[ppml] Markets, pricing, transparency, 2008-2 / 8.3.9

Robert E. Seastrom ppml at rs.seastrom.com
Mon Mar 17 07:38:03 EDT 2008

<michael.dillon at bt.com> writes:

> Of course, if someone gets a court decision saying that IP 
> addresses are property, then all bets are off because if an
> IP address is an asset, then the holder of an IP address block
> has an equity, which means the contracts being sold on the market
> are equity derivatives, and these are explicitly mentioned in 
> the law.

No, if there is a court ruling that IP addresses are property (note
that this has not happened to date, and I wouldn't hold your breath)
then that is exactly what people have - property.  An equity is stock
in a corporation.  There is no ownership position in any corporation
conveyed by holding an IP address assignment.  You _might_ argue that
IP addresses were a commodity, but that would be a stretch indeed, and
the Washington Post classifieds section (for instance) is not
regulated by the SEC or any other government agency.

While I agree that we ought to run any market according to best
current practices (which might include such models as your local gas
station with big signs posting the prevailing and variable price, eBay
with realtime bid reporting, or Craig's List which is simply a forum
where people advertise that they have stuff for sale with no price
reporting whatsoever), that does not mean getting the SEC involved
preemptively.  It also should not mean sitting around worrying that
the SEC will decide that it doesn't have enough to do and wants to
start regulating a market where the market-maker (ARIN) is neither
making a profit on the transaction nor holding the resource that it's
trading for its own account and thus has no incentive to manipulate
prices or otherwise do bad stuff.  Absent significant misbehavior,
government regulatory bodies don't have a history of getting involved.

I think the entire list would appreciate you giving the SEC angle a
rest, as I mentioned to you in private email a couple of days ago.



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