[ppml] address ownership

Paul Vixie paul at vix.com
Sat Aug 18 19:59:02 EDT 2007

> Right now, under the terms of RSAs, address allocations are not (in theory)
> indefeasible.  However, I was suggesting creating a new object corresponding
> to an "indefeasible right of use" for addresses on top of the underlying
> addresses that _could_ be bought and sold without veering off into pointless
> discussions about "address ownership".

wouldn't IANA revoke any allocation for which "need in order to connect" was
no longer demonstrable, per RFC 2050?  wouldn't an offer to sell an IRU-like
instrument be clear evidence of "lack of need" in this context?

> RIR assertions that addresses can't be 'owned' ... do not apply to a
> majority of the IPv4 address space allocated to date unless the RIRs are
> asserting they have authority of address space not allocated by them.

i'm explicitly not addressing the question of authority.  as leo vogoda said
here recently, if the community wants ip addresses to become transferrable,
they will act that way, and one of the changes they'd have to make is to the
RIR system's rules.

> As such, discussions of ownership is 'a diversion or distraction from an
> original objective' of how to deal with a post- IPv4 run out world.

it sounds as if we're begging the same question here but from different angles.
if you think that making previous allocations transferrable is the way that
the community ought to deal with a post-depletion world, then the questions
to answer are: 

1. is it steady state -- would we be able to last forever that way?

2. if not, how much time would it buy us before IPv6 really was mandatory,
   and is this forcing function REALLY the only way to get there?

3. would the meatspace governments of the world, who tolerate ICANN and the
   RIR system today, continue to do so under this kind of system?

4. are there changes the IETF or ICANN or ASO or NRO or the RIRs would need
   to make to any founding principles/bylaws, or is this just a policy change?

5. what will the implications be on IPv6 allocation?

6. what if the routing table exploded due to deaggregation even while there
   was still plenty of IPv4 space "for sale"?

7. what would everybody's new liabilities be?

note-- any answer that proceeds from the assumption that there's nothing we
can do about it so we just have to cope with terrible badness and pain is a
waste of your time since i'll ignore it, so let's skip beyond that this time.

if the community coheres its will around transferrability, then there's a lot
of work to be done and not very many years to do it in.  it's not simple and
it's not the default nor the status quo.

if the community coheres its will around nontransferrability, then there's
also some work to do but plenty of time to do it.  FCFS is the status quo and
maintaining it is what's going to happen, unless some change is selected.

> If you disagree, why doesn't ARIN revoke (say)

i don't know anything about that netblock, but if i did, i'd still refer it
to ARIN staff.  (i also don't know why ARIN allocates IPv6 sequentially, but
i'm happy to refer that question to ARIN staff if you can't reach them.)

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