The license under which the WordPress software and accompanying bbPress plugin is released is the GNU GPLv2 (or later) from the Free Software Foundation. The full license is included with every copy of WordPress & bbPress, but you can also read the original license here.
How it applies
Part of this license outlines requirements for derivative works, such as plugins or themes. Derivatives of WordPress code inherit the GPL license. Drupal, which has the same GPL license as WordPress, has an excellent page on licensing as it applies to themes and modules (their word for plugins).
There is some legal grey area regarding what is considered a derivative work, but we feel strongly that plugins and themes are derivative work and thus inherit the GPL license.
Is GPL a no-go for you?
If you disagree with some part of the GPL, you might want to consider a non-GPL forum platform such as:
Do note that the forum solutions listed above do not come with any notable CMS functionality of their own, and will rely on add-ons or custom work to function as such.
A note on domains
- Do not use “bbPress” in your domain name, like “bbpressanynamehere.com”. Try using “bbp” instead, or another variation.
- “bbPress” in sub-domains is fine, like “bbpress.example.com”. We’re just concerned about top-level domains.
- For more information read WordPress.org – Domains.