[ppml] Counsel statement on Legacy assignments?

Dean Anderson dean at av8.com
Fri Oct 5 16:23:04 EDT 2007

On Fri, 5 Oct 2007, John Curran wrote:
>    Everyone who received address space received it under the
>    direction of the IANA (and indirectly, the US government)
>    prior to their respective RIR being formed.  The absence of
>    a formal contract for such assignments means that there
>    are many possible interpretations as to the particular rights
>    and obligations of the parties.

Yes, a court determines implied contract terms, sometimes by looking at
previous performance of a long period of time. Of course, there is no
dispute that a contract exists, just a dispute about the terms of the
contract.  ARIN is not giving out any free services to people without a

>    In any case, both legacy holders and ARIN appear to have
>    obligations to the community.  ARIN will certainly do as the
>    community directs, but one wonders if the legacy community
>    would like us all to forget their community obligations and
>    simply pretend that their assignments were done in a total
>    contractual and community obligation vacuum...

And just what, exactly, is ARIN spending on maintaining Legacy records?

ARIN already has such a huge surplus that it strains non-profit status
to have such profit: ARIN can now operate for something like 7 years
with no further income.  If the crowd that says IPv4 will end in 3 years
is right, we should be expecting __payments__ from ARIN, instead of
fees.  It seems a bit disingenuous to argue that ARIN needs to reduce
costs by doing something to Legacy holders.

As space runs out, Legacy holders (and non-legacy holders, too) will
find ways to utilize their space more effectively. Market forces will
take care of that.  There is no credible argument that they aren't
utilizing that space pretty well now.  Its that simple. The argument
that somehow legacy holders aren't meeting their obligations to the
community is entirely groundless, baseless, offensive nonsense. The
legacy holders made this network; if it weren't for the legacy's you'd
be running something from ISO, the ITU, SNA, Decnet, Novell, etc.  
There would certainly be commercial networks, but it wouldn't be this

If it weren't for companies like OSF, Nearnet wouldn't have had a backup
link to DEC for its flaky Microwave, and John Curran wouldn't be a
'hero'.  If it weren't for the OSF, none of you would be running
FreeBSD, or OpenBSD; OSF funded the completion of the free BSD 4.4
source, on which all these are based. There's a lot more, and that's
just my little corner. Other Legacy's did much more.  Personally, I'm
getting kind of tired of people bashing legacy's, especially those
people who benefited so handsomely from the quiet, unpaid help that
Legacies gave them.

ARIN has no legal or moral authority to take Legacy space and give it to
someone else, merely because those new people are better connected with
ARIN staff.

Basically, all that is going on is a fabricated pretension of anarchy
and a defamation of Legacy holders in order to justify a theft of
government assigned rights from legacy holders.

However, the question that started this particular thread still hasn't
been answered:  Has ARIN made a definitive statement on the legal rights
of Legacys?  Sprunk says yes. I say no.  ARIN?


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