I have built a small Windows desktop application that I intend to sell and distribute copies over the internet (not as SaaS). The application in question uses ImageMagick library, which has a free licence (see here), if I understood it well. The problem is that my application uses ImageMagick components who depends of GhostScript in order to work. And the distribution of GhostScript library on commercial software requires a commercial license (see here).

Since, technically, my application uses GhostScript indirectly through ImageMagick, is it still considered "derived work"?

If instead I exclude the GhostScript library from the distribution of my app and instruct my users to download and install the free version of GhostScript, by themselves, do I still have to acquire a commercial license of GhostScript?

1 Answer 1


You have two options. You can:

  1. Comply with the AGPL's licensing terms for GhostScript, which means that you must license your entire program under the AGPL (the terms of which require you to distribute the entire source of your program), or

  2. Pay for a commercial license of GhostScript.

The problem here is not one of "arm's length communication." The problem is that your program won't work without GhostScript, which effectively renders your program a derived work.

That GhostScript is only used indirectly from your program through ImageMagick doesn't matter. Because your requirement is ImageMagick and GhostScript, you must also meet GhostScript's licensing requirements.

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