The GNU General Public License (GPL) is a widely-used open-source software license that was created by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) in 1989. The GPL is designed to protect the freedom and open-source nature of software, and it provides users with the right to use, modify, and distribute the software.
The GPL is based on four key principles:
- Freedom to use: The GPL allows users to run the software for any purpose, without any limitations.
- Freedom to modify: The GPL allows users to modify the software and create derivative works, as long as they share their modifications with others under the same license.
- Freedom to distribute: The GPL allows users to distribute the software to others, as long as they do so under the same license.
- Freedom to distribute modified versions: The GPL allows users to distribute modified versions of the software, as long as they also distribute the source code of those modifications under the same license.
In the context of WordPress, the GPL is important because it is the license that governs the WordPress software and all of the themes and plugins that are created for it. This means that any themes or plugins that are distributed with WordPress or made available through the official WordPress repository must also be licensed under the GPL.
Overall, the GPL is a critical part of the open-source software community, as it ensures that users have the freedom to use, modify, and distribute software without being restricted by proprietary licenses or other limitations.