Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Tue Apr 12 17:17:01 EDT 2011

> We're tangling up a bunch of issues, including -
> A. Can a current legacy IP space owner / holder / whatever sell the IPs at all?
> B. Can a current IP owner sell IPs to a speculator?
> C. Or only to a legitimate user with need who failed to get an
> allocation from a RIR?

The answer to A is, imho, unambiguously Yes, and the authority for that statement is ARIN's own legal filings. ;-)
Not to mention common sense: ARIN and this community have no authority over what someone not under contract to them does with assets they hold.
As for B, if you mean by "current owner" someone under the RSA, then the answer is unambiguously No.

As for C, if you follow the party line, someone who failed to get an allocation from a RIR is, by definition, lacking justified need and therefore should not get it under current policy.  

However, I think ARIN missed the boat again when it refused to allow such "current owners" to lease blocks directly to people willing to pay for them.  The "needs-based" ideology thwarts this because the lessor would be reluctant to admit that they had the extra addresses to lease out, and the lessee would have to jump through hoops rather than doing a basic business transaction.

Why am I making these points? It's not because I think an address market is an end in itself. 

Just in case people still don't understand this: I believe that the transition to IPv6, if it ever happens, is going to be long and messy, and that the demand for ipv4 addresses is going to increase for quite a few years before it decreases. Therefore, an overriding priority of policy must be to facilitate rapid and efficient transfers of v4 blocks from holders who need them less to holders who need them most (and I mean "needed" in the economic, not technical sense). 

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