[arin-ppml] Policy Proposal 108: Eliminate the term license in the NRPM

William Herrin bill at herrin.us
Sat Feb 13 19:59:51 EST 2010

On Sat, Feb 13, 2010 at 11:00 AM, David Farmer <farmer at umn.edu> wrote:
> William Herrin wrote:
>> NGO... well, it's a gross parody of feudal economics. It has some
>> really arcane and harmful side-effects that make life hard for folks
> I simply disagree with how you characterize the situation.

"Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it." - Edmund Burke.

Medieval economics was in many respects more complex than modern
economics. King and court sat at the top of the food chain. Below that
you had the lords of the land (nobles) and under them the leaseholders

The King was not a despot; his influence was massive but his word was
not quite absolute. His court ruled with the consensus and support of
the the lords who more directly ruled the lands in their domain. In
theory the King owned all the land in the kingdom. In practice the
lords (from whom we derive the modern term "landlord") controlled it
with a relatively light touch from the court.

The serfs were not slaves, not the property of the lords. They were
free to a degree. However, they were bound to the lords (and the lords
to them) via complex multigenerational leases of the land on which
they lived and worked. These leases bore almost no resemblance to the
modern lease based on a simple payment of currency. They had complex
terms governing use and privilege, everything from minimum utilization
rates governing how much of the land the leaseholder had to keep under
cultivation to allowances for additional consumption of the land's
resources like timber.

Feudalism also had the rare freeholders who through their own merit or
that of their predecessors acquired grants directly from the court,
owing allegiance to no land lord.

Sound vaguely familiar? The great North American court of ARIN? IP
Addresses controlled (but not owned) mainly by the ISPs (land lords)
but also by the occasional freeholder (direct assignee). Complex
formulas of use and obligation (HD ratio anyone?) under which each
level is entitled to revoke the next level's address grant if the
obligations aren't met?

You may recall another part of history: the American Indians thought
the notion of real estate was ridiculous. It's nature. Wind, water and
dirt. You can drink the water and walk on the dirt but how can anyone
own the wind?

How can anyone own an integer?

Bill Herrin

William D. Herrin ................ herrin at dirtside.com  bill at herrin.us
3005 Crane Dr. ...................... Web: <http://bill.herrin.us/>
Falls Church, VA 22042-3004

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