How to cite a license


#1

I want to cite licenses in an article. In one section we describe our software and under which licenses we distribute the code (AGPL3) and resulting data (ODbL). We decided to place an \endnote{\url{}} linking the url but the journal prefers it in the literature.

How does the right citation looks like (in BibTeX)?
Is there anything missing?
Other entry type?

@Website{ODbL,
  title     = {{Open Database License (ODbL) v1.0}},
  author    = {{Open Knowledge International}},
  url       = {https://opendatacommons.org/licenses/odbl/1.0/},
  urldate   = {2017-08-23}
}

@Website{AGPL3,
  title           = {{GNU Affero General Public License Version 3 (AGPL-3.0)}},
  author          = {{Free Software Foundation}},
  url             = {https://www.gnu.org/licenses/agpl-3.0.en.html},
  urldate         = {2017-08-23}
}

#2

Hi Ludwig. If the (publisher-mandated) natbib package and BibTeX style (BST) file do not support the website reference type, try this hack:

@misc{AGPL3,
  title    = {\href{https://www.gnu.org/licenses/agpl-3.0.en.html}{{GNU Affero General Public License Version~3 (AGPL-3.0)}}},
  author   = {{Free Software Foundation}},
  year     = {2016},
  month    = {18~November},
  note     = {Accessed 23~August 2017},
 _url      = {https://www.gnu.org/licenses/agpl-3.0.en.html},
 _urldate  = {2017-08-23}
}

Note that the field howpublished can be used instead of title.

This is a case of BibTeX showing its age. Later utilities like biblatex provide better support for internet citations.

Note too that the convention for abbreviating the AGPL version 3.0 license is simply AGPLv3 rather than AGPL-3.0 (but probably you want to maintain a consistent internal style). Robbie.


#3

Thank you, Robbie.
Looks like using MISC type is always the simplest option.

We are using http://licenses.opendefinition.org/ descriptions:

id = “AGPL-3.0”

Do you have another source for abbreviations?


#4

Hi Lidwig. The [AL]GPLv0[.0] convention is from the GNU project license page. I guess Stallmann is being typically idiosyncratic. Both conventions are unambiguous, so use whichever you prefer. Robbie


#5

I have learned that an organisation cannot be the author, but only the editor of a work. Maybe that’s old fashioned by now. That’s how I learned it at university.

editor = {{Free Software Foundation}},
key    = {FSF},

or

editor = {{Free Software Foundation}},
key    = {{Free Software Foundation}},

In both cases the bibliography will show an (ed.). The key effects only the text mark (FSF 2017) or (Free Software Foundation 2017).

Bibliography
Free Software Foundation (ed.), 2017, GNU Affero General Public License Version 3 (AGPL-3.0)