What is GPL and how does it affect WordPress?

If you’re a programmer who is curious about WordPress and designing, then there’s an opportunity that you simply have seen that WordPress is functioning under the terms of GPL or GNU General Public License. This GPL is sort of different from the traditional EULA or user License Agreement that you simply often find at the top of a software installation or at the start . So, what’s GPL and the way is it different from EULA.

GPL is an open-source license which means it is free. However, as per GPL, it is not free as in terms of price but it is free as in the term ‘free’dom. If you’re using any program under the GPL, you’ll use it to switch or distribute any software of your need. GPL will not limit your freedom to distribute. This is here that GPL becomes different from EULA. Under EULA, you’re given a non-exclusive license which suggests that you simply can only use one version of the software and you can’t modify or distribute it.
If the original software has a license under GPL, that means any modifications or modules used have to be licensed under GPL too. Plugins utilized in WordPress must be under the GPL license also . If you release a topic or plugin with the GPL license then a buyer can modify it because the GPL license allows such a modification to require place. However, GPL will only inherit effect if you select to distribute a product. GPL won’t be activated if you employ plugins on your own website without trying to distribute it. Regarding copyright, if you attach the acceptable copyright notice together with your software, the customer can tweak your product but not claim it as their own.

When it involves themes, on the one hand, such extensions and modules should ideally be licensed under GPL. Such a code within the theme are often a WordPress derivative. However, you’ll use other design elements like HTML, JavaScript, or other non-GPL media elements. They do not interact with WordPress directly.
So, to be on the safer side, it is best to use a split model. In a split model, you release a specific code and protect it with the GPL license but you do not include the design elements from HTML or JS. That way, you cannot be held liable. However, there are certain stores that try for GPL-based themes.

Open-source themes are making quite mark within the market with many open-source licenses like BSD Licence and Mozilla Public License. Open source is now the thanks to go where you’ll be truly free.

9 thoughts on “What is GPL and how does it affect WordPress?

  1. Justin says:

    Long time supporter, and thought I’d drop a comment.

    Your wordpress site is very sleek – hope you don’t mind me asking
    what theme you’re using? (and don’t mind if I steal it?
    :P)

    I just launched my site –also built in wordpress like yours– but the
    theme slows (!) the site down quite a bit.

    In case you have a minute, you can find it by searching for “royal cbd” on Google (would appreciate any feedback) – it’s still in the
    works.

    Keep up the good work– and hope you all take care of yourself during the coronavirus scare!

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