[arin-ppml] IPv4 Transfer Policy Change to Keep Whois Accurate

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Sat May 21 00:32:45 EDT 2011

On May 20, 2011, at 8:08 PM, Mike Burns wrote:

> Hi Owen,
>> No, this is not accurate. It provides no incentive. It does reduce disincentive to register transactions
>> that the community might not look upon favorably. It does not create incentives.
> OK, it's intention is to remove disincentives to register transactions.
>>> 2. Provides an incentive for legacy space to be brought under RSA
>> I don't see this in any way shape or form. Can you please explain how, exactly, removal of needs
>> basis influences this in any way?
> Because legacy addresses can be bought and sold without a needs requirement, per the finding of "exclusive right to transfer" in the MS case, and the Plzak declaration as the head of ARIN, that ARIN has no authority over legacy addresses. You may disagree, but the Plzak declaration is very clear.

No, this is an incorrect understanding of the ruling. The Plzak declaration is also
not the final word on the subject. The exclusive right to transfer means that nobody
else has the right to transfer them. It does not mean that they can be transfered
regardless of policy or that ARIN must recognize a transfer outside of policy in the
ARIN database.

Legacy addresses were issued to a particular party for a particular purpose. Upon the end
of that purpose or that party, they should be returned and are no longer legacy addresses.
In the case of a transfer to a successor in interest through acquisition or merger, in some
cases, the legacy status has been preserved, but, this is rare. In most cases, the receiving
organization has been required to sign an ARIN standard RSA.

It works this way... Legacy status is the intersection of the holder and the resources which
were registered together by a registry preceding the RIR system. Once either of those
conditions ceases, the resources are no longer in legacy status (in most cases).

ARIN has an obligation to continue providing services to records with legacy status so long
as that legacy status remains under the original terms of issue.

ARIN has the right to reclaim addresses from defunct legacy organizations.

> Given this, legal legacy transfers can occur where the purchased amount may not meet ARIN's need requirement.

Not true. At least not if they want to be recognized by ARIN and have the transfer registered
in whois.

> If the buyer cannot meet the requirement, he will not register the addresses, although I have argued he will likely want the addresses registered to reflect his ownership of their rights.

The unregistered addresses become subject to reclamation since they are no longer in
use by the original organization under the original terms of issue.

> But if there is no needs requirement, the disincentive is removed, the registration takes place, and the buyer signs an RSA.

Ah, so you are once again confusing incentive with removal of disincentive. I can see how, to a limited extent, this
might provide less of a disincentive for the recipient of a transfer from a legacy holder to register the transfer, but,
I don't see how this is anything other than redundant to your point 1.

> My proposal also reduces the disincentive to sign the RSA, as it removes the utilization requirement and frees the buyer to resell the addresses to anybody, with or without need. (Unless that buyer already has transferred a /12 equivalent).

Yes, by neutering the RSA, you have removed some disincentives to sign it. However, I don't see neutering the RSA
as a net positive in that regard. The community put section 12 into policy for a reason.

> So I believe the net effect of the proposal is to make the RSA more attractive, and reduce the disincentive for registration of legacy transfers which do not meet the needs test.

There is no such thing as a legacy transfer. There is a transfer of resources from a legacy holder, but, absent an
awkward situation involving litigation these will almost always result in the space being handled as non-legacy
if the transfer is recognized by ARIN.

> Remember, these are the intentions of the proposal, although I know you disagree with my legal interpretation, and thus the effect.

Yes... Your legal interpretation being contrary to statements made by ARIN counsel and John Curran, I
am inclined to believe that it is not correct and therefore the effect of your proposal differs from your
claimed effects.

>> 3. Provides for explicit protections against review audits for RSA holders after one year, bringing RSA rights more in accord with LRSA rights.
>> Uh, yeah, I don't see that as a good thing. Quite the opposite. However, I do agree that it is an intended
>> consequence of the proposal.
>>> 4. Reduces transaction costs for transferers
>> I believe it will actually increase them.
> The intent of the proposal is that transactional costs related to the needs analysis can be avoided. These may be large or small. I suppose you mean the prices will be higher due to speculation, though.

Yes, I believe that the net price of the transaction will increase substantially. Further, the cost of
needs analysis is built into the ARIN transfer fee which I do not think will change significantly
as a result of this proposal. So, no price reduction and likely price increase. Doesn't look like
a savings to me.

>>> 5. Reduces ARIN costs for needs analyses
>> Agreed, but, not necessarily something I see as a beneficial aspect.
>>> 6. Aligns ARIN policy with most possible interpretations of the legal rights of legacy holders
>> No, aligns ARIN policy with one possible interpretation of the legal rights of legacy holders.
>> IMHO, not even the most probable one.
> See "exclusive right to transfer" and the Plzak declaration that ARIN has no authority over legacy addresses.
> Would it be fair to say "Aligns ARIN policy with legal interpretation most friendly to legacy holders?"
> My point being this alignment presents the lowest risk toARIN of being sued for tortious interference in a contract.

You have already been told multiple times that your interpretation of the words "exclusive right to transfer"
is not correct. The Plzack declaration was substantially modified by later rulings in the Kremen case.

>>> 7. Imposes a yearly limit on needs-free transactions intended to prevent cornering.
>> Yes, but, this limit is effectively a no-op because anyone can create multiple entities needed
>> to accomplish enough /12 transfers to meet their desires.
> I trust ARIN staff to detect these with the same diligence applied to needs tests and section 12 reviews.

It doesn't matter. If they are different organizations, ARIN can't claim that they aren't different organizations
for policy purpose just because it's clear that they were created for the purpose of doing an end-run on
the policy. ARIN must interpret the policy as written, even if that interpretation appears absurd, as in
the case of the single aggregate clause in the transfer policy.

>>> And likewise we have fairly addressed these issues.
>> To some extent.
>>> Without considering (any more) the merits of those prior discussions, I would like to invite the consideration of any other potential benefits or consequences which we have not discussed.
>>> I am cognizant that this is proposal is a significant departure, and that the discussion of similar policy in APNIC consumed several years.
>> As it did here prior to being rejected here and accepted there.
> I didn't know there had also been prior discussion here about this (or fairly similar) policy. Do you rember about when so I can search the archives?

In the early stages of 2008-2, there was discussion of a transfer policy without needs basis, at least among the AC before
we formulated 2008-2. I believe it was rejected by the community pretty much out of hand fairly early in the discussion
either at open policy hours and/or at the public policy meetings, but, it may have just been within the AC. After three
years and a whole lot of policy work, I have to admit my memory on exactly when and where a given discussion took
place is somewhat fuzzy.

>>> I think we have covered pretty much all the bases in our relatively short but active discussion period, but I agree with Tom that we really should stretch our minds to consider all the potential pitfalls.
>>> So did we miss anything, or is there anything left to be said on the topics arrayed above? Any large loopholes or gotchas? Risks or threats we haven't considered?
>> One I think worth exploring is that given the recent staff interpretation of the term RSA in policy,
