Open Source License
Open Source license

CouchCMS is licensed under Common Public Attribution License Version 1.0 (CPAL-1.0)

"Human-readable" version of CPAL would read like this:

  • This software is open source and can be freely used, modified, and distributed.
  • This software can be used for commercial purposes.
  • Attribution to the authorship of this software in the source code files cannot be waived under any circumstances.
  • Attribution to the authorship of this software on the site front-end in the form of hyperlink can be waived with permission of the original author.
Commercial License

Alternatively, CouchCMS may be used under a commercial license.

Buying a commercial license permits you to:

  • Remove the attribution hyperlink from all rendered contents.
  • Replace CouchCMS logo and copyright information from the admin-panel with your own, effectively 100% white-labeling the CMS.
  • One month of unlimited premium support.

Attribution to the authorship of this software in the source code files cannot be waived under any circumstances.

Buy license


Do the two licenses mean you have two versions of the CMS? The open-source version with a limited feature set and the commercial one with additional features?

No. We only have a single version of the CMS - the open-source version. In fact, this is the only version that can be downloaded.
Buying a commercial license will simply get you a license, legally permitting the removal of copyright notices from the user-interface of the open-source version.

OK. But then why would I pay for something that is available for free?

The open-source license requires you to keep a legible and unobscured hyperlink back to on all pages rendered by the CMS. Also, it does not permit you to remove our logo and copyright information from the-admin panel.
In case it is not acceptable by your clients to show the attribution link on their site or you wish to white-label (rebrand) the admin interface by placing your company's logo and name, in place of ours (so as to make it seem to your clients that you are using your own custom CMS), you will need a commercial license.

Secondly, the open-source version does not come with any support.
If you need any technical support from the original developers, you'll need to buy the commercial license.

Finally, if you find Couch useful, consider buying the commercial license a way of supporting its ongoing development.

I am okay with giving credit where it is due. However, the 'Powered by CouchCMS' link automatically added to all generated pages is plain ugly and does not go with my site's design. Is there a way to turn this behavior off? Of course, I'll manually place the required link (in a suitable place and with my styling) in all templates managed by Couch.

Thank you for your understanding. The automatically injected footer link is just a gentle reminder with regards to the attribution requirement and we have no wish of imposing it on you.

You are absolutely free to turn it off if you wish to manually code the backlink.
To do so, please edit the 'couch/config.php' file and set the following to '1'

define( 'K_REMOVE_FOOTER_LINK', 0 );