[arin-ppml] ARIN releases new version of the Legacy Registration

Stephen Sprunk stephen at sprunk.org
Sun Sep 7 00:55:58 EDT 2008

Jeremy H. Griffith wrote:
> On Sat, 6 Sep 2008 21:39:15 -0400, John Curran <jcurran at istaff.org> 
> wrote:
>> It is understandable to be discouraged by the LRSA changes made to date, *if* you start from the belief that there is no successor registry with the duty of administration of these numbering resources in the region.  
> That's not where I start from.  I start from the belief that a "successor" is necessarily bound to respect the acts of its "predecessors", which issued the legacy resources under terms that were very different from those now being offered:
> *  No possibility of return on an involuntary basis.
>    This was essential to encourage us to do the work
>    that led to the current Internet.

There was no statement either way about the basis on which addresses 
were assigned because, at the time, nobody could conceive that we'd 
actually run out of addresses and need any of them back.

> *  No fees, even though essentially the same services
>    for which fees are now deemed appropriate were in
>    existence at that time.

That is because, prior to ARIN's creation, number registration services 
were subsidized by government grants and then domain registration fees 
-- fees that were imposed on domains that had been originally been 
granted on the same unspecified basis as numbers.  Like it or not, there 
_is_ precedent for imposing fees on previously "free" registrations.  
The only reason it hasn't been done in the ARIN region for numbers so 
far (unlike other regions) is that so far the community hasn't chosen to 
impose them.

> Is ARIN going to respect the terms of our previous contract, or not?  (The contract does not have to be written to be a contract, as I hope you know.)  

Even a verbal contract requires that one party receive consideration of 
some sort in return for performing or not performing some act.  You have 
no contract with ARIN, and it would be completely legal for ARIN to stop 
providing registration services to organizations that are not paying for 
them.  Again, the community has so far decided not to do that, and the 
one proposal that went in that direction seems, to me, to have been 
soundly rejected by the very folks you seem to be accusing of trying to 
steal your addresses...

> So far, all I see on offer is take-away, and the reason we are to sign is so that we do not experience something worse later, presumably also at ARIN's hands, or at the hands of *its* successor.  There's a name for that form of encouragement: "extortion".  I am sure that is not your intent, but that is the precise legal term for the legacy RSA process as I see it unfolding here.

While I am not prepared to debate the exact definition of extortion, I 
do not think that any court (or jury) would find that deciding (or even 
threatening) not to provide you services that you did not pay for was 

>> Others see a different starting point and hence are encouraged by the progress.
> Well, if you begin with the idea that all legacy resources should be expropriated, then yes, it is progress.  But if you want us to join voluntarily, not under vague threats, you need to do better.  Mind you, I *want* to join... but it would be irresponsible of me to do so under the present terms.

I don't believe that the LRSA was formed with that idea; I think that 
the standard RSA was used as a template and changes were made to reflect 
the key properties of legacy space.  I will agree that not enough was 
changed, but that's an entirely different matter than claiming ARIN 
wants to "expropriate" all legacy resources (which is not, in fact, 
possible since numbers cannot be property).

> If I seem a bit testy, I am.  I've been here following the process for about a year and a half now, and seen amazing displays of greed, bad faith, categorical insults, and vitriol, not all directed against legacy assignees (there seems plenty to go around for all).  I've also seen good, dedicated, community-minded folks doing their very best to solve hard problems, and I applaud them.  I just hope that the second group has more traction than the first.
I've noticed very little anti-legacy vitriol on PPML; most of it comes 
from the legacy holders themselves and is directed at strawmen that have 
not actually made an appearance.


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