Which policies apply to AMO-listed addons vs. self-distributed addons?

I’ve read all of https://extensionworkshop.com/documentation/publish/add-on-policies/, but I’m still unclear: which of these only apply to AMO-listed add-ons, and which apply to self-distributed add-ons, too?

If they apply to all add-ons, then where can I find the separate policies for AMO listing? (Could a link to such be added to the linked page?)

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Hi @ishygddt_xyz, the policies apply to both listed and unlisted extensions. Do you have any questions about any particular part of the policies?

Hi, and thanks for the response!

Are you certain that listed and self-distributed extensions are held to the same rules?

The “prototypical” example / what inspired me to ask is the Dissenter add-on [a 3rd-party comments module allowing users to easily chat amongst themselves about any URL], which was barred from the AMO store but [presumably] not refused signing for self-distribution given that it didn’t contain any “surprises” or non-consensual user data processing.

I’m concerned in particular over whether or not I’m allowed to build arbitrary add-ons for personal use (or use among a small friend group), without forcing everyone to switch to the ESR or Nightly branches or find a maintained, trusted, unbranded fork. What specific limitations does Mozilla impose on this use-case?

We do have some additional content conditions for listing on AMO:

All add-ons submitted for listing on AMO are subject to Mozilla’s Conditions of Use.

If you sign an add-on through AMO, your add-on – listed or unlisted – is subject to review at any time.

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Those regulations state, among other things, that:

You may not use any of Mozilla’s services to: …Upload, download, transmit, display, or grant access to content that includes graphic depictions of sexuality or violence

Does this mean that (for instance) an add-on which e.g. provides a gallery-view for 4chan or enables unmoderated peer-to-peer filesharing would be prohibited even from private distribution among non-development Firefox users?

Or does that page of regulations only apply to AMO-listed extensions? I’m sorry if I sound redundant; I just want to be certain whether that page does, or does not apply to unlisted, self-distributed extensions.

In particular: would Mozilla ever take actions to block [such as denying signatures to] an unlisted add-on which egregiously broke the regulations on that page, but that completely abided by the main page’s rules about malware and secure handling of user data?

Despite this topic’s age, my question remains.

Are self-distributed add-ons exempt from these policies, or are they subject to them?

  • Upload, download, transmit, display, or grant access to content that includes graphic depictions of sexuality or violence

All add-ons signed by AMO are subject to the Add-on Policies regardless of how they are distributed.

I’m not asking whether add-ons are subject to those policies; that page clearly states that it applies to all add-ons — obviously, I have no trouble understanding that Mozilla won’t sign any code with “surprise” data harvesting.

What I’ve been asking for official clarification on is terms which are in the Mozilla AUP but are not in the Add-on policies — such as the ban on any code that may “display” sexual content.

I understand that AMO-listed add-ons must adhere to both documents: no phishing and no sexual content.

But I’m still unclear on whether both of those documents, or just the Add-on policy, apply to unlisted, self-distributed add-ons.

That link states,

It’s clear enough that the AUP applies to add-ons which are AMO-listed; I don’t have any questions about that; it states that in plain language.

But I’m trying to get official confirmation whether the converse also applies — does the AUP not apply to non-AMO-listed add-ons?

The Add-On Policy is (as of Feb 27th, 2024) completely silent on that question, and I’d like to get some resolution to the ambiguity there.

For example: Would it be a violation of the Add-On Policy for a self-distributed add-on to “display, or grant access to” sexual content?

Or could such an add-on rest assured that Mozilla would continue signing it so long as it otherwise continued to abide by the Add-On Policy?

Hey @ishygddt_xyz, thanks for the clarification. I took a closer look at the policy language and I see your point. I’ll have to reach out to some other folks to get some more info.

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@ishygddt_xyz, I wasn’t able to get a concrete answer. I’m not a lawyer and this is not legal advise, but my personal view is that the structure of this clause does imply that the Acceptable Use Policy does not apply to items that are not listed on adding.mozilla.org.

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Thank you, all for your dedication. These discussions are always valuable.

Well, thanks for checking, anyway.

Please let me know if we ever get an official answer.

Indeed, that seems the most reasonable reading of it — it’s my (optimistic) interpretation, too.

But I really do want to get some kind of confirmation from someone at Mozilla who’s in the position to legitimately provide that kind of confirmation. It’s crazy times we live in…