[arin-ppml] Q1 - ARIN address transfer policy: why the trigger date?

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at ipinc.net
Thu Jun 19 20:42:30 EDT 2008

> -----Original Message-----
> From: arin-ppml-bounces at arin.net 
> [mailto:arin-ppml-bounces at arin.net] On Behalf Of Milton L Mueller
> Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2008 4:00 PM
> To: PPML ppml
> Subject: [arin-ppml] Q1 - ARIN address transfer policy: why 
> the trigger date?
> Let's start with a fairly simple question. The ARIN proposal 
> says that the transfers it authorizes only start "when IANA 
> allocates its last unallocated unicast IPv4 address block." 
> What is the economic rationale for this? 

ARIN policy isn't supposed to be based on an economic rationale.
It's supposed to be based on the concept of the greatest good
for the greatest number.

Addressing policy is designed for 3 reasons:

1) The internet doesen't work unless all "visible" hosts on it
have different IP addresses, so we have to insure against duplications.
2) To know who has what so if there's a problem we know
who to go to to fix it.
3) Conservation of a scarce resource

IPv6 effectively erases #3 which is why it's a better system than

> If I have too much address space now,

By definition, if you have "too much" address space then you
are required under the RSA you signed to return it.  Why - because
you gave invalid estimates of your use when you obtained the 

You could have believed at one time that your future estimates
required you to obtain a /10.  You provided those estimates
to ARIN in good faith and got your /10.  But, 3 years later you
realized that those estimates were wrong.  Thus, you found 
that the rationale used at that time to qualify for the /10 was
also false, and thus you obtained address space under false
pretences - lying about utilization is IMHO a violation of your
RSA agreement - "too much" in your words -  You are thus now required
to return some of it.

The situation is no different if your shopping in a grocery store and
unknown to you your 3 year old drops a candy bar into your purse.
When you walked out of the grocery store without paying for it at that
instant you were NOT a thief.  When you discover the candy bar later
at that instant you still are not a thief.  However when you make
a conscious decision after discovering it to NOT return it to the
store, and NOT pay for it, at that instant, you become a thief.

Therefore your hypothetical situation -cannot- exist pre-IPv4 runout.

ANYONE who "sells extra IPv4" that they obtained under an RSA 
pre-runout is in my opinion a liar and a thief and a contract breaker.

The modification of the ARIN requirements to permit "selling" 
effectively modifies the existing RSAs that people have signed,
because it basically says that "After IPv4-runout we don't give a crap
how you got your IPv4, whether honestly or not, from this point on we all
have a clean slate"

This is why such a policy is a horrible idea pre-IPv4 runout.

Post-IPv4 runout I don't care for it much either, but I do understand
the argument that the social good is better served by letting the
speculators who obtained IPv4 under a pack of lies profit from
their misdeeds.  I don't agree with it, but I do understand it.


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