[arin-ppml] Legacy Space authority

michael.dillon at bt.com michael.dillon at bt.com
Fri May 2 13:37:26 EDT 2008

> 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.

In the real world, laws apply to all kinds of social relationships
not just those which are based on contracts. In addition, the law's
concept of a "contract" may be rather broader than that of a person
who has no legal training.

The point is that we can't figure it out ourselves, and any opinions
that we may state on this list really do not play any part whatsoever
in the decisions about what happens. The interpretation of the past
is up to the lawyers, and may never be figured out because in two
years, anyone who thinks that IPv4 addresses have any value on the
public Internet, is going to be considered a crackpot.

>From the trial runs done at various IETF/NANOG/ARIN meetings, it
should be clear to everyone that IPv6 connectivity can be used
to provide Internet access with the exception of some minor 
problem areas which are likely to be fixed within months. In two
years, everyone will see that IPv6 is the way forward and there
won't be any point in working out these esoteric issues.

> > 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.

Lawyers never let the lack of specific history stop them from
arguing on a subject. There is plenty of history of other things
that might be argued to be analogous to IP address registrations.

> 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.

Now you are making a legal argument and I am not a lawyer
so I have no idea if you are speaking the truth, lying
to me, or simply misinformed. I suspect that a lawyer
could eloquently argue the point that non-property can
be owned under some set of circumstances, that contracted
relationships are not required, that contracts can be implied
or come into being regardless of the actions of the parties
involved, etc., etc. Not sure how any of this applies to
IP addresses.

> And what legal recourse would an ARIN customer have when 
> network entities refuse to route those numbers to them? 

In general, they would only have recourse to sue the network
entities which contracted to route numbers to them and then
refused to route a specific set of numbers. Of course, anyone
can sue anyone and ARIN has already been dragged into court
in an IP address ownership dispute. But if we leave grasping
at straws out of the equation, I suspect that ARIN can evade 
legal liability by simply not ordering ISPs to route, or not
route, any specific address block. 

And in all of this, we should be wary of leakage into the
IPv6 future. If some legal rights regarding IPv4 addresses
were to be changed from what we have now, then it is likely
that the same rules will apply to IPv6 addresses. The IPv6
world really does not need to be hampered by outmoded IPv4

--Michael Dillon

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