license

license

[lahy-suhns]
license, in public law, permission by legal authority to engage in certain acts and also the document showing such permission. Some licenses are required for the protection of the public; they assure professional competence (e.g., physicians) or moral fitness (e.g., tavern keepers). Others are designed primarily to raise revenue or to keep a registry (e.g., automobile licenses). It is a crime to engage in a licensed activity without having first procured a license. In property law, a license is a right that the owner grants some other party to make use of his land. Such licenses are revocable at will if they are not part of a contract. They are personal and hence may not be sold; they expire on the death of the grantee. A license to cross another's land is an easement in gross. In patent law, a license is a written authority granted by the owner of a patent to another person, empowering the latter to make or use the patented article for a limited period or in a limited territory.

The verb license or grant license means to give permission. The noun license is the document demonstrating that permission. License may be granted by a party ("licensor") to another party ("licensee") as an element of an agreement between those parties. A shorthand definition of a license is "a promise (by the licensor) not to sue (the licensee)."

Intellectual property

A licensor may grant license under "intellectual property" to do something (such as copy software or use a patented invention) without fear of a claim of intellectual property infringement brought by the licensor.

A license under intellectual property commonly has several component parts, including a term, territory, renewal, as well as other limitations deemed vital to the licensor.

Term: many licenses are valid for a particular length of time. This protects the licensor should the value of the license increase, or market conditions change.

Territory: a license may stipulate what territory the rights pertain to. For example, a license with a territory limited to "North America" (United States/Canada) would not permit a licensee any protection from actions for use in Japan.

Mass licensing of software

Mass distributed software is used by individuals on personal computers under license from the developer of that software. Such license is typically included in a more extensive end-user license agreement (EULA) entered into upon the installation of that software on a computer.

Under a typical end-user license agreement, the user may install the software on a limited number of computers.

The enforceability of end-user license agreements is sometimes questioned.

Trademark and brand licensing

A licensor may grant permission to a licensee to distribute products under a trademark. With such a license, the licensee may use the trademark without fear of a claim of trademark infringement by the licensor.

Artwork and character licensing

A licensor may grant a permission to a licensee to copy and distribute copyrighted works such as "art" (e.g., Thomas Kincaid's painting "Dawn in Los Gatos") and characters (e.g., Mickey Mouse). With such license, a licensee need not fear a claim of copyright infringement brought by the licensor.

Academy

National examples of the License are listed at Licentiate

A licence is an academic degree. Originally, in order to teach at a university, one needed this degree which, according to its title, gave the bearer a license to teach. The name survived despite the fact that nowadays doctorate is typically needed in order to teach at a university. A person who holds a licence is called a licentiate.

In Sweden and some European universities it is approximately equivalent to an MPhil or MRes. In those countries, a licence is a middle-level degree between a master's degree and a doctorate, taken by doctoral canidates, and is a popular choice in those countries where a "true" PhD would take five or more years to achieve.

In other countries, i.e. Poland or France, a licence is achieved before the master's degree (it takes 3 years of studies to become licentiate and 2 additional years to become Master). In Switzerland, a licence is a 4-year degree then there is a DEA degree which is equivalent to the Master's degree. In Portugal, before the Bologna process, students would become licentiates after 5 years of studies (4 years in particular cases like Marketing, Management, etc; and 6 years for Medicine). However, since the adoption of the Bologna Process engineering degrees in Portugal were changed from a 5 year licence to a 3 year licence followed by 2 years for the MSc: Not having the MSc doesn't confer accreditation by the Ordem dos Engenheiros)

See also

References

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