[arin-ppml] Legacy Space authority

Joe Maimon jmaimon at chl.com
Fri May 2 11:41:29 EDT 2008

michael.dillon at bt.com wrote:
>> This is probably a dumb question, but who does have authority 
>> over legacy assignments?

> Then we come to IP addresses. There is clearly less time
> for any precedents to have been formed so fewer people 

There is no authority over what IP addresses I can type into my equipment.

> So if some
> organization had authority over legacy allocations at the
> time they were made, did they delegate this authority to 
> ARIN? Or, at the time the allocations were made, was the
> authority to make them delegated by a 3rd party (Department
> of Commerce), who then delegated that authority to ARIN?

The authority the registries have comes directly from the entities who 
participate on an ongoing basis in creating the network of networks, 
called the Internet.

Since they choose to participate in the Registry system, that is the sum 
total of the Registries authority.

> By now it should be clear that we are getting into legal territory

The legal territory is only with regards to the contractual 
relationships formed by the registries or by the predecessors or 
successors in interest.

> where the nuances need to be carefully examined by people who
> have special knowledge of such things as "authority".

Unless I missed something, there is pretty skimpy legal history 
concerning utilization of "non-registry" blessed IP addresses in 
whatever manner.

You cant have your cake and eat it too. If it isnt property, it cant be 
owned, it can only be governed by contracted relationships.

Furthermore, to stand up and declare it as property is fairly tough to 
swallow, as its just a series of numbers with no inherent value. The 
actual value is in the Internet's entities collective choice to route 
those numbers to the entity wishing to use them, enabling the entities 
effective use of those numbers on the Internet.

This is usually without any contractual relationship involved beyond 
immediate upstreams or peers.

To claim as personal property routing slots in tens of thousands of 
other network entities routers seems to be a bit of a stretch.

After all, what legal recourse what random Arin "customer" have were 
some never affiliated with ARIN or any registry ever entity manage to 
have the Arin's customer prefix announced into BGP, originated from 
their own network? Tortious interference, perhaps. But ARIN has no 
contract or authority over that entity. Likely they would with the 
entities upstream and things would proceed in that direction.

And what legal recourse would an ARIN customer have when network 
entities refuse to route those numbers to them? At this time, ARIN 
explicitly disavows any attempt to claim such authority.

Perhaps in the US that wouldnt matter, ICANN or DOC would claim it as 
their own (illegal) authority, if they felt like it, and perhaps the US 
court system would enable that.

Now I think the Registry system is just grand and want to see everybody 
continue along with the self produced and self governing system. But 
that doesnt give anybody property rights or contractual rights where 
none existed prior.


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