[External] Normal ARIN registration service fees for LRSA entrants after 31 Dec 2023 (was: Fwd: [arin-announce] Availability of the Legacy Fee Cap for New LRSA Entrants Ending as of 31 December 2023)

John Curran jcurran at arin.net
Sun Sep 18 13:59:30 UTC 2022

Tom –

While this may be surprising, it’s my personal view that ARIN and our community has benefited
significantly from the approach taken with the legacy resource holders – as opposed to what
might have occurred with some form of automatic or mandatory conversion of legacy resource
holders to ARIN members…

In particular, legacy resource holders making their own voluntary decision on relative merits
of becoming an ARIN member (with consideration of the associated tradeoffs in services,
fees, legal agreements, etc.) has caused ARIN to weigh and address concerns with ARIN
agreements/fees/services and make improvements that might not have otherwise been
prioritized.  By way of example, several revisions of the LRSA were made to provide for
more balanced terms and conditions as a result of feedback from uncontracted legacy
resource holders, and these same improvements were incorporated into the RSA for all
customers when the LRSA and RSA became a single uniform agreement in 2015.

As noted on this list, resource holders have some potential alternatives due to the adoption
of the Inter-RIR transfer policy, but in general ARIN still has significant “market power” due to
the structure of the RIR system and network effects from large scale adoption in the region.
I manage ARIN with a clear awareness of this situation, and under the circumstances, the
community of uncontracted legacy resource holders are a key source of unvarnished and
(mostly) objective insight into how ARIN could be doing a better job.  To the extent that ARIN
can heed and incorporate such input, I believe we better serve the entire community of those
using number resources in the region.


John Curran
President and CEO
American Registry for Internet Numbers

On 17 Sep 2022, at 11:18 AM, Tom Beecher <beecher at beecher.cc<mailto:beecher at beecher.cc>> wrote:

I would honestly love it if IANA was able to say "As of X date, all LEGACY IPv4 allocations are transferred to the RIRs . Assignees will not change, but will now need to comply with each RIRs policies."

Of course this will never happen, because it would just be a flood of billable hours, lawsuits, and injunctions, where companies will claim 'intellectual property' over something they didn't develop.

It's exhausting to watch this two tiered system where the legacy holders bleat about what the rules should be for the rest of us, while they can do whatever the heck they want, simply because they had the foresight to exist at the right time.

On Sat, Sep 17, 2022 at 10:41 AM John Curran <jcurran at arin.net<mailto:jcurran at arin.net>> wrote:

On 16 Sep 2022, at 10:11 PM, John Gilmore <gnu at toad.com<mailto:gnu at toad.com>> wrote:

John Curran <jcurran at arin.net<mailto:jcurran at arin.net>> wrote:
... the long-term direction is to provide the same services to all
customers under the same agreement and fees – anything else wouldn’t
be equitable.

There are many "anything else"s that would indeed be equitable.  It is
equitable for businesses to sell yesterday's bread at a lower price than
today's bread.  Or to rent unused hotel rooms to late-night transients
for lower prices than those charged to people who want pre-booked
certainty about their overnight shelter.  ARIN could equitably charge
different prices to people in different situations; it already does.
And ARIN could equitably offer services to non-members, by charging them
transaction fees for services rendered, rather than trying to force them
into a disadvantageous long term contract.  Please don't confuse
"seeking equity" with "forcing everyone into the same procrustean bed".

John -

ARIN can most certainly charge different fees for different customers – we’re actually doing
exactly that today for all of the legacy resource holders who have entered an agreement
with ARIN already or who choose to do so in the coming year.  Rather than paying the
same registration service fees as everyone else, they have a cap on their total registry
maintenance fees (presently $150 per year, subject to an increase $25 per year) which
is a unique fee benefit that’s been provided only to the legacy resource holders.  The
announcement just made is that we will cease offering this fee cap for legacy resource
holders who sign an agreement after 31 Dec 2023; i.e. they will pay the same fees as
everyone else based on total resources held.

