ARIN IP6 policy for those with legacy IP4 Space

Owen DeLong owen at
Sun Apr 11 11:39:41 CDT 2010

On Apr 11, 2010, at 9:17 AM, Joe Greco wrote:

>>> Put less tersely:
>>> We were assigned space, under a policy whose purpose was primarily to
>>> guarantee uniqueness in IPv4 numbering.  As with other legacy holders,
>>> we obtained portable space to avoid the technical problems associated
>>> with renumbering, problems with subdelegation, etc.
>> So far, correct.
>>> Part of that was an understanding that the space was ours (let's not
>>> get distracted by any "ownership" debate, but just agree for the sake
>>> of this point that it was definitely understood that we'd possess it).
>>> This served the good of the Internet by promoting stability within an
>>> AS and allowed us to spend engineering time on finer points (such as 
>>> maintaining PTR's) rather than renumbering gear every time we changed
>>> upstreams.
>> This is fictitious unless you are claiming that your allocation predates:
>> RFC2050	November, 1996
>> RFC1466	May, 1993
>> RFC1174	August, 1990
>> Prior to that, it was less clear, but, the concept was still generally
>> justified need so long as that need persisted.
> Which ours does.
>>> Eventually InterNIC was disbanded, and components went in various
>>> directions.  ARIN landed the numbering assignment portion of InterNIC.
>>> Along with that, maintenance of the legacy resources drifted along to
>>> ARIN.
>> Actually, ARIN was spun off from InterNIC (containing most of the same
>> staff that had been doing the job at InterNIC) well before InterNIC was
>> disbanded.
> Is there an effective difference or are you just quibbling?  For the
> purposes of this discussion, I submit my description was suitable to
> describe what happened.
Your description makes it sound like there was limited or no continuity
between the former and the current registration services entity.

I point out that ARIN was formed run by and including most of the
IP-related staff from InterNIC.

I consider that a substantive distinction.

>>> ARIN might not have a contract with us, or with other legacy holders.
>>> It wasn't our choice for ARIN to be tasked with holding up InterNIC's
>>> end of things.  However, it's likely that they've concluded that they
>>> better do so, because if they don't, it'll probably turn into a costly
>>> legal battle on many fronts, and I doubt ARIN has the budget for that.
>> This is going to be one of those situations that could become a
>> legal battle on many fronts either way.  On the one hand you have
>> legacy holders who have no contractual right to services from
>> anyone (If you want to pursue InterNIC for failing to live up to
>> whatever agreement you have/had with them, I wish you the
>> very best of luck in that endeavor, especially since you don't
>> have a written contract from them, either).
>> On the other hand, in a relatively short timeframe, you are likely
>> to have litigants asking why ARIN has failed to reclaim/reuse
>> the underutilized IPv4 space sitting in so many legacy registrations.
>> Which of those two bodies of litigants is larger or better funded
>> is left as an exercise for the reader. Nonetheless, ARIN is
>> going to be in an interesting position between those two
>> groups (which one is rock and which is hard place is also
>> left as an exercise for the reader) going forward regardless
>> of what action is taken by ARIN in this area.
>> That is why the legacy RSA is important. It represents ARIN
>> trying very hard to codify and defend the rights of the legacy
>> holders.
> Yes, but according to the statistics provided by Mr. Curran, it looks
> like few legacy space holders are actually adopting the LRSA. 
So far, yes. That's unfortunate.

> Like many tech people, you seem to believe that the absence of a 
> "contract" means that there's no responsibility, and that InterNIC's
> having been disbanded absolves ARIN from responsibility.  In the real
> world, things are not so simple.  The courts have much experience at
> looking at real world situations and determining what should happen.
> These outcomes are not always predictable and frequently don't seem to
> have obvious results, but they're generally expensive fights.
No, actually, quite the opposite.  I believe that BOTH legacy holders and
ARIN have responsibilities even though there is no contract. I believe
that ARIN is, however, responsible to the community as it exists today
and not in any way responsible to legacy holders who choose to
ignore that community and their responsibilities to it.

