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What is GPL?


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What is GPL?

GPL, which stands for General Public License, is a free software license that grants users the freedom to use, modify, and distribute software. It is one of the most popular open-source licenses used by many projects, including WordPress.

What is the history of GPL?

The GPL was created by Richard Stallman in 1989 as part of the Free Software Movement. It was designed to ensure that software users have certain freedoms and rights when using software. The aim was to promote collaboration and sharing within the software community.

Why is GPL important to WordPress users?

GPL plays a significant role in WordPress’s success and popularity. When WordPress was released back in 2003, it adopted the GPL license for its source code. This decision led to an explosion of growth within the WordPress ecosystem because it allowed developers and users to freely modify and distribute their own versions of WordPress.

Under the GPL license, anyone can study how WordPress works, make changes or improvements if needed, and even create their own themes or plugins based on WordPress’s code. This openness has fostered a vibrant community where thousands of themes and plugins are available for free or at affordable prices.

Who is GPL for?

The GPL license benefits various groups within the WordPress community. Firstly, it benefits developers who can use existing code as building blocks for their projects without worrying about legal restrictions or licensing fees. They can also contribute back to the community by sharing their own creations.

Secondly, end-users benefit from this license because they have access to an extensive library of themes and plugins that enhance their websites’ functionality without having to pay exorbitant costs.

Finally, businesses also benefit from GPLv2 as they can build commercial products based on WordPress while still adhering to open-source principles. This allows them to tap into a vast market of potential customers who appreciate both quality products and transparency.

The GPL ensures freedom in using software like WordPress, encourages collaboration and sharing, and benefits developers, end-users, and businesses alike. It has been a fundamental pillar in WordPress’s success story.


Podcasts Mentioning GPL

#114: Fri October 06, 2023

Improving WordPress Speed & User Experience: Eliminating Render-Blocking Resources and More!

#95: Mon September 11, 2023

Gutenberg 16.6 Introduces Block Hooks and Improvements, Mastodon and WordPress Integration

#31: Tue June 13, 2023

Community Team Hosts Training on GPL Compliance; WordCampers Demand Changes to Q&A Format