Before I started developing Contact Form 7 in 2007, I was an avid user of Ryan Duff’s WP Contact Form and Chip Cuccio’s Contact Form ][. I learned how to implement contact forms as WordPress plugin by looking at their code. These developers were like teachers. If they didn’t publish their plugins for free, Contact Form 7, which has been downloaded more than 6 million times, might not exist.
Open-source code is the best educational material for developers. Open-source community is invaluable for the new generation of developers. The community grows by bringing new members constantly; I believe this is also how the WordPress community has grown.
The current trend is selling WordPress plugins and themes. Even if their license is compliant with GPL, wouldn’t it be difficult for developers to learn from them? This trend could weaken the WordPress community over time.
I don’t like to follow this trend. Now I’d like to repeat, I will keep publishing Contact Form 7 as a free plugin forever.
Also, I’d like to show my appreciation to everyone who has donated to plugin developers. With your support, we can continue development of free plugins. Your contribution defends the philosophy of the open-source community. Please keep supporting. As a member of WordPress community, I’m proud of you.