Are Wordpress Plugins Open Source?

Dmitriy Kaprielov

If you are running WordPress and have plugins and themes that you need to customize to fit the goals of your website then you need to understand your rights as a holder of that package of software. Similarly if you are modifying software to distribute to others you need to know if you can legally do this.

You need to understand the GNU GPL.

Are WordPress Plugins Open Source?

Just like the license for any other software from Windows X to Oregon Trail, the allowances in the license will dictate how you interact with the software and how the software developing firm views your actions.

Want to know more about how CreativeMinds works in this regard? Read below.

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What Is GNU GPL?

Are WordPress Plugins Open Source - Creative Minds Blog

GPL stands for General Public License. The GNU (like the animal) General Public LIcense was originally developed for the GNU operating system. The founders of the GNU operating system believed in the freedom to operate software to the desired end of the user, not the developer.

So, they developed the GNU operating system to be an open source operating system that could be edited and distributed without liability by anyone and for any purpose. They solidified their philosophy through the four essential freedoms.

The user has the freedom:

  1. To run the program,
  2. To study and change the program in source code form,
  3. To redistribute exact copies, and
  4. To distribute modified versions.

So, what is GPL? In basic terms the GPL and any software that falls under it gives the user the freedom to use, analyze, change, give away, and distribute that software or a modified version. It also mentions that any derivative work also falls under this license. This will become important later.

What Is The WordPress License?

Are WordPress Plugins Open Source - Creative Minds Blog

WordPress operates under the GNU GPL. This means that WordPress itself and any derivative work is essentially open source and available to modify, edit, and distribute.

However, there does seem to be some interpretive issues with what derivative work actually means. Many individuals support the full interpretation of the GNU GPL and say that any PHP code that is a derivative work of the WordPress system should be open source and also based on the GNU GPL.

It’s important to note that some take a split approach and say that for any certain plugin the PHP may be open source but the CSS should not be.

This is because the CSS is a separate coding derivative work from the PHP work originally derived from WordPress.

Are Plugins And Themes Under A Similar Open Source License?

Are WordPress Plugins Open Source - Creative Minds Blog

All this means is that you need to understand the license and the implications for every plugin that you have. For example, if you pull a plugin that works great that has an open source license then you are free to edit as you see fit. This isn’t always common.

The group at CreativeMinds offer software that has a full open source license based on the GNU GPL. You are free to edit as you see fit. However, just remember that plugins need to be updated. So, remember to save your changes in a text file because any changes will be overwritten when the plugins are updated.

Are CreativeMinds’ Plugins Open Source?

Yes! When you purchase a CreativeMinds plugin, you are free to edit the code as you like.

Some examples:

This doesn’t mean, however, that you are able to redistribute them. Check the CreativeMinds Terms and Conditions for more information.

Also, the company is not able to provide support for modified versions.

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