the browser
- You have edited or removed text or script files
- The binaries have been in any way infected with or
include a virus, trojan, or other malware.
- 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.
- 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.
- An exception to this is system-supplied package managers
for various Linux distributions.
- The binaries are not supplied or built as an integral part
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.
- The binaries are not supplied or built as an integral part
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
build on the target operating system, the exception in this point does
not apply and the license defaults to point 10, instead.
of "officially branded variants specifically built
for the target operating system": If an officially-built binary (i.e.
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
on the maintainer who will have to take full responsibility for the
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
- 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.
- If you wish to independently distribute binaries for other
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
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
- 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
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.
- 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
- Withdrawal of permission is done via notice from the
trademark owner(s), either publicly or privately.
- Withdrawal of permission overrules any exception or
exemption that may exist (e.g. those listed under points 7 and 8).
- 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).
- 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.
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
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:
- 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!
- If an inclusion is not authorized,
contacting us will alert us to the issue at hand (we don't have the
to constantly scour the Internet for this kind of thing) so people can
to order if needed.