[arin-ppml] Microsoft receives court approval for transfer asagreed with ARIN

Mike Burns mike at sum.net
Thu Apr 28 13:00:13 EDT 2011

If ARIN wants to change policy, may I suggest removing the justification 
requirements for ALL transfers, legacy and non-legacy?

This would have the effect of removing the disincentive of legacy holders to 
sign an LRSA, would align ARIN with APNIC policy in advance of a global 
transfer policy, and would prevent ARIN from having to fudge a needs 
analysis in order to comply with policy, as I firmly believe happened with 

It would also increase whois reliability, as those who currently hold ip 
address space as the result of prior transfers could be fearless in 
approaching ARIN to have these transfers reflected accurately in whois.

And those with addresses under RSA would not be afraid to sell their unused 
addresses through STS. Currently there is the fear that ARIN can audit the 
organization and take back unused addresses, so only those who can plausibly 
deny their lack of need feel brave enough to advertise to ARIN that they are 
not using their entire allocation.

This discussion will no doubt mirror those of the past, and may expose some 
emotional response from prior participants, but I ask those participants to 
evaluate their current positions in the face of current realities.

Reality shows that legacy holders have the right to transfer and sell 
address space without ARIN approval. Evidence of that fact is that the 
addresses Nortel sold were not originally registered to them, they were the 
possessions of Nortel's "predecessors in interest", bankruptcy parlance for 
Nortels prior acquisitions, who where the original legacy registrants. The 
court held that Nortel had the exclusive right to transfer the addresses. 
How did they get that right, unless upon acquisition, Nortel and the 
acquired company processed an 8.2 transfer?  Can anybody point me to the 
existence of a relevant 8.2 transfer processed for Nortel?

Reality today also includes the fact that the IPv6 transition failed, we 
have reached the IPv4 exhaust point without the option for an orderly 
transition, and other stakeholder communities like APNIC have decided that 
the best stewardship role going forward is to allow IPv4 addresses to be 
bought and sold without a justification restriction.

With or without the Global Transfer Policy, this will be a worldwide market, 
and addresses will flow to where market restrictions are fewest. I noted 
this community's angst when the subject of returning addresses came up, and 
the proposal was to send them out of the region, back to IANA.  Don't you 
think the same effect will happen when the world compares the markets for 
IPv4 transfers? Addresses will flow to Asia, unless we change ARIN policies.

ARIN's policies are impediments to good stewardship, preventing the open 
sales of IP address space and leaving unused address space on the sidelines 
that would otherwise be put to use. Paradoxically, ARIN's attempts at 
stewardship in the form of justification requirements serve to restrict the 
efficient use of these limited resources. What may have been appropriate in 
a time before exhaust, and before the legal precedents set in the MS/Nortel 
deal, is no longer appropriate.

It's not so bad, free markets are designed to use scarce resources most 
efficiently, and freedom from regulation has been a major driver in the 
growth of the Internet. The market will be the best steward now, and ARIN's 
role should be the title agency whose overarching goal is to maintain 
accuracy in whois and uniqueness of registration.

And as a point of clarification, can a legacy holder who is not a member of 
ARIN, but who is registered with the PPML post in support of a proposal, or 
If so, consider this a post in support of ALL of Benson's proposals.

Mike Burns

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Michel Py" <michel at arneill-py.sacramento.ca.us>
To: "John Curran" <jcurran at arin.net>
Cc: <ppml at arin.net>
Sent: Thursday, April 28, 2011 2:27 AM
Subject: Re: [arin-ppml] Microsoft receives court approval for transfer 
asagreed with ARIN

> John,
>> If more than a handful actually feel that way to the point of
>> participating, then the policies are easily enough to change.
>> We have even made it so that remote participants in the Public
>> Policy meetings can readily ask questions and be counted in
>> the show of support for a given draft policy.
> Based on what data? You're taking the problem backwards. There is a
> widespread feeling that the non-public agreement between ARIN and
> Microsoft has some issues with the current policies. It is clear that
> the parties did not feel the need to talk to ARIN before the deal was
> done. How do you expect someone to write a draft policy based on
> suspicion, not on facts?
> A precedent has been created. A court of law has ruled that legacy
> prefixes were sellable assets (at least, in a bankruptcy context).
> Unless ARIN plans to appeal the ruling (seems difficult to me), it is
> necessary to implement new policies that take the new reality into
> account. Part of designing these new policies requires a better
> understanding of the problems that the current policies posed to the
> current situation, which in turn requires a better understanding of what
> legacy holders are willing to negotiate in return of staying within the
> ARIN framework and what will trigger them to bypass ARIN.
> Unless some details are provided, I predict that no significant change
> to policies will be made in time for the next large, public trade
> occurs, which will put you in the hot seat again and that time you won't
> be able to say that you did not see it coming.
> Michel.
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