[arin-ppml] A compromise on legacy space?

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Tue Sep 9 14:22:56 EDT 2008

> Group #1:
>  Definition: Legacy holders who also hold space covered by a regular
>              ARIN RSA.
I'd like to refine this a bit.  I think it would be more appropriate  
to say
"Legacy Holders who are also Subscriber Members of ARIN."

This covers those who have allocations from ARIN (ISPs) while leaving
out those organizations who are end-users. I find it unlikely that end
users (some of which do have legacy+rsa space) fit in the category
you are attempting to include here.

> Group #2
>  Definition: All legacy holders not in group #1.
> There are a few minor implementation details that may need to appear  
> in
> the definition.  For instance, is group one determined by ORG-ID, by
> legal entity, or some other definition.  I honestly don't know the
> details we could get some input from staff.  The concept though is if
> you run a network using both legacy and ARIN assigned space you're in
> that group though.
Would my proposed re-definition of group 1 solve this?

> Now, the question is, how do we treat those two groups differently?   
> My
> proposal is also simple:
> Group #1:
>  Upon the next regular renewal of the ARIN RSA all legacy resources,
>  covered by an existing RSA, LRSA, or not covered at all shall be
>  rolled under a single, current, ARIN RSA.
Or what?  What if the group #1 members do not agree to this or
do not want to agree with it?  I don't believe ARIN really has the
authority to do this.  Especially in the case of legacy resources
covered by LRSA.  The LRSA specifically precludes ARIN taking
such an action unilaterally if I understand it correctly.

> Group #2:
>  A "Legacy Service Agreement" (I won't use LSA, that's too confusing)
>  shall be created.  It should state:
>    - ARIN provides services to legacy holders, including but not
>      limited to: whois, rdns, uniqueness, public policy meetings,
>      mailing lists, and more.
>    - The Legacy Holder must pay a fee (fees are not policy, but I'm
>      thinking around $100 per year as has been discussed) to continue
>      the use of these services.
>  The Legacy Services Agreement can be terminated by the legacy holder
>  at any time.  Of course, at that time ARIN may cease to provide  
> whois,
>  rdns, or any other service.  No revoking of services, no one sided
>  termination, etc.  Those two simple ideas, wrapped up in the minimum
>  legal language necessary.

I think we are applying meta-issues which obscure reality.

Let's talk about what ARIN really provides.  ARIN provides a number
of services, but, the key service at issue is registration of numbers
in a database which assures that no other entity cooperating in the
same system of databases receives the same numbers.

ARIN does not give, lease, transfer, or otherwise grant numbers
to people.  Integers are integers and regardless of what ARIN
does, every member of society remains perfectly within their
rights to use any integer they choose for any lawful purpose they

We have (perhaps mistakenly) referred to these registrations
as assignments and/or allocations, but, we aren't really assigning
or allocating integers.  We are assigning or allocating slots in
one particular database.  The available slots in said database
are a subset of 32 bit integers.  That subset is determined by
a "parent" database which registers (for uniqueness) the entire
set of 32 bit integers, and, which records what subsets of the
entire set have been registered  to which RIR (or other entity
in some rare cases). The "parent" database is operated by IANA.

The only reason the contents of ARIN's database have any
relevance whatsoever is that a large portion of the ISPs
have chosen to cooperate in the RIR system such that they
treat registrations in the various RIR database as the authoritative
source of information they choose to incorporate into routing
policy. ARIN does not control this. ARIN does take this trust
seriously and works hard to avoid violating this trust.

NOTE: I am not advocating for this to occur, but,
If a sufficient critical mass of ISPs were to choose to create
their own registry system, there is little or nothing ARIN
could do about it.

Certainly ARIN would not be able to sue such a competing
registry or the ISPs that choose to cooperate with it
on the basis that they were using integers which "belonged"
to ARIN.

So... If we approach this from the perspective that IP addresses
truly are not property and that ARIN does not issue, assign,
allocate, or otherwise transfer IP addresses from one entity
to another, but, instead, holds a database for a portion of
the IP space in which they record registrations which are
prevented from overlapping with other registrations held
in the ARIN database or the cooperating other RIR/IANA

Then... We can conclude that ARIN terminating such services
means that those slots become available in the ARIN database.

This means one of two things, depending on how you want
to define the term "reclamation".

If you define "revocation" as marking the space available to
be issued to another entity, then, termination of service almost
automatically becomes reclamation.

If you define "revocation" as ARIN preventing someone from
using a given integer for some particular purpose, then, ARIN
has no ability to reclaim anything.  Never has, and, likely never


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