[arin-ppml] Borders sells their /16 block

Benson Schliesser bensons at queuefull.net
Tue Dec 6 15:47:56 EST 2011

On Dec 6, 2011, at 9:27 AM, Chris Engel wrote:

>> Full sentence:
>> "While the Debtors believe that this Court has the authority to authorize
>> the sale of the Internet Addresses over any such objection by ARIN, the
>> IA Sale contains a condition of ARIN's consent and the proposed order
>> incorporates various protections of ARIN's rights, which moots any need
>> to consider any of these issues."
> Sounds like pretty reasonable wording to me. In the first part they don't concede anything, just in case something bizarre happened where they did want to try to proceed without ARIN.  In the second they avoid all that mess by opting to make sure they get ARIN's approval for the transaction regardless (which is pretty sensible in preserving the value of the assets).  If they didn't put in the "While the Debtors believe..." part it'd probably be alot tougher for them to try to make a case to proceed without ARIN, IF they felt they needed to do so for some reason. By putting that in, it simply looks like their trying to preserve their options.
> In essence, the first part is a safety valve, it costs them nothing to have in there.....and no one is going to challenge them on it because they aren't exercising those beliefs.  It's kinda like saying "I believe I don't have to pay my tax's but I will anyway."  As long as the IRS collects their money, you are pretty much free to believe what you want. 

I think this description by Chris is insightful.

So far, the most visible trades (e.g. Nortel-MSFT, Borders) have managed to fit into ARIN procedure. We can argue about the implementation details, compliance with policy, timing, etc, but in the end these trades have resulted in an updated ARIN Whois. And this is clearly good for the buyer as well as the community.

However, the key phrase is "good for the buyer". It apparently has not been in anyone's interest to ignore ARIN during an IPv4 address trade. But if a buyer is told "no" to a Whois update, then we might expect a different outcome - one where ARIN is bypassed. And if sellers find better prices from a larger market (i.e. beyond those buyers willing to "justify need" to ARIN) then the probability of this conflict may increase.

Please note that I'm not advocating the above conflict. I would explicitly advise all parties against it. However, I do recognize it as a possibility - as a likelihood, even. Therefore I do advocate that we plan for it.

There are multiple (completed and pending) trades that do not have broad visibility. The lack of transparency means we may not know until after the fact, if ever, how these conclude. But nothing has yet proven that ARIN has any legal authority over these kind of transactions. This community should consider ways to avoid finding out, by being more accommodating to economic and legal reality.


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