The term “general public license” is the name of the license under which WordPress is released. The GPL license means that WordPress may be modified by any user wishing to do so, and anyone who is interested in the product may use it free of charge.

The WordPress software is released under GPL license because the people behind the software strongly believe in providing free and customizable software for use by web developers anywhere. Some of the points that guided the decision to release WordPress under GPL license included:

  • The idea that the software should be available to anyone, free of charge
  • The belief that anyone who wishes to modify the WordPress software should be able to do so without fear of repercussions
  • The desire that all versions of WordPress—including those which have been modified by users—should always be available free of charge to anyone who wants to use the software
  • The intent that anyone—not just the original creators of the software—should be able to distribute WordPress

Because of the GPL license under which WordPress is released, it should not be sold by anyone. Rather, it is the intent of the creators that all versions of WordPress, even those that have been modified, should be distributed for free.

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