[arin-ppml] Draft Policy 2011-1 - Inter-RIR Transfers -Shepherd's Inquiry

Mike Burns mike at nationwideinc.com
Sat Jun 25 23:39:02 EDT 2011

Hi John,

>> Where is any reclamation of legacy space which is not associated with 
>> actual hijacking, voluntary return, or dissolution?
>>Spamming or child porn? Any examples?

>Given that there is now the recognized ability to transfer one rights as a
>registrant of an address block to another party in accordance with policy,
>it is perfectly understandable that ARIN would prioritize pursuing number
>reclamation in the cases you list above (hijacking, dissolution, etc.)

With respect, I take this answer to mean that there has been no reclamation 
of legacy space which was not voluntarily returned, the subject of hijacking 
or fraud, or of corporate dissolution. If I am wong, let me know.

>> The bankruptcy judge, need I remind you, found that Nortel had the 
>> exclusive right to transfer addresses which were
>>allocated to other companies, and for which no ARIN transfer had ever 
>>taken place, and this was after all the companies
>>involved were bankrupt.

>The judge did indeed find that Nortel had that right, but approved a sale
>order which stated:

 "For the avoidance of doubt, this Order shall not affect the LRSA AND THE

>Please keep this in mind when trying to consider this particular specified
>transfer any form of precedent.

John, I have the whole asset sale agreement not only in my mind, but on my 
screen, and I have read the original asset sale agreement and compared it 
closely to the one the judge approved after ARIN negotiated with Microsoft. 
And I find absent from the approved motion any language which says that the 
seller's exclusive rights to transfer are subject to ARIN policy. Instead I 
read that the *purchaser* has agreed to enter the modified LRSA with ARIN 
and merely represents to the court that they have done so, and are willing 
to abide by this modified LRSA, which is of course invisible to our 
community eyes.  My reading of the event is that ARIN negotiated with 
Microsoft and convinced them that signing a modified LRSA and undergoing a 
needs test wouldn't cost much, if anything, to Microsoft, but that working 
with ARIN just enough to make it plausible for ARIN to claim that policy was 
followed would inure to Microsoft's benefit, publicity-wise. And so 
Microsoft *consented* to the change in the final document, rather than due 
to any decision by the judge. There was nothing to indicate that ARIN had 
any control over Nortel's right to sell addresses, nothing saying that as a 
condition of sale that Nortel had to sign an LRSA with ARIN, which was an 
ARIN requirement prior to this sale. Nothing to say Nortel had to process 
8.2 transfers from the prior acquistions who were the original allocants of 
the legacy space before Nortel had the right to sell them. So the lessons I 
draw from the document come not from the deal Microsoft struck with ARIN but 
from the lack of a deal ARIN struck with Nortel. If ARIN could have made any 
legal claim that they controlled Nortel's transfer rights, I believe ARIN 
would have made that claim to the judge in the form of an objection to the 
Instead it punted and struck a deal with the Microsoft to consent to signing 
a secret agreement, and to have Miicrosoft represent to the judge that they 
had agreed to be bound by that document, the ":modified LRSA."

Because ARIN did not attempt any revokation action against a bankrupt entity 
very publicly selling IP addresses allocated to other, also defunct 
entities, I believe Owen is wrong in his belief that ARIN has the right to 
revoke legacy space for bankruptcy or dissolution. Here we have a public 
example of prior unbooked transfers, public declaration of bankruptcy 
liquidation, and ARIN engaged in the deal prior to judicial approval. But 
where was any attempt at review or revokation? I know that NRPM section 12 
states that it give no "additional" rights to reclaim legacy space, but Owen 
claims the rights are there anyway. If he is right, why did ARIN not review 
and reclaim the 660,000 IP addresses that Nortel sold? Why not take the 
opportunity afforded by the public nature of this deal to clearly establish 
ARIN's (heretofore unutilized?) right to revoke legacy space when the 
allocant goes out of business?

>> John Curran referencing ex post facto transfer requests demonstrates that 
>> unreported transfers have occurred where the IP addresses worked fine 
>> after they were transferred to another party.

>Transfers occur when the request is approved and the Whois database is
>updated.  You're free to try and purchase anything that you like including
>the number 3, the letter Q, the color blue, or a new york bridge, but if
>you'd like to transfer your rights as a registrant of an address block,
>then you should keep in mind the that transfer occurs when the registration
>changes.  I'd definitely get a receipt from anyone who suggests 

I know the last comment was flip, but in reality, that is all that is 
required. A receipt that you can show a network operator.
ARIN does not control routing. ARIN controls a database which is used by 
network operators, but which network operators also are free to ignore.
That has been my point all along. If ARIN wants to increase the 
"ignorability" of Whois by maintaing policies which do not align with legal 
realities, then ARIN is not acting as a responsible steward of Whois.

> >If ARIN has no control over routing, and no legal ability to stop ip 
> >address sales, their leverage is little. If the benefits
>>of the transfers outweigh the little costs which ARIN can apply, the 
>>transfers will happen.

>ARIN maintains the database accordingly to the community developed 
>the community seems to value this and makes use of the database 

The database is as valuable as a database can be that has been in the 
control of an organization that  for years allowed email templates to 
manipulate data. That has no agreement with  holders of the rights to huge 
swaths of address space. That suffers from stale, missing, or incorrect POC 
data. Whose policies were developed in an age where addresses had no 
monetary value. And that has not yet been tested by the stresses of a 
post-exhaust world where address conflict will increase. My personal 
experience is that network operators have come to realize that, especially 
for legacy space, what is important is not so much what Whois says, but 
whether anybody else is routing addresses they are being asked to route and 
whether the asker has documentary proof of his rights to the space and is 
willing to attest to those rights, covering the butt of the network operator 
and allowing him to realize the revenues derived from the rights-holder.


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