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A perpetual license is a license that does not have a finite term. It generally involves only a single license fee paid at the beginning of the license.


"The perpetual licensing model is more common for traditional on-premises software. When purchasing the right to use software in perpetuity, the full license rights may depend upon how payment terms are structured. Additionally, you may not own all of the code, since the software provider may only allow you to modify, if at all, only a particular layer of the code (object code vs. source code)."[1]

"For a traditional software purchase, the right to use the software is normally purchased in perpetuity (you are buying a license to use the software forever). You pay one lump sum upfront and, depending on the software, maintenance fees for technical support and functionality upgrades. (The buyer gets basic warranty service for a specific period of time. Additional support beyond the warranty must be separately purchased under a separate software assurance or maintenance agreement.)"[2]