[arin-ppml] large vs small?

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Wed Jun 17 10:06:52 EDT 2009

> -----Original Message-----
> IP Addresses are neither purchased nor leased, rented, etc. from ARIN.

RFC 2008: 
'An "address lending" policy means that an organization gets its addresses on a "loan" basis. For the length of the loan, the lender cannot lend the addresses to any other borrower.'

There is the official party line, the ideology of RIRs, and there is the economic and operational reality. Don't confuse the two. Since RFC 2008, RIRs have leased -- by any common-sensical notion of the term - address blocks to end users. The rationale for this leasing approach was not the evils of private property or an attempt to maintain some communal nirvana, but simply the scaling properties of routing. Provider-based route aggregation required the address lending approach. If it weren't for route aggregation problems in the mid-1990s and such technical interdependencies between routing and addressing, there could have been and probably would have been a trading market for ipv4 addresses.

I am not sure why the official priesthood of the RIRs insist on using words in this specific way now. It is possible that their lawyers tell them to, or it is possible that the ideology of nonownership of addresses has become fetishized and taken on a life of its own. That does happen. 

But it is difficult to have an intelligent conversation about the policies, fees, and conservation of address blocks when the priesthood insists on playing word games and one cannot call a cat a cat or a mouse a mouse. 

> No more so than License Plate Numbers are purchased/rented/etc. from
> the DMV* (or whatever your government structural equivalent).

This is nonsense, and not only because many states allow you to buy vanity plates, sometimes even in auctions, but because the number of license plates is not a fixed resource that requires conservation policies. At any rate, no DMV will have any trouble telling you that you pay a fee for the license plate and if you want X vehicle registrations you pay X*<the fee>

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