For questions pertaining to software or hardware licensing, and permitted use.

Licensing is obtaining the legal permission from the intellectual property owner of a software or hardware for re-use. Typically, hardware and software are released with a specific license attached, and the terms of said license implicitly grant certain usage rights to the end user without having to specifically and individually requesting the legal permission of the intellectual property owner.

"Open source" software and hardware, although "free to use and distribute" always have some form of licensing attached, whereby yes, they are free to use for individual, personal and private use, but often have varying levels of restrictions or rules to follow relating to modifications and/or commercial use.