The reality is that the community has evolved. For the most part, the
community has been willing to let legacy holders live in their little
reality distortion bubble and accommodated their eccentricities.
I think that is as it should be, to some extent. On the other hand,
I think the history now shows that ARIN's failure to immediately
institute the same renewal pricing model on legacy holders as on
new registrants has created an unfortunate disparity and a number
of unfortunate perceptions.  Contrast this with APNIC and the
domain registrars/registries shortly after the ARIN spinoff from
InterNIC, where, yes, there was much grumbling from those of
us who had legacy (domain, ip resources) from them, but, in the
long run, we paid our fees and moved on.

Had ARIN done this on day one, perhaps it would have gone the
same way. Instead, we have a situation where the mere mention
of requiring legacy holders to pay a token annual fee like the rest
of IP end-users in the ARIN region leads to discussions like this.

FWIW, I'm a legacy holder myself, but, I have signed the LRSA
and I do have IPv6 resources under an RSA as well.  No harm
has come to me as a result and it is not costing me any more
to have done so.  In fact, I got my IPv6 assignment for a good
discount in the process, but, that deal is no longer available.

Frankly, I find it remarkably short-sighted that so many legacy
holders have refused to sign the LRSA. Especially in light of
the fact that if you are sitting on excess resources and want
to be able to transfer them under NRPM 8.3, you will need
to bring them under LRSA or RSA first and the successor who
acquires them from you (under 8.2 or 8.3) will need to sign an
RSA for the transfer to be valid.

>>> As a legacy holder, we don't really care who is currently "responsible"
>>> for legacy maintenance/etc.  However, whoever it is, if they're not
>>> going to take on those responsibilities, that's a problem.
>> You assume that anyone is currently responsible.  What documentation
>> do you have that there is any such responsibility?
>> As a point in fact, ARIN has, for the good of the community, extended
>> the courtesy of maintaining those records and providing services
>> to legacy holders free of charge because it is perceived as being
>> in the best interests of the community.
> That's only one possible interpretation.  A court might well reach a more
> general conclusion that ARIN is the successor to InterNIC, and has agreed 
> to honor legacy registrations.  That'd be inconvenient for ARIN, but is a 
> very reasonable possible outcome.
As a general rule, courts tend to rule that absent an exchange of value, there
is no contract. They also tend to rule that contracts which contain significantly
inequitable exchanges of value are invalid.

Since ARIN is collecting nothing from legacy holders and not getting
funded by NSF or other US Government agency the way InterNIC was,
it's hard to see where you would find the exchange of value to support
that conclusion.

Additionally, it could be argued that by refusing to sign the LRSA or RSA
and refusing to participate in the community on a level playing field with
others, legacy holders are not meeting their obligations under your
implied contract theory.

IANAL, so I could be completely wrong here and this is just my personal
opinion, not a statement of ARIN or the AC.

>>> The previous poster asked, "If you don't have a contract with ARIN, 
>>> why should ARIN provide you with anything?"
>>> Well, the flip side to that is, "ARIN doesn't have a contract with us,
>>> but we still have copies of the InterNIC policies under which we were
>>> assigned space, and ARIN undertook those duties, so ARIN is actually 
>>> the one with significant worries if they were to try to pull anything,
>>> otherwise, we don't really care."
>> Could you please provide those to Steve Ryan, John Curran, and,
>> ideally, I'd like to see them too.
>>> Is that a suitable defense of that statement (which might not have
>>> been saying quite what you thought)?
>> I don't know.  I have yet to see the content of the documents which
>> you claim are your defense.
> I'd be pleased to pull them off our backups for our normal hourly rates.
> Otherwise, you're encouraged to do your own research.
I've done my own research... I've come up with nothing. You're the one
claiming you have documentation to support your assertions...

To be blunt, put up or shut up.


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