[ppml] Counsel statement on Legacy assignments?

Dean Anderson dean at av8.com
Thu Oct 4 15:39:52 EDT 2007

"Counsel recently made a statement that it doesn't appear that ARIN has
any legal obligation to maintain registry services for legacy

Where is this counsel statement?


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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2007 19:00:33 -0500
From: Stephen Sprunk <stephen at sprunk.org>
To: John Day <jeanjour at comcast.net>
Cc: ietf at ietf.org
Subject: Re: IPv4 to IPv6 transition

Thus spake "John Day" <jeanjour at comcast.net>
> If IANA had any resolve there are at least 25 -30 Class A blocks
> that should be reclaimed and are not or should not be part of the
> public Internet address space.

AFAIK, IANA does not have any reclamation procedures, nor have any every 
been assumed to exist.  In any event, the legacy assignments were 
transferred to their respective RIRs during the ERX process, so it's the 
RIRs' problem now.

I don't know what has been going on in the other RIRs, but in ARIN it's been 
(heatedly) discussed many times what to do with legacy assignments.  Counsel 
recently made a statement that it doesn't appear that ARIN has any legal 
obligation to maintain registry services for legacy assignments, though it 
does have a moral one since that was a condition of ARIN's creation. 
Counsel also stated, however, it is unclear that ARIN could assign those 
same numbers to someone else later.  There's quite a bit of history there, 
including the possibility that assignments made during the ARPAnet days 
(particularly to universities and defense contractors) were "Government 
Furnished Equipment" and thus only the government can take them back. 
There's a counter-theory that numbers cannot be property at all and ARIN can 
do whatever it wants.  Nobody's really sure, least of all the lawyers who'd 
inevitably be arguing the issue in court when one (or more likely all) of 
those /8 holders sued ARIN for trying to reclaim them.  It doesn't matter 
who's right in the end; ARIN would be bankrupted just trying to defend 
itself against several dozen Fortune 100 companies' legal departments...

We're working on policy proposals to address the issue the best we can, 
though, and if you wish to contribute please subscribe to PPML (and read the 
archives to get up to speed).


Stephen Sprunk         "God does not play dice."  --Albert Einstein
CCIE #3723         "God is an inveterate gambler, and He throws the
K5SSS        dice at every possible opportunity." --Stephen Hawking 

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