What is GPL? (GPL, GNU and Open Source Explained Simply)

When you buy, sign up, or register through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn More ›

WordPress is synonymous with the General‍ Public License (GPL), a hallmark of free and open-source software. This particular license ⁣aligns perfectly with the ethos that drives ‍the WordPress initiative.

Typically, when you install ​a software program, you encounter an end-user license agreement. These lengthy, intricate documents⁤ are crafted to safeguard the software ⁢creator’s interests. However, the GPL stands apart in its approach.

Rather⁤ than imposing limitations ⁣on the usage of⁢ WordPress, the GPL aims ⁤to grant freedom, ensuring that everyone ⁤has ​the liberty to utilize the platform as they ‌wish.

Originating from Richard Stallman’s vision in 1989 for the GNU operating system, the GPL is now managed by‍ the ‍ Free ​Software Foundation (FSF). Stallman’s concern over increasingly restrictive software licenses⁤ led to the creation of the GPL to preserve user freedoms and encourage the communal sharing of software.

Stallman’s GNU General ⁣Public License ⁣enshrines four essential freedoms for users:

  • The liberty to operate the software ⁣for any ⁤intent.
  • The right to inspect ​and modify the‍ source‌ code to suit⁣ any need.
  • The ability to distribute ​copies of the⁣ software to others.
  • The permission to share your modified⁤ versions of the software.

For ​those interested in the full text of the license, it is available on the ‍GNU website.

Software under the GPL is recognized as free software or open-source ‍software. In this context, ‍’free’ pertains to the aforementioned freedoms, not⁤ the cost.

For additional details, refer to our article on Free Software.

WordPress and the ​GPL: A Foundation for Community

By embracing the GPL, WordPress fosters a⁣ culture of inclusivity and collaboration. ⁤Think of the GPL as ⁢WordPress’ declaration of principles, laying out the foundational values that the project upholds.

This license empowers ​anyone to freely download, replicate, employ, examine, and adapt the WordPress codebase, ‌fostering an environment of ⁣transparency and cooperation.

Such ⁣an approach has proven successful. WordPress thrives as a collaborative open-source ‍project, with contributions from‍ a‍ vast network of‌ skilled individuals who have elevated it to its current esteemed status.

While a⁣ dedicated team of ‌developers leads the project, the broader WordPress community is invited to ‍contribute through bug fixes, patches, and ⁤feature suggestions. This collective effort is⁣ a ⁣testament to the project’s open ‍nature.

Beyond these contributors, a global ecosystem of businesses, ‍freelancers, and individuals offer a ⁢plethora‍ of​ WordPress-centric products and services.

Discover ⁢more by⁢ reading our article on why WordPress is ​freely available.

Defining GPL Code

GPL code is software disseminated under the GNU General Public License (GPL). This open-source license bestows the right to use, alter, and distribute the software freely. GPL-licensed software means the source code is accessible for use, modification, and distribution, provided it remains under the same licensing conditions.

Expanding WordPress: GPL’s Role in Themes and Plugins

The GPL not only allows for the examination and alteration of WordPress’s core code⁣ but also its expansion to suit individual‌ requirements. The sole condition is that any shared modifications must also carry a GPL license.

Termed ‘copyleft,’⁢ this concept cleverly inverts ‘copyright’ to ensure that ‌the freedoms of free software are perpetuated⁣ through copyright law,⁢ requiring that all derivative ⁣versions uphold the ⁢same‌ liberties.

Consequently, any derivative work, including WordPress themes and plugins, inherits ⁤the GPL license. This ‘copyleft’ principle mandates that these ⁤derivatives are also released under the⁢ GPL.

Therefore, any theme or plugin obtained from the official WordPress.org‍ directory, as well as most commercially available WordPress themes, are GPL-licensed software.

What is GPL code?

GPL code is software code that is distributed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). The GPL is a free software license that grants users the freedom to run, study, modify, and distribute the code.