...ing form - a noun or a verb?

History of licensing [of/__] a particular work to third parties…

I assume that OF will be required if licensing is a noun, and no preposition will be required if licensing is a verb form…

so, which one is it?

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No, that is not a valid rule. Both of these are nouns:

The licensing of guns is strict in Maine.
Licensing guns is strict in Maine.

It may hold true for verbs, in that the verb will not be followed by ‘of’.
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hmmm. okay, so how do you know if “of” is required for nouns?

in particular, in combo with “the history of licensing”…

thanks for your help!

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It is required before nouns.
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hmmmmmmmmmm
you got me completely confused there…

in your first post, didn’t you say that licensing guns and the licensing of guns were both nouns? i don’t mean “guns”, i am referring to “licensing”…

so, would it be history of licensing guns or history of licensing of the guns?

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Your last post asked about “the history of licensing”-- that is the ‘of’ I am speaking of.

Your latest question presents these options: ‘history of licensing guns’ and ‘history of licensing of the guns’. For this, re-read my first post.
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so both are fine?

ps. that’s what i mean when i say i should improve my style. i should write more clearly…