I having a few issues understanding how sites like gpldl.com can call themselves legal. This is basically a site where they purchase themes/plugins from developers such as:

  • WooThemes
  • iThemes
  • Gravity Forms
  • WPML
  • Elmastudio
  • Elegant Themes

The site then states that since their plugins/themes are licensed under GNU General Public License, they can then share them with others.

Some of the WooCommerce Plugins are kind of expensive and is it possible that these could in really be "free" excluding the support from the developer? Basically, my question is, is this actually legal to use? Can I download plugins and themes from this site and use them legally on a commercial project?


1 Answer 1


To answer the question in your title, yes, GPL projects can be used commercially. From the FAQ:

You are allowed to sell copies of the modified program commercially, but only under the terms of the GNU GPL. Thus, for instance, you must make the source code available to the users of the program as described in the GPL, and they must be allowed to redistribute and modify it as described in the GPL.

In practice, such a requirement usually puts a damper on business models based on selling copies of GPL-licensed software, since there's nothing stopping someone else distributing the same GPL software for free and undercutting the seller.

Not just GPL, but all FOSS licenses allow commercial use, as non-discrimination against field of endeavour is a key principle of FOSS.

To answer your question specifically about GPLDL, their tagline specifically mentions WooCommerce Extensions & themes, so that's probably the important part of the value proposition. Inclusion of GPL-licensed software would just be for convenience. From their website (bold is mine):

Download the most popular GPL-licensed Premium WordPress Themes & Plugins and WooCommerce Extensions & Themes worth thousands of US$ for FREE!

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