[Fwd: Kremen VS Arin Antitrust Lawsuit - Anyone have feedback?]

Stephen Sprunk stephen at sprunk.org
Fri Sep 8 14:29:21 UTC 2006

Thus spake Brandon Galbraith
> Two questions regarding thisfor the list (slightly OT):
> 1) Has any sort of IP address ownership precedence been set in a US
> court?

Not that I'm aware of, but I've never looked.  I'm sure ARIN's lawyers 

> 2) Isn't ARIN considered a non-profit resource management/allocation
> organization? To my knowledge, there is no "marketplace" for IPs.

The entire suit is predicated on the concept that IP addresses can be 
owned and traded like other property.  The rest is a house of cards that 
will fall if ARIN can prove that to be incorrect -- and will probably 
stand if they can't.

Also, any technical expert can rip about half of the house down without 
breaking a sweat because it's so flawed to the point of being 
entertaining.  It'd be fun to read the transcripts if this ever goes to 
trial, but my money says it'll be decided one way or the other before it 
actually makes it into a courtroom.

The wording of Kremen's argument made me understand why ARIN is so 
resistant to using the term "rent" for their activities, because that 
implies that there is property exchanging hands.  Courts have 
jurisdiction over property, though it's a minefield to try to dictate 
who someone must rent to.  Keeping the words in registry-speak allows 
them to differentiate the situation and insist that addresses are not 
property at all.

The anti-trust angle is interesting, but even if ARIN were found to be 
one, it's hard to convince people that a _non-profit_ monopoly acting in 
the public interest is a bad thing.  The debate there will be around the 
preferential treatment that larger ARIN members get (in terms of larger 
allocations, lower per address fees, etc), which Kremen construes as 
being anticompetitive via creating artificial barriers to entry.  That 
may end up being changed.


Stephen Sprunk         "God does not play dice."  --Albert Einstein
CCIE #3723         "God is an inveterate gambler, and He throws the
K5SSS        dice at every possible opportunity." --Stephen Hawking 

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