IP addresses are now assets

John Curran jcurran at arin.net
Fri Dec 2 21:39:19 UTC 2011

On Dec 2, 2011, at 2:37 PM, joshua sahala wrote:

>   intangible asset
>      An asset that is not a physical thing and only evidenced by a
>      written document.
> the addresses are being exchanged for money, in order to pay a
> debt...how is this not a sale of an asset?

Joshua - 
  Rights to addresses (in the registration database) are being 
  transferred for money.  Those rights may indeed be "assets"
  (although that's likely a question better suited for lawyers)

  Perhaps "Rights to IP addresses can be sold!" would be a better
  title, but it's not exactly newsworthy since we've all known that
  for some time: <http://www.circleid.com/posts/psst_interested_in_some_lightly_used_ip_addresses/>

>> ARIN holds that IP address space is not property but is managed as a> public resource.
> imho, if it were truly a 'public resource' and managed as such, it
> would be returned to the appropriate rir for reassignment, rather than
> being auctioned off to the highest bidder by a (commodities) broker...

 Agreed.  However, attempting fairly to administrate a resource 
 as it becomes increasingly scarce is quite problematic, and yet
 there is a real need emerging among network operators for IPv4 
 space as the regional free pool diminishes.  The limited market
 mechanism provides a motivation for getting these resources back
 into use, while still taking the communities need for accurate  
 record keeping and avoidance of deaggregation into consideration.

> administrative and processing fees are one thing, but this is
> pure commoditisation of a so-called 'public resource' by speculators.
> i am, unfortunately, in the minority on this topic

 It shouldn't be speculators, unless they're particularly skilled
 at faking the operational need for the space they're obtaining
 and willing to risk losing the entire investment if detected.

> On Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 8:33 AM, John Curran <jcurran at arin.net> wrote:
> [cut]
>>  "Sale may be subject to compliance with certain requirements of
>> the American Registry of Internet Numbers ("ARIN") and the court
>> materials to date reflect this.
> MAY versus WILL -- rfc2119 contains a pretty clear definition of each,
> which i am pretty sure echoes legal precedent..but again, ianal, so,
> ymmv, etc, etc

 I referenced that language because it is in the public solicitation.
 Actual legal documents on transfers to date have been quite explicit
 on this point.

> the speculative market exists and is growing, why do certain factions
> of the community keep trying to pretend that it doesn't?

 Again, there is a limited market emerging in IPv4 address space, one 
 in which the transfer recipient must demonstrate an operational need.

 Attempting to use the transfer policy to speculate would be rather
 adventurous (since one must agree contractually to compliance with 
 the registry policies and to the veracity of the information on the 
 transfer request...)  That doesn't mean it won't happen, only that we 
 hope that it will not get materially in the way of service providers
 who do need additional address space.


John Curran
President and CEO

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