[ppml] hoarding (was Policy Proposal: Expand timeframe of Additional Requests)

David Conrad drc at virtualized.org
Sat Aug 18 14:44:06 EDT 2007


On Aug 16, 2007, at 12:35 PM, Paul Vixie wrote:
> even leaving aside the fact that IP addresses aren't property

This is a red herring.  Would calling the things that are being  
bought and sold "Address IRUs" make you (and Steve Ryan) feel better?

> when you've got a pile of stuff that costs you nothing to hold onto

There is an opportunity cost to holding on to your "pile of stuff".   
Presumably, IPv4 has a limited lifetime so the value of your pile  
will go to zero in the long term.

> you will trickle it out into the market at a pace designed to keep  
> prices high.

You can only effectively do this if you have cornered the market.

> if we postulate N hoarders and demand Q per interval T,
> each hoarder will have the quota of (N/Q)/T, knowing that if they  
> exceed this
> they will not maximize their profit.

I'm not bright enough to understand your equation (what are the  
units? people per address per second?), but I'm fairly certain that  
for your assertion to make sense, it assumes either perfect knowledge  
on the part of the hoarders (unlikely) or collusion  amongst the  
hoarders (might interest the US FTC or equivalents elsewhere).

> a hoarder has to limit the amount put into circulation to get paid  
> "the most."

If they have cornered the market.  If they have not, then they are  
competing against others who are wanting to get paid "the most".

There are over 1 billion legacy addresses.  I'm told by a  
(fairly :-)) reliable source that about 4% of that is actually  
routed.  An interesting question would be 'how many potential sellers  
are there?' and the follow up, 'how quickly will they consolidate?'.

> IOW, they would only dump in the months before IPv6 appeared to be  
> viable,

And they would collectively determine this how?

> on this point, i agree, with the proviso that ARIN's authority to  
> allocate
> would become moot if there is nothing to allocate, and ARIN derives  
> its
> authority from the community, who may yet cohere on the topic of  
> address
> property rights.

The problem isn't the _ARIN community_ "cohering" on the topic of  
address property rights.  It is the folks who collectively hold more  
address space than all the RIRs combined cohering on the topic,  
particularly if you're proposing to take away their addresses without  
compensation.  Within this mailing list, you are largely preaching to  
the choir.

> i don't know if it would be possible to rev RFC 2050 in today's
> world, but i expect some RIR bylaws somewhere might also have to be  
> amended.

It wasn't possible in 1996/1997 to rev 2050 when I chaired the IRE  
(and later PAGAN) BOFs which were called for in 2050 and in the past,  
the RIRs have been quite energetic in asserting the IETF has no  
special role in the creation of RIR policies.  There was an effort a  
few years back within the RIRs to revise 2050 so that it actually  
came closer to matching current practice, but the guy doing it  
apparently didn't hate his life as much as it seemed (:-)) and that  
effort appears to have died quietly.

> folks who know that the highest and best use of
> property is to buy low and sell high, speculate, and subdivide, are  
> concerned
> about the digital divide (can afford addresses vs. not),

When this becomes an issue, the free pool is exhausted, so this is  
irrelevant.  Without some way of reclaiming unused space, the 'IPv4  
digital divide' will be fixed in concrete and cannot move.  In other  
resources, money has proven to be an incentive to encourage people to  
put their resources back into play.  You would appear to believe  
markets can't be trusted for IP addresses.  What is your alternative  

> globalization (a
> village ISP in africa might be able to make the equivilent of a  
> year's profit
> by selling their IP address block in new york),

Is this good or bad?

> routing table growth due to subdivision,

The routing system is going to experience explosive growth.  IPv6 has  
guaranteed that.  The question is how can we keep from overgrazing  
the commons.  Complicated as there are arguments about the size of  
the commons and even that the commons can be fully consumed...


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