A software license is a document that provides legally binding guidelines for the use and distribution of software.
Software licenses typically provide end users with the right to one or more copies of the software without violating copyrights. The license also defines the responsibilities of the parties entering into the license agreement and may impose restrictions on how the software can be used. Software licensing terms and conditions usually include fair use of the software, the limitations of liability, warranties and disclaimers and protections if the software or its use infringes on the intellectual property rights of others.
Software licenses typically are either proprietary, free or open source, the distinguishing feature being the terms under which users may redistribute or copy the software for future development or use.