ARIN legacy block transfer process

John Curran jcurran at
Mon Oct 3 21:09:00 UTC 2016

On 3 Oct 2016, at 4:06 PM, William Herrin <bill at> wrote:
> ...

> 3. In it's 20-year history, ARIN has taken no actions whatsoever
> against legacy address holders inconsistent with legacy address blocks
> being common law property, save this: ARIN has not consistently
> updated the registry to reflect a new registrant for an address block
> unless the new registrant has signed a registration services
> agreement. Note that ARIN has updated the registrant for legacy
> registrations without service agreements, just not consistently.
> ARIN asserts they've taken no action because community developed
> policy instructs them not to.  That is a half-truth. The whole truth
> is that ARIN has bent over backwards to avoid testing in court whether
> they have the lawful authority to enforce any policies against legacy
> address holders, even to the extent of bending or breaking their own
> policies when settling a court case. For example, Microsoft was
> permitted to register the Nortel addresses under the weaker Legacy
> Registration Services Agreement when the plain language of the
> then-extant policies required the use of the primary RSA.

Bill - You’re not quite correct with these statements, as there have been many 
court orders that require parties to enter into an RSA and comply with the IP 
registry policy – this is actually fairly common outcome of bankruptcy cases.  
(Refer to  <> 
for just some examples.)  It is true that parties consent to these agreements,
as ARIN does not transfer the address block unless in compliance with policy.  

We have routinely argue that IP address blocks are not common law property
and prevail - we have never been ordered to make registry updates contrary 
to the community policy.

> 4. No statute, regulation or judicial finding either confirms or
> refutes ARIN's ability to lawfully refuse such updates. All relevant
> cases have either been settled prior to a judicial finding, or
> resulted in the registration's termination for other reasons
> (generally fraud of some sort).

Half-correct, in that these bankruptcy cases do result in judicial orders; 
however, the fact that the parties consent to the terms in order to proceed 
with the transfer is correct.  (Presumably they would do otherwise if they
had a valid basis for argument, but that hasn’t happened.)

> ...

> Pragmatically, if you want to buy an address block, the path of least
> resistance is: register with ARIN.
> From a purist "what are my rights" standpoint: John Curran's comments
> notwithstanding, that's not so clear.

Also correct - hence why I suggested that “a broker (and/or informed legal counsel) 
can provide a view which is solely focused on the address holder’s interests”   


John Curran
President and CEO

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