Brian Kantor Brian at ampr.org
Fri Jul 19 15:02:57 UTC 2019

Because questions have arisen here that are well answered by
a short series of postings from the 44net mailing list, at the
request of the author [Phil Karn] and others, I am reposting
them here.
	- Brian

From: Phil Karn <karn at ka9q.net>
Subject: [44net] sale

Hello all,

I've not been active here, but some of you may remember me as the guy
who first got TCP/IP going on amateur packet radio way back in 1986. At
one time, my name was registered as the owner of the block. This makes
me one of a VERY small group of people with any arguable personal
property interest in network 44. And yes, 25% of this space, which is
VERY unlikely to ever be used by hams, has been sold to Amazon.

Rather than try to personally profit from this, we all readily agreed to
place the *entire* proceeds of this sale into a 501(c)(3) charity
chartered to support amateur digital radio and related developments. No
one is buying a yacht or a mansion. As a tax-exempt charity, our tax
returns and related documents will be publicly available so you can see
what is being done. Like the rest of the amateur community, all of you
will have the opportunity to apply for grants and do good things for
amateur radio with them.

73, Phil


On 7/18/19 21:25, Gavin Rogers wrote:
> On 19/07/2019 12:19 pm, Phil Karn wrote:
>> Like the rest of the amateur community, all of you
>> will have the opportunity to apply for grants and do good things for
>> amateur radio with them.
> I don't know much about US-registered charities and tax law, but will
> this include amateurs and clubs located outside of the US? 

Sure. We'd like to cast the net as widely as possible for worthy grant
recipients. Doesn't matter where they are in the world, as long as the
purpose is consistent with our charter, which is to benefit amateur
digital radio and related development. That's a worldwide activity.

I suppose US legal restrictions on dealing with certain "pariah"
countries might come into play (e.g., North Korea) but that's a very
short list and there isn't much ham radio in them anyway.

We're already thinking about things like:

Educational grants to students who are hams;

Existing amateur radio 501(c)(3) organizations;

Development of *freely available* technology: hardware, software,
protocols, etc

Field trials, demonstrations, pilot projects, educational outreach, etc;

This list is NOT exhaustive by any means, and in fact we'll be looking
for good ideas from anyone who has them. We want to be as transparent
about this as possible.

Again, though we might have been able to establish a *personal* property
claim over network 44, we all quickly decided to not open that can of
worms and instead sign everything over to the ARDC. Face it, given who
we are we'd probably just spend the money on ham radio development
ourselves. This is a much better way to do it.

73, Phil


On 7/18/19 21:38, David Ranch wrote:
> Wow!  This is rather big news but has also been VERY opaque to the
> AMPR community.  I'm also surprised that the sale has already occurred
> and not auctioned off to say the highest bidder?  Since ARDC is a
> corporation, when will we learn about the sale price and how this
> money will be *really* spent?
> The bottom of https://www.ampr.org/amprnet/ does cover a little of
> this but it's all too vague for my tastes. 

I didn't like the secrecy either, but it was necessary given the nature
of the process. We are precluded by the terms of the sale from giving
precise figures at this time, but suffice it to say that we (Brian,
actually) worked *very* hard to get the best possible price. I am fully
satisfied that he did. Everyone with any arguable legal property
interest in 44/8 was fully informed and consented to give up that
interest and have it benefit ham radio instead. I didn't even think
twice about it.

Remember, this is an IRS 501(c)(3) charity, which means there are strict
rules on transparency, how money can be spent and how it must be
accounted for. Tax returns and other documents are public information.

One of the most important rules for a non-profit, which the IRS takes
pretty seriously, is a prohibition on "self dealing". This is how Donald
Trump's personal charity got shut down.

73, Phil


On 7/18/19 22:08, David Ranch wrote:
>> I have so many words for the conspiracy theorists and negative
>> naysayers,
>> but Ill hold that back and not contribute to the shitstorm.
> My main concern is what will stop the ARDC board from selling the next
> 25% or 50% of 44 space?

The fact that, unlike, it's being used by hams?

I personally approved the sale on two conditions:

1) The block wasn't being used by hams and had no viable prospect of
being used by hams.

[Editor's note: minor correction: *was* in use as an
unrouted internal network by a German ham radio society; they have
been given a routable block of /15 and were in the process of
renumbering to it.]

2) All of the proceeds went to a non-profit to benefit amateur digital
development and related efforts.

I am not an expert in the IP address market, but from everything I saw
and heard I am fully satisfied that Brian did the best possible job in
getting the best price for the /10 that was sold. It was explained to us
that a /10 would be more than twice as valuable as two /11s or four /12s
and so on, and this seemed perfectly logical to me.

Remember, IPv4 addresses won't be valuable forever. IPv6 is developing
slowly, but it *is* developing. I for one have long been interested in
getting IPv6 much more widely used within amateur radio (as well as the
larger Internet) as even the full 44/8 block was woefully inadequate for
doing a lot of the things that could and should be done.

73, Phil

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