[ppml] Counsel statement on Legacy assignments?

Stephen Sprunk stephen at sprunk.org
Sat Oct 6 16:31:39 EDT 2007

Thus spake "Dean Anderson" <dean at av8.com>
> 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.

First, the court must assess whether a contract exists at all.

> Of course, there is no dispute that a contract exists, just a
> dispute about the terms of the contract.

I dispute that a contract exists.

AIUI, a contract takes the basic form of one party agreeing to do (or not 
do) something in return for consideration from the other party.  The legacy 
assignments did not include any form of consideration back to IANA, SRI, 
NSI, etc. and therefore were not contracts.  At most, one could claim they 
were gifts, but since no tangible property changed hands, that's also a 
difficult position to support.

> ARIN is not giving out any free services to people without a
> contract.

Yes, actually, that's exactly what ARIN is doing.  Counsel has said ARIN has 
no legal (i.e. contractual) obligation to provide free services to legacy 
holders as it's doing today.  If there were a contract, he couldn't have 
made that statement.

>>    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?

Very little, given about half of the records haven't even been updated in 
ten-plus years.  That's not the point.

> 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.

I don't see anyone claiming we need _money_ (i.e. something to offset costs) 
from legacy holders.  What I do see are lots of claims that we need their 
resources back if they're not using them efficiently (or at all).

> 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.

It has nothing to do with being "connected".  Who gets new or reissued space 
is determined by the NRPM, the contents of which are determined by the 

> 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.

I see no defamation being done by anyone other than you.


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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