[ppml] Fw: US District Court, Oct 23rd

Michel Py michel at arneill-py.sacramento.ca.us
Fri Oct 27 00:02:17 EDT 2006

> Scott Leibrand wrote:
> The other thing that this lawsuit could do (if the plaintiff
> prevails against ARIN) is put in place a precedent that IP
> addresses are property, thereby opening the door for companies
> to buy and sell IPs without regard to ARIN policies. In the
> extreme, this could open the door wide open to market (re-)
> distribution of IPs, which is controversial to say the least.


That being said, in every problem there is an opportunity, and I do see
one here. Regardless of the outcome, I think this lawsuit is not the
last one of its kind; even if ARIN prevails and even if Kremen does not
appeal or loses all the appeals all the way up to the Supreme Court, it
is my opinion that more lawsuits will come.

Like it or not and regardless who wins, the closer we get closer to IPv4
exhaustion, the more IPv4 blocks will become a traded commodity. Valid
or not, claims of ownership of IP blocks will be brought to courts. I
don't like the way our (*) legal system works, but it has been proven
many times that a bad settlement is better than a good trial, and that a
jerk with money and friends can use the legal system at his advantage
regardless of merits.

Swamp blocks hijacked with clever tricks involving re-registering
expired domains and other ruses have "sold" (note the quotes) on eBay
and on the black market before, I don't see it stopping.

Although I do have my views on how to address this (**), it's not the
point I'm trying to make today; IP blocks WILL "sell". How many will
change hands and for how much per IP address remains to be seen; maybe
they'll "sell" on the black market; maybe the RIRs will control it. This
has to be decided yet.

The point I'm trying to make is as follows: I think it is important that
the community leverages the legal knowledge that will be acquired in
this Kremen deal to lobby for legislature that will insure that future
copycat lawsuits have better legal ground that what we have today.
Legislature based on community wishes, not on who can afford the best
attorneys. (***)


(*) Given the subject line and my email address, "our" obviously means
"the USA's". That being said, I have lived in several countries and
traveled to many more; the sentence "a bad settlement is better than a
good trial" seems to be a popular saying all over the world.

(**) For the record, my position is that, when the time comes, the RIRs
should authorize transfer of IP blocks between entities, even if the
transfer involves money, as long as the new recipient entity signs the
registration services agreement and pays the annual fees. No service
agreement, no IP. IP addresses are not property of individuals or
corporations. The RIRs lease IP blocks. Failure to recognize market
forces or failure to secure relevant legislation will result it black
market deals and endless lawsuits on shaky legal grounds.

(***) Unfortunately, lobbying for legislature involves getting involved
with lobbyists, many of which are attorneys and all of which have very
deep pockets. I realize the ambiguity of my recommendation.
For a very reasonable 15% fee, I am willing to introduce ARIN to
successful California lobbyists :-D

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