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Questions concerning S/390 OCO-modules


I would like to package three network device drivers for IBM S/390 (see
ITPs #108709, #108710, #108711).

The device drivers are provided by IBM as OCO (object code only) modules
(i.e. there are no sources available) and they are released under a
special IBM "International License Agreement for Non-Warranted Programs"
(to see the license agreement click on one of the
"{lcs,qdio,qeth}-2.4.5-s390-2.tar.gz" hyperlinks on

This raises a few questions:

 - Does the license allow distribution of the oco-drivers with Debian?

   From item 1. of the license agreement I derive that this is possible
   as long as

   a) Debian assures that the license agreement is distributed with the
      oco-driver and

   b) that the user explicitely agrees with the terms of the license
      (actually the user can not download the oco-drivers from the
      IBM web site without explicitely accepting the agreement).

   I think a) is definitely not a problem and b) could be realized by
   asking the user before installing the oco-driver whether (s)he agrees
   with the license (could probably be done in the preinstall-script?).

 - Are there any pitfalls in the license agreement I may have overseen?

 - Can the oco-drivers go into non-free?

   Since there is no source code available, the oco-drivers are not DFSG
   compliant and therefore could not go into "main" or "contrib". So,
   from the Debian POV, is it acceptable to put them into non-free?
   Citing from a footnote in the Debian Policy Manual (version,
   2001-06-01, section "2.1.4 The non-free section"):

     "It is possible that there are policy requirements which the
      package is unable to meet, for example, if the source is
      unavailable. These situations will need to be handled on a
      case-by-case basis."

   Who finally decides whether such a package can go into non-free? What
   would be the alternative, if the package could not go into non-free
   (i.e. not be part of the distribution at all)?

   Since the oco-drivers are needed on S/390 to establish direct
   external network connections they play an essential role in making
   Debian usable on S/390. If we could not integrate them into the
   distribution, this would be a major problem. We could, e.g., not
   provide an official Debian install-ramdisk (that would have to go
   into non-free as well) that supports installation via one of the
   devices driven by the oco-drivers...

Awaiting your comments!


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