Lightly used IP addresses

Owen DeLong owen at
Mon Aug 16 03:25:50 UTC 2010

On Aug 15, 2010, at 11:08 AM, Brett Frankenberger wrote:

> On Sun, Aug 15, 2010 at 11:44:18AM -0400, Owen DeLong wrote:
>> You and Randy operate from the assumption that these less certain
>> rights somehow exist at all. I believe them to be fictitious in
>> nature and contrary to the intent of number stewardship all the way
>> back to Postel's original notebook. Postel himself is on record
>> stating that disused addresses should be returned.
> A non-trivial number of people likely believe they have property rights
> in their legacy address space (or, more precisely, in the entry in the
> ARIN database that corresponds to their legacy address space) and that
> those property rights are much more extensive than the rights they have
> under the LRSA.

Once upon a time, a non-trivial number of people believed in a set of
$DIETIES we now refer to as greco-roman mythology. That doesn't
make those beliefs any more or less correct than the ones who believe
in these mystic undocumented property rights.

> John points out that the LRSA gives legacy address holders a degree of
> certainty that they don't otherwise have.  That's almost certainly
> true; I doubt any legancy address holders are in possession of legal
> advice to the effect of "you absolutely have property rights in that
> allocation; there's absoutely no chance you'd lose should you attempt
> to assert those rights in court".  (On the other hand, no one really
> knows that ARIN has the authority to make the guarantees it's making
> under the LRSA.  The LRSA only binds ARIN ... there's nothing to say
> the us Government won't step in an and assert its own authority over
> legacy space.  So, while the LRSA confers a degree of certainty, it
> doesn't confer absolute certainty, or anything close to it.)
Since the only assurances the LRSA offers are with regard to what
ARIN will or won't do, I would say that ARIN is in a perfectly good position
to make those assurances.

> But John doesn't seem to want to acknowledge, at least directly, the
> possibility that that thsoe property rights might be reasonably
> believed by some to exist.  I suspect some entities are in possession
> of legal advice to the effect of "you probably have property rights and
> probably can do whatever you want with your space and probably get
> court orders as needed to force ARIN to respond accordingly".  If one
> has gotten such advice from one's lawyers, and one has discussed with
> those lawyers just how probable "probably" is, it might well be that
> signing the LRSA is legitimately perceived as giving up rights.
Whether or not such belief is reasonable (I'm not inclined that it is as
I have seen not one single document that conveys any form of property
rights and the concept of owning integers seems utterly bizarre to me)
I will leave to the psychologists and psychiatrists to determine.

I acknowledge that some people believe this. I believe they are mistaken.

I'll leave it to John to speak for himself on the matter.

>>> Because that's intended to be part of the price, Randy. In exchange
>>> for gaining enforceable rights with respect to ARIN's provision of
>>> services, you quit any claim to your legacy addresses as property,
>> I would say you acknowledge the lack of such a claim in the first
>> place rather than quit claim. Thus you are not giving up anything and
>> the only actual price is $100 per year with very limited possible
>> increases over future years.
> The reality is that *no one knows* whether or not there are property
> rights.  The difference between "quit claim any rights you have" and
> "acknowledge you never had any rights" isn't really relevant.  Either
> way, you go from having whatever property rights you originally had
> (and no one knows for sure what those rights are) to probably not
> having any such rights.
Not exactly. In the "acknowledging you never had rights" scenario, you
go from having no rights whatsoever to having a defined set of
rights which may be less in scope than you imagined your rights to
be prior to seeking documentation of said rights and discovering none.

> With either language, if you never had any such rights, you aren't
> giving up anything.  If you did previously have such rights, you
> probably are giving up something.  Whether the language is written
> presupposing the existance of such rights, or presupposing the
> non-existance of such rights, has no real effect.
Ah, but, if you never had any such rights and you are gaining some
rights (which is actually what the LRSA does) that is quite different
from giving up rights.

I agree that the perspective of the contractual language is nearly a
no-op for the signatories of the contract.

> OF course ARIN's position is that that clause merely clarifies a
> situation that already exists.  But the fact that ARIN feels it needs
> clarifying illustrates the ambiguity.
Or, perhaps, the fact that ARIN feels it needs clarifying is indicative
of ARIN acknowledging wide-spread mythology.

I can acknowledge that the greeks believed Hades lived in the
underworld and took the dead without believing that they were
correct in that belief or accepting any ambiguity on the correctness
of that belief.

>> Any belief that non-signatories enjoy rights not present in the RSA
>> is speculative at best.
> I suspect some people are in possession of legal advice to the
> contrary.  (Well, sure, technically, it is speculative.  But I'd
> imagine that some people have a pretty high degree of confidence in
> their speculation.)
That may well be true. I don't see how it makes any difference (other
than possibly leading to future legal malpractice suits).

> Let's put it this way:  (This is a hypothetical point; I'm not actually
> making an offer here.) Say I'm willing to buy, for $10 per /24, any
> property rights that anyone with legacy space has in their legacy
> allocation, provided they have not signed an RSA or LRSA with respect
> to that space, and provided that they agree to never sign any such
> agreement, or nay similar agreement, with respect to that space.
s/nay/any/ ? (nay in that context doesn't parse for me, but, I want to
make sure I am extracting the correct meaning)

> If there's no property rights, that's a free $10 per /24.  On the other
> hand, if there are property rights, then that's a pretty low price for
> giving me the authority to direct a transfer of the space whenever I
> feel like it.
Yep. My belief is that:
	1.	You'd have few takers at that price.
	2.	Even if you did, when you attempted to direct the transfer,
		the block would have a good chance of being reclaimed.
	3.	Upon reclamation, you'd have  a poor chance of winning
		your lawsuit against ARIN to try and force the transfer.

> How many people do you think would rationally take me up on this offer? 
At $10 per /24... roughly 0.

> Would you advise an ISP with a legacy allocation that is temporarily
> short on cash to engage in such a transaction?  If so, are you
> confident enough in your position that you'd agree to personally
> indemnify them against any loss they might incur if it turns out that
> there are property rights and now I hold them?
I would advise them against such a transaction because such a
transaction would be contrary to ARIN policies and they could well
lose their space in the process.

> And that's really the crux of this argument.  One side assumes there
> are no property rights and argues from that premise, the other side
> assumes there are and argues from that premise.  But sides' arguments
> are logically sound (more or less), but they start from different
> premises, and starting there isn't going to do anything to convince the
> other side that its premise is wrong.  People will just keep talking
> past each other if they decline to address the underlying difference in
> premise.
Agreed... Hence my bringing up the fact that it was different
premises in the first place.


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