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

Jeremy H. Griffith jhg at omsys.com
Sun Sep 7 03:56:15 EDT 2008

On Sat, 06 Sep 2008 23:55:58 -0500, Stephen Sprunk <stephen at sprunk.org> wrote:

>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.

Exactly.  So there was no such return requirement made.

I license software.  If my license does not specify a
time limit, which it does not, it is "in perpetuity"
by default.  If I were to sell the product to another 
company, they could *not* go back to the existing users 
and demand an annual subscription fee, saying that if it 
were not paid, their right to use the software would end.

>> *  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.  

Yes, and when it was done for domains, I was not happy.
But I went along with it... which may have been a mistake.

If you were making the argument that ARIN was unable to pay
its staff and needed more support, I'd pay happily.  Heck,
I'd donate.  But the last thing the treasurer said about
that was that ARIN had reserves equal to two years' expenses.
He considered that "adequate".  If I had that, I'd consider
it a miracle.  ;-)

>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.

There are limits to what the community can choose to do.
For example, it cannot choose to walk into my office and
take away my hardware on the grounds that it's using the
community network...  I don't think any of us really wants
to have these particular limits, around number assignment, 
determined by the Federal court system, but that would be
the final arbiter if we cannot agree among ourselves.  All
of us.

>> 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.  

Not all considerations are cash.  One condition on the 
original legacy assignment, IIRC, was to keep contact info
current.  I've done that.  And I'd have no problem with
ARIN proceeding to identify those who are no longer at
their contact addresses, and recovering their numbers if
they were unreachable.

>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.  

Would it, now?  Or would it violate ARIN's contract with IANA?

>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...

I don't think anyone here is "trying to steal addresses",
though it's interesting that you think of them as property
that can be stolen.  I do not.  I think of them as an
assignment made to me in 1992, which I have counted on 
being able to use ever since, as that was the understanding
when they were assigned.

>> 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,

Merriam-Webstr defines "extort" as:
  to obtain from a person by force, intimidation, or undue 
  or illegal power : wring; also : to gain especially by
  ingenuity or compelling argument


I'd say "intimidation", and to a lesser degree "ingenuity 
or compelling argument", would apply to at least some of 
the arguments in favor of signing the LRSA, wouldn't you?  ;-)

>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 

Very cute.   But rather disingenuous, don't you think?

I presume the "services" I am provided are IP whois and
in-addr, right?  But these services benefit everyone 
*except* the registrant, who already knows who he is.
In fact, they impose a cost on the registrant, that
of processing thousands of spams a day that might not
be arriving if it were not for these services.  The
real beneficiary is the community itself.

That aside, the "threat" is not so much to remove us
from whois, but rather to reassign the numbers we were
assigned 16 years ago to others.  Did you really think 
it wasn't?

>>> 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 agree.  They just didn't go far enough, which is
why I took the time to write in the first place.

>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).

I didn't make that claim.  I was merely pointing out
that to consider the current LRSA "progress", you'd
have to have started from a place like that.  I'm
not, because I don't consider it progress.  I consider
it more of the same.

>> 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.

Oh please.  I don't want to exhume all those dead bodies,
but even in the last month we've been told that the
"elephant in the room" is that those legacy people are 
just waiting to sell their numbers for the highest price
they can get.  When the truth is, I doubt if *any* of us
want to sell them at all... we just want to continue the
"quiet enjoyment" we've had of them all these years.  ;-)

--JHG <jhg at omsys.com>

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