A license (American English) or licence (British English) is an official permission or permit to do, use, or own something (as well as the document of that permission or permit). A license can be granted by a party to another party as an element of an agreement between those parties. A shorthand definition of a license is "an authorization to use licensed material." In particular, a license may be issued by authorities, to allow an activity that would otherwise be forbidden. It may require paying a fee or proving a capability. The requirement may also serve to keep the authorities informed on a type of activity, and to give them the opportunity to set conditions and limitations. A licensor may grant a license under intellectual property laws to authorize a use (such as copying software or using a patented invention) to a licensee, sparing the licensee from a claim of infringement brought by the licensor.
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