GPL License

What is GPL

GPL, or the GNU General Public License, is a widely used open-source software license that was created by the Free Software Foundation (FSF). The GPL is designed to ensure that software remains free, allowing users to access, modify, and distribute the source code of a program. Here are key points about the GPL:

  1. Freedom to Use: The GPL grants users the freedom to run, study, modify, and share the software. Users are not restricted in how they use the software once they obtain a copy.
  2. Access to Source Code: One of the fundamental principles of the GPL is that it requires the distribution of the source code along with the compiled program. This allows users to examine and modify the code, ensuring transparency and fostering collaboration.
  3. Modifications and Derivatives: Users are not only allowed to modify the software under the GPL but are also encouraged to do so. Additionally, any modifications or derivatives of the software must also be distributed under the same GPL license terms.
  4. Distribution of Changes: If a person or organization distributes a modified version of a GPL-licensed software, they are required to make the source code of their changes available to those who receive the modified software.
  5. Copyleft Principle: The GPL employs the copyleft principle, which is a strategy to use copyright law to ensure that every user of the software has freedom. In essence, it ensures that derivative works are also open source and freely available.
  6. Compatibility with Other GPL Software: The GPL is designed to be compatible with itself, meaning that different programs licensed under the GPL can be combined to create larger software projects. However, combining GPL software with proprietary software may have licensing complications.
  7. Enforcement by Legal Mechanisms: The GPL is enforceable through copyright law. If someone violates the terms of the GPL by not providing access to the source code of a modified version, they can be taken to court for copyright infringement.

The GPL has played a significant role in the development of the open-source software movement by promoting collaboration, transparency, and the freedom to use and modify software. Many popular open-source projects and software applications, including the Linux operating system and the WordPress content management system, are licensed under the GPL.

WordPress and GPL

WordPress and thousands of other software are also under the GPL license.

As mentioned above, WordPress benefits a lot from the GPL license. That is one of the main reasons WordPress is the most popular CMS software today.

Thanks to the GPL, the public can access all WordPress files. As a result, developers worldwide started studying the code, modifying it, and improving it.

A big, vibrant community started to form around WordPress. As a result, it created hype and caused more people to join and try the software.

Over 36% of the world’s websites use WordPress as their CMS platform. It is an unbelievable number only possible thanks to WordPress is GPL.

Moreover, WordPress is the most popular CMS (Content Management System) platform and has over 70% market share.

Even though all the other CMS platforms were created around the same time as WordPress, not being under the GPL held them back and let WordPress open up a significant gap in usage and popularity.

Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress, is one of the world’s most prominent promoters of GPL. He repeatedly stated, ‘If WordPress were a country, our Bill of Rights would be the GPL because it protects our core freedoms.’

Can you sell GPL Products?

Yes, the GPL license allows selling the original as well as the modified products. However, free software is referred to as free in terms of freedom to use not in terms of price. As Richard Stallman explained, free software means free as in “free speech,” not free as in “free beer.”

 Is GPL safe?

Yes. GPL doesn’t have anything to do with the Source code. It’s just a license that governs its usage and distribution.

Does the GPL license require the author to release the modified source code?

Under the GPL License, it requires you to release the modified source code only if you release the modified program. If you have modified a program’s code for personal use, then there is no need to release it.

GPL license terms and conditions?

  • It doesn’t allow to claim patents or copyright on the product. moreover, it requires to display a copyright notice, disclaimer of warranty, intact GPL notices, and a copy of the GPL.
  • You are not allowed to change the license or add some additional terms & conditions.
  • you are bound to release the source code and all of the rights to modify and distribute the entire code.

The owner of this Site is not a lawyer. That means you should not interpret this as legal advice of any kind. Information is provided on an as-is basis.

Please let us know in the comment box below if you have any comments or questions.

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