Unlike many Open Source software projects, Ghostscript and MuPDF are owned and fully controlled by Artifex. The vast majority of all Ghostscript and MuPDF development is done by Artifex engineers, and on rare occasions, bug fixes accepted from outside contributors (under license by Artifex). If you have further questions regarding the development and control of Ghostscript and MuPDF, please contact Miles Jones, President/CEO Artifex Software.
We provide two of our technologies, AGPL Ghostscript and AGPL MuPDF, under the GNU Affero General Public License (AGPL), as well as under an Artifex commercial license. For more detailed and complete information on the AGPL please visit the GNU web site.
This page is intended to provide a summary of information that developers and companies may find useful in understanding licensing options available for Artifex products. It does not represent legal advice. We strongly encourage developers and/or companies to review the specific licensing text made available on the GNU web site.
If you are trying to determine whether to use Ghostscript and MuPDF software under AGPL or our alternative Artifex commercial license, please consider the following guidelines.
Distribution – Unlike most other open source licenses, AGPL’s conditions are not all dependent on re-distribution of the software. For most other open source licenses (like GPL), the condition for making source code available is the distribution of the software. Distribution means making a copy available (or delivering a copy) to someone outside your organization. So, for example, providing the software to an employee within your organization is not distribution, but providing the software to an outside consultant, beta tester, or customer is distribution. If you are redistributing our software in binary form, you must make the source code available. AGPL also requires this.
Network Use – However, AGPL also has some conditions even if you are not distributing the software. For example, if you are using the software on your own company’s equipment, but you are making the functionality of the software available to users interacting with it remotely through a computer network, and you make any change to the software, you must make the source code for your changed version available to users of the software. Take care to ensure that during network deployment that there is no code change that could invoke the source code availability obligation. This special requirement of AGPL is in Section 13; see the GNU web site for more details.
Bottom line, if you distribute our software, or make the functionality of the software available to users interacting with it remotely through a computer network, you must share your source code.
Corresponding Source – If you combine our software with other software, you might have further obligations under AGPL that you would not have under our alternative commercial license. The conditions of AGPL require you to provide the Corresponding Source code for any binaries you distribute. This may include source code for your application.
The Corresponding Source includes “all the source code needed to generate, install and (for an executable work) run the object code and to modify the work, including scripts to control those activities.” For example, if you ship an executable product that includes your application and Ghostscript (or MuPDF) in a single executable, including integration via static linking, dynamic linking, or any other means that produces a single executable at compile, build, or runtime, then the entire executable must be made available in source code form under AGPL3.
If you meet certain criteria, then we will not consider your distribution of your application in an executable form to be in violation of AGPL, even though you ship an executable product that includes your application and Ghostscript (or MuPDF). Here are the criteria:
Any other redistribution is not licensed under AGPL. If you cannot meet the requirements of AGPL, you should contact us to inquire about a commercial license.
More information on the various licensing options available for our three products follows below.
Artifex has different licensing approaches for our different products. Ghostscript and MuPDF are available under both Open Source and commercial license arrangements, while SmartOffice is available only under a commercial license for OEM partners and under an end-user license (as an end-user solution).
Artifex is the exclusive commercial licensing agent for Ghostscript software and MuPDF. There is no “public domain” version of Ghostscript or MuPDF. All versions of Ghostscript and MuPDF are provided under one of two licenses (Commercial or GNU AGPL Open Source) described below.
The kind of distribution or use you plan to make of Ghostscript or MuPDF will determine whether you need a commercial license from Artifex. If you plan to distribute Ghostscript or MuPDF in one of your products or make them available to your SaaS or ASP customers, you should understand the differences between these licenses.
Please note that the rules below 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.
(Artifex Ghostscript and Artifex MuPDF)
The above criteria apply to your application as a whole. Even if only one section satisfies one of the above criteria, you cannot use AGPL versions of our software and need a commercial license.
(AGPL Ghostscript and AGPL MuPDF)
If your entire application, including all source code, is licensed to the public under the GNU Affero General Public License (GNU AGPL), you can provide either of our AGPL products with your application without a commercial license.
The terms of the AGPL require that your application be licensed as a whole at no charge at all to third parties.
If your use of AGPL Ghostscript or AGPL MuPDF is such that you will not be distributing to a third party (e.g., creating an internal newsletter or database to be used within your organization), you are authorized to use these AGPL versions and to allow your users to remotely interact with these versions along with your application. Please note that this is only valid as long as this use is only within an organization. Should a user outside the legal organization entity gain access to the software it counts either as a distribution or remote network interaction, which would require a commercial license.
(Artifex Ghostscript and Artifex MuPDF)
These are illustrative examples only and do not cover all the situations that require a commercial license.
Please contact us and we’ll help confirm the type of license you may need for your intended use.
(AGPL Ghostscript and AGPL MuPDF)
These are illustrative examples and do not cover all the situations that may qualify for an AGPL license.
If you have a question as to whether your project qualifies, please contact us and we’ll help clarify whether you qualify for open source licensing of our products.
Artifex versions of our software also include access to ongoing updates and support.
AGPL versions of Ghostscript and MuPDF are provided “as is” with warranty or support, nor on-going product updates that may be included in our commercial versions.
We recommend that all commercial entities that wish to distribute Ghostscript or MuPDF, or make them available to SaaS or ASP customers, enter into the Artifex Commercial License agreement. This frees you from having to conform to the requirements and restrictions of the GNU AGPL licenses, it also provides you with additional benefits and rights, such as access to ongoing commercial version updates and support.
Contact us and we’ll help you select the appropriate version for your intended use and your needs.
SmartOffice offers commercial licenses only (there is no open source version). The SmartOffice mobile app may be downloaded from iTunes and Google Play for individual use. There are also several different versions of SmartOffice available for enterprise use, depending on your intended use and needs. These include:
We have a complete listing of all available SmartOffice products for commercial licensing.
Contact us if you are interested in a trial version of SmartOffice for evaluation.