Sphinx is publicly distributed under GNU General Public License (GPL), version 2.
In cases when GPL version of Sphinx could not be used because of license restrictions, you can obtain a “commercial” license by contacting us here at Sphinx Technologies Inc.
A commercial license is generally required when one embeds Sphinx within an application (or redistributes Sphinx along with it), but does not want to disclose ones source code as required by GPL.
For those who are familiar with MySQL, we posses similar licensing terms. One can think of Sphinx's licensing model as 'quid pro quo;' meaning an item, or in this case Sphinx's intellectual property, being traded in return for something of value. Therefore, if one is distributing Sphinx and making a profit from that distribution, then we feel, and in most cases the GPL states, that Sphinx should be adequately compensated for our intellectual property.
An important instance when a commercial license is not required generally occurs when one uses Sphinx for a Web site or a hosted service. For example, even if one provides a paid search services to their end users, a commercial license would not be required. This is because no redistribution of the Sphinx code is actually taking place, and GPL does not obligate one to do anything. Obviously, if one is providing a revenue generating service to their end users, then it would be prudent to make sure that you are not only supported by Sphinx, but are providing your users with a bug free experience. Feel free to reference our Support Packages.
Specific pricing depends on a variety of factors: the nature of the application, licensing volume, retail price, royalty policy, amount of required technical support and/or development, etc. We pride ourselves on being able to map our pricing to your application model, and working with organizations to meet their 'cost of good sold' goals. Thus, we do not openly publish our licensing prices, essentially because every OEM/ISV that we currently deal with is different.
If you have any questions regarding our licensing polices or if you are interested in working with us to generate a quote please feel free to fill out our Contact Form and we will reach out to you as soon as possible.