Is GPL License Safe or Not | General Public Licence Explained

I hope you’ve heard about the GPL License. GPL stands for ‘General Public license’ sometimes also called GNU GPL, is the most commonly used free software license. If you use WordPress, the GPL should matter to you, and you should know everything about GPL.

If you have a question about GPL like Is GPL safe or not? What is GPL? Then in this article, I will discuss everything about GPL licensing or GNU GPL. Once you’re finished reading, you will know what is GPL is, Is GPL License is safe or not? Why WordPress comes under the GPL license?

gpl license
GPL License

Without wasting your time let’s get started and know everything about the GPL license.

If you use WordPress, the GPL should matter to you. You should also check out its pros and cons.

The GPL License – General Public Licence Explained

Start by knowing, What is GPL?

The GPL General Public License (also known as the ‘GNU’) was written by Richard Stallman of free software foundation for the GNU project. It was named the ‘GNU’ GPL, as it was initially used by Stallman to license the GNU operating system.

The GPL is a free software license. The use of the word “free” within “free software” refers not to price, but (by Stallman’s definition) to the user’s free to use, modify and distribute the software (redistributed by anyone).

For better understanding, WordPress is also released under the GPL License (four freedoms), which means WordPress is open-source software that can be used by anyone, modified and extended by anyone.

The GPL is best summarized by the four freedoms associated with the “free software” category:

  • The freedom to download and run the software by anyone.
  • The freedom to modify it by anyone.
  • The freedom to redistribute free copies of the software by anyone.
  • The freedom to distribute modified versions of the software by anyone.

One of the major aspects of the GPL is that it uses something known as copyleft. Copyleft is a similar word as copyright, but the concept is very similar. Generally, you can say that the copyright law protects your modified versions of work but requires the same protections to be applied to those versions. For this reason, any work based on WordPress inherits the GPL license.

Why WordPress Is Licensed under the GPL?

WordPress is free because it is released under the GPL license. It is licensed in a way that allows everyone to use it, and redistribute the code. You will have the copyright to modifications you make to the software, not the entire code.

Why WordPress Is Licensed under the GPL

let me clear one thing about WordPress is that, Is WordPress Copyright free? Then my answer is No, WordPress is not copyright free. It only allows everyone to use it, but each contribution made to the software is copyrighted.

In fact, WordPress never would have existed without the concept of free software, it is based on the concept of fork (software development) of b2/cafelog, which is ‘free software’ itself.

The co-founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg, is arguably one of the world’s leading voices on ‘free software’. He established WordPress.com with a clear mission to “democratize publishing“. The tenets of GPL mean a great deal to him.

According to Matt Mullenweg (WordPress.org):

If WordPress were a country, our Bill of Rights would be the GPL because it protects our core freedoms.

Is GPL License Safe?

Yes, It is safe (when you’re using any software from an authentic source). You don’t need to worry if you’re using any GPL software or WordPress plugin which comes under the GPL license. You only need to read Stallman’s statement on the subject of software ‘ownership’ to understand just how empowering the GPL is for software users.

In a world that is becoming increasingly accessible (for better or worse), the GPL stands for true transparency in software development.

NO, It is not safe (when you’re using or downloading any software from an unknown source). Sometimes GPL License would not safe If you’re downloading any software from an unknown source. That might be a hack version or might be something change in the coding.

Note: If you’re using any GPL Theme & Plugin then you must need to check the virus on it.

Chris Lema is one of the Public speaker & blogger who put it best in his article on GPL WordPress themes and plugins:

According to Chris Lema:- software is repaired, advanced, and extended faster and better when it’s open. When more people can share it, inspect it, tweak it, and pass it along, you get better and stronger software.

Conclusion

Now you know everything about GPL License and WordPress, Is GPL safe or not. You understand why GPL is important to you as end user, and you understand how ultimately it benefits you to adopt it as a developer.

One might reasonably argue that the only way that the GPL could harm you is if you refuse to adopt it; not because of the licensing itself, but because of the limitations it places on you. There’s a lot of love about the GPL from an ethical point of view.

If you enjoyed this article, then don’t forget to share. Still, if you’ve any question about GPL then mention on the comment box.


Rajeev Ranjan
A blog scientist by the mind and a passionate blogger by heart ❤️. Fountainhead of Everything In Google Blog. Life motto: All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.