...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?

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’.

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!

It is required before nouns.

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?

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.

so both are fine?

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