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Re: firmware-nonfree : ipw2200 ?

On Fri, 2008-10-24 at 08:05 +0200, Mike Hommey wrote:
> On Fri, Oct 24, 2008 at 01:15:10AM +0200, Frank Lin PIAT wrote:
> > 
> > I have just tested Lenny on a laptop[1] with an Intel Pro Wireless 2200
> > chipset. As you probably known the kernel module ipw2200 requires a
> > non-free firmware.
> > 
> > - Do you know why the firmware was never shipped in Debian?
> Because its license, contrary to other intel wireless firmware license
> forbids redistributing. Which means we can't even distribute it in
> non-free.

Humm... the license page[1] states :

"[..]Intel grants to you a nonexclusive, nontransferable, worldwide [..]
For OEMs, IHVs, and ISVs: [..] copy and distribute the Software to your
end-users, but only under a license agreement with terms at least as
restrictive as those contained in Intel's Final, Single User License
Agreement [..]"

This is further clarified in their FAQ[2] :

Q. I am a package maintainer and I would like to create a
    package/distribution/CD that installs/provides the Intel firmware 
    necessary for the ipw2100 and ipw2200 projects. 
    How does one go about doing this according to Intel's terms
A. There are three key actions that must be performed: 
     1. Generally distributors alert end users to the fact that
        components of a package may be covered under a variety of
        licenses, the specific terms of which vary. Some distributors
        use an initial license page during the OS install that informs
        the user that various components are governed by a variety of
        licenses, and use of the components is subject to the user's
        compliance with the various licensing requirements. Other
        package systems support an interactive package approach that
        requires the user to view and accept the license before they can
        install it, etc. 
     2. Any description within the package must indicate that the
        package is covered by the Intel license, and provide the user
        with information on how to access that license -- making it
        clear that the user is not granted a license to use the package
        unless these terms are agreed to. 
     3. The package must install the LICENSE file in the same location
        on the system that the firmware files are installed. If it is
        standard practice in your distribution to place all license
        files in a centralized location (for
        example /usr/share/license), then you are free to place a copy
        of the license in that location, in addition to placing it in
        the directory containing the firmware files. 

My understanding is that Debian is allowed to redistribute the firmware.
A license agreement prompt (à la sun-java*) doesn't actually seems

Re-re-re-reading the agreement, the statement "Intel grants to you [..]
 nontransferable[..]" seems to break DFSG#8 (but it's non-free anyway).
I'm not sure about the situation regarding derivatives distributions.
Either :
1. We consider that Debian is _the_ "distributor" (ISV), and the
   derivatives is part of the redistribution chain to reach the end
   user. So the debian-derivative don't need to agree with the ISV
   This assumption would be based on the fact that distributors
   distribute our (so called) source package.
2. We consider that derivatives distributions are considered ISV.
   In the best situation, we need to add a prompt in the build 
   process, to agree with the ISV license (ouch)
   In the worse situation, we need to strip the blob from the package,
   and download it manually before compiling the package.

any opinion on that ?

> > - If I provide a patch, do you think if have a chance to be in Lenny?
> Except if the license changed, no chance.

That would be too bad... but only Intel should be blamed.

[1] http://ipw2200.sourceforge.net/firmware.php?fid=7
[2] http://intellinuxwireless.org/?n=FAQ&s=license#license_1

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