As others have already noted, this will move ARIN towards charging more customers the
same fees for the same services.  If you are a legacy resource holder that was planning
on entering into an LRSA with ARIN, it would be beneficial to do so before 2024.  If you
are legacy resource holder that is not planning to enter an agreement with ARIN, then
the change doesn’t matter to you (other than perhaps a providing an opportunity to rail
on the mailing list in response anyway…)

As a simple example, ARIN's contract need not require its customers to
give up their resources when ceasing to pay ARIN for services.  (There's
an existence proof: RIPE's doesn't.)  Such a contract would likely
result in more-equitable sharing of costs, since it would encourage
legacy holders to pay ARIN (and legacy holders are still more than a
quarter of the total IP addresses, possibly much more).  The fact that
ARIN hasn't made this happen says nothing about equity; it's about
something else.

A wonderful assertion, but false.  Those issued resource before ARIN’s formation have
a choice – if they wish to enter an agreement and normalize their relationship they can
do so, but at that point they are subject to the same agreement as everyone else.  ARIN
has made a conscious decision to treat everyone the same, both in terms of agreements
and fees (aside from the legacy resource holder fee cap that has been provided for last
two decades as an incentive and, as noted, is being sunset at the end of 2023.)

Note that there are indeed circumstances where a party can exit the RSA and the number
resources return to the prior status – this is what occurs if ARIN is found in litigation to have
breached the agreement.

This whole tussle is about power.  ARIN wants the power to take away
legacy resources, while their current owners don't want that to happen.

If that the goal were "take away legacy resources”, then there are  far easier and more
direct means to accomplish that, but as noted previously, the goal is rather provide legacy
resource holders a choice if they want a formal relationship with ARIN or not.   Enter into
an LRSA or don’t, that’s entirely up to each legacy resource holder.

ARIN wants to be the puppeteer who pulls all the strings for the North
American Internet.  It pursues this desire by stealth and misdirection
(e.g. "We strongly encourage all legacy resource holders who have not
yet signed an LRSA to cover their legacy resources to consider doing so
before 31 December 2023 in order to secure the most favorable fees for
their ARIN Services...")

ARIN certainly encourages legacy resource holders to enter an agreement - this helps
spread our costs among a larger customer base and provides the customer access to
our full suite of services – I’m not sure how that encouragement is seen as "stealth and
misdirection”, particularly as we go out of our way to communicate changes well in
advance and in forums such as this one.

ARIN is also trying to encourage ISPs to
demand RPKI before providing transit to IP address holders, which would
turn its optional RPKI service (that it has tied by contract into ARIN
gaining control over legacy resources) into an effectively mandatory
RPKI service.

Again, ARIN encourages operators to deploy RPKI services to better protect their
network routing, but we are very clear to take no stance on _requiring_ deployment
of such services – this is matter best left for the operator community to decide.

ARIN hides its power grab behind "our policies are set by our community"
and "our board is elected by our community" misdirections.  Its voting
community consists almost entirely of those who aren't legacy holders
(by definition: if you accept their contract, your legacy resource
ownership goes away; if you don't, you can't vote).

Almost accurate - the voting community is indeed those customers who have resources
under services agreement (i.e. members) and therefore that does not include legacy
resource holders unless they opt to enter an LRSA.  That voting community does elect
the ARIN Board of Trustees  and our ARIN Advisory Council.

However, the ARIN policy development process is open to all, and there are many participants
who have legacy resources not under agreement and advocate on behalf of that community –
again, it’s your choice is you wish to participate or not, but it would be specious to assert that
the community that develops ARIN registry policy is limited to ARIN members.

That community
would love to confiscate some "underused" legacy IP addresses to be
handed out for free to their own "waiting list".  So this is equivalent
to putting foxes in charge of policy for a henhouse.

Wow - I’m not certain you could be more incorrect.   Note that the policies that were in
effect _prior to ARIN’s formation_ reflect exactly that sentiment above: i.e., per RFC 2050 –

   IP addresses are valid as long as the criteria continues to be met.
   The IANA reserves the right to invalidate any IP assignments once it
   is determined the the requirement for the address space no longer
   exists.  In the event of address invalidation, reasonable efforts
   will be made by the appropriate registry to inform the organization
   that the addresses have been returned to the free pool of IPv4
   address space.

The community in this region (via ARIN’s policy development process) created registry policies
that specifically recognize that “underused" IP address space is not subject to reclamation but
can be transferred to another party that has need.   (You can find these in ARIN’s number resource
policy manual (NRPM) in section 8) <https://www.arin.net/participate/policy/nrpm/#8-transfers>.

ARIN has also enshrined that same principle of ability to retain “underused number resources”
in its RSA/LRSA, in section 6 –


Whenever a transfer or additional IP address space is requested by Holder, ARIN may review Holder’s utilization of previously allocated or assigned number resources and other Services received from ARIN to determine if Holder is complying with the Service Terms. Except as set forth in this Agreement, (i) ARIN will take no action to reduce the Services currently provided for Included Number Resources due to lack of utilization by the Holder, and (ii) ARIN has no right to revoke any Included Number Resources under this Agreement due to lack of utilization by Holder. However, ARIN may refuse to permit transfers or additional allocations of number resources to Holder if Holder’s Included Number Resources are not utilized in accordance with Policy.

Now that markets exist for IP addresses, all that IP addresses need is a
deed-registry to discourage fraud, like a county real-estate registrar's
office.  IP addresses no longer need a bureacracy for socialistic
determinations about which supplicants "deserve" addresses.

That’s pretty much what ARIN’s policies have evolved into, although we do still at present
have a requirement that the recipient of an address block during a transfer have operational
need (i.e. they’re going to be used in an actual network at some point.)  If you don’t like that
constraint, you can whine about it here on the nanog mailing list, or you can join others of
similar mind working in the ARIN policy development process – I actually don’t care either
way; ARIN operates the registry per the policy but leaves the development of registry policy
to the community.

Addresses now have prices, and if you want some, you buy them.  Deed
registries get to charge fees for transactions, but they don't get to take away
your property, nor tell you that you can't buy any more property because
they disapprove of how you managed your previous properties.  Actual
ownership of real estate is defined by contracts and courts, not by the
registry, which is just a set of pointers to help people figure out the
history and current status of each parcel.  The registry is important,
but it's not definitive.

Agreed regarding contracts and courts - if you have an RSA with ARIN, you have contract
and your IP address block is a specific set of contractual rights that civil, criminal, probate,
bankruptcy and other courts all seem to have no problem understanding and dealing with
under rule of law.   Absent such, I think you’ll find courts to be an interesting place indeed.

Deed-registry is apparently not a model that ARIN wants to be operating
in.  They initially tried to refuse to record purchases of address
blocks, because it violated their model of "if you don't use your IP
addresses, you must give them back to us and receive no money for them".

Factually incorrect.  We never refused to transfer address blocks from one party to
another _if the transfer met the policies set by the community_.   It was actually the
ARIN community that established the first number resource transfer policy in 2009
<https://www.arin.net/vault/announcements/2009/20090601_nrpm.html> and this
was done at the encouragement of the ARIN Board of Trustees…. (please let’s try
to stick with facts so an to keep the discussion here occurring on an informed basis.)

They saw their job as being the power broker who hands out free favors.
But when their supply of free IP addresses dried up, they had no
remaining function other than to record ownership (be a deed registry),
and to run an occasional conference.  It dawned on them that if they
refused to record these transactions, they would not even be a reliable
deed-registry; they would have entirely outlived their usefulness.

As noted, the above is completely specious; the ARIN Board and the community developed
our registry policies for transfers to unrelated parties ahead of the first transactions.

Sothey reluctantly agreed to do that job, but their policies are still
left over from their power-broker past.  They'd love to go back to it,
if only they could figure out how.  IPv6?  Sure!  RPKI maybe?  Worth a

ARIN prefers to be a power broker rather than a scribe.  Who can blame
them for that?  But don't mistake their strategy for stewardship.
"Doing what the community wants" or "seeking the equitable thing" quacks
like stewardship, so of course they brand themselves that way.  But
in my opinion their power-seeking is self-serving, not community-serving.

John - if you don’t like ARIN policies, I’d suggest that you join the others in the policy
development process working to change them.  ARIN makes sure that there’s open
and transparent policy development process, leaves the community to set those
policies, and then we operate the registry accordingly.   That’s what we define as
stewardship" of the number registry.


John Curran
President and CEO
American Registry for Internet Numbers

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