Licensing Information

Important information about distributing software from Artifex

If you want to distribute Ghostscript® technology or make it available to your software-as-a-service (SaaS) or application service provider (ASP) customers, you've come to the right place: Artifex is the exclusive commercial licensing agent for Ghostscript software and MuPDF. You should know that there is no "public domain" version of Ghostscript or MuPDF. All versions of Ghostscript and MuPDF are provided under one of two licenses described below. If you plan to distribute Ghostscript or MuPDF or make them available to your SaaS or ASP customers, you should understand the differences between these licenses. The kind of distribution or use you plan to make of Ghostscript or MuPDF, as explained below, will determine whether you need a commercial license from Artifex. Please note that the following rules apply even if you ship or make available a free demonstration version of your own product or application. An "application," as referenced below, can be any type of software product or application, tool, system or utility.

Versions of Ghostscript and MuPDF are licensed under two types of licenses...

1. Artifex Ghostscript and Artifex MuPDF. Artifex Ghostscript and Artifex MuPDF is any version of Ghostscript or MuPDF licensed for commercial use and distribution under an Artifex Commercial License. Artifex is the exclusive commercial licensing agent for Ghostscript and MuPDF technologies.

2. AGPL Ghostscript and AGPL MuPDF. AGPL Ghostscript and AGPL MuPDF are distributed under the GNU Affero General Public License (the "AGPL").

PLEASE NOTE:

AGPL Ghostscript is not optimized for the stringent resource requirements of embedded environments such as laser printer or MFP applications. The Artifex Ghostscript distribution includes additional engineering work that makes this distribution commercially competitive for these environments. To obtain this distribution for evaluation at no cost, please contact .

If your entire application is licensed to the public under the GNU Affero General Public License (AGPL), you can provide AGPL Ghostscript or AGPL MuPDF with your application without a commercial license...

If your application, including all of its source code, is licensed to the public under the AGPL, you are authorized to ship AGPL Ghostscript and AGPL MuPDF with your application, and to allow your users to remotely interact with AGPL Ghostscript and AGPL MuPDF along with your application, under the terms of the AGPL license agreement. You do not need a commercial license from Artifex. The terms of the AGPL include the requirement that your application be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third parties. Moreover, the entire application must be licensed to the public under the AGPL.

If your application is not licensed to the public under the AGPL and you plan to provide Ghostscript of MuPDF software...

If your application (including its source code) is not licensed to the public under the AGPL, you are not authorized under the terms of the AGPL to ship AGPL Ghostscript or AGPL MuPDF with your application, or to allow your users to remotely interact with AGPL Ghostscript and AGPL MuPDF along with your application, if any one of the following is true:
  • your application contains a copy of some or all of AGPL Ghostscript or AGPL MuPDF;
  • your application is derived from, is based on, or constitutes a revision of some or all of AGPL Ghostscript or AGPL MuPDF;
  • your application includes one or more functions that use some or all of AGPL Ghostscript or AGPL MuPDF.

These criteria apply to your application as a whole. Even if only one section of your application satisfies one of these criteria, you are not authorized under the terms of the AGPL to ship AGPL Ghostscript or AGPL MuPDF with your application, or to allow your users to remotely interact with AGPL Ghostscript and AGPL MuPDF along with your application, unless your application (including all of its source code) is licensed to the public under the AGPL.

If your application (including its source code) is NOT licensed to the public under the AGPL and you intend to distribute Ghostscript or MuPDF to a third party for use with and usable by your application, or to allow your users to remotely interact with AGPL Ghostscript and AGPL MuPDF along with your application, you MUST first obtain a commercial license from Artifex.

Examples of Distribution/Network use requiring a commercial license:

  • Distributing Ghostscript (or any component thereof) within your non-AGPL application.
  • Distributing Ghostscript on the same media with your non-AGPL application for use with and by your application.
  • Distributing Ghostscript embedded within hardware.
  • Running Ghostscript on your network servers and permitting your users to interact with Ghostscript as part of your non-AGPL application.

Does Artifex recommend the commercial license? Artifex recommends that all commercial entities that wish to either distribute Ghostscript or MuPDF, or to make them available to their SaaS or ASP customers, to enter into the Artifex Commercial License with Artifex. Not only does it free you from having to conform to the requirements and restrictions of the AGPL licenses, but it also provides you with additional protections and rights, such as support. AGPL Ghostscript and AGPL MuPDF are provided "AS-IS" without warranties or support of any kind.

Note: Past open source licenses

Artifex has distributed Ghostscript and MuPDF in the past under two other open source licenses: The GNU General Public License (GPL), and the Aladdin Free Public License (AFPL). Future open source versions of Ghostscript and MuPDF will only be available under the AGPL.