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The Jolly Contrarian’s Glossary

The snippy guide to financial services lingo.™

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A contractual permission granted by the owner of a right, or item of property to another person to use that property or exercise that right. This might be an exclusive licence (as with a physical item — only one person can use it at a time) or non-exclusive (as with intellectual property, where many people can share the right without upsetting each other).

Treatment in contemporary[1] pop music

Discussed in that great legal monograph, Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell, in the context of a “licence for love” —

She said, come on baby, I got a licence for love
And if it expires, pray help from above —

A licence for love of course usually is exclusive, but when it comes to rock stars, persons with whom they consort and persons who explicit tout the availability of their own love to whomsoever should hold such a “licence” for the time being possibly not so much[2]. Kudos, too, to Mr. Idol for recognising the time value of the option, and bounding it with a discretionary expiration date. Black-Scholes would be proud.

Confidentiality agreements

So does entering a confidentiality agreement involve any kind of licence to use the disclosed information? Not if your legal eagles have conducted their review with any kind of acuity.



  1. Call me grand-dad ok? Contemporary for ME.
  2. Then again, one can exclusively licence one’s “love”, for valuable consideration, for a short period of time, so maybe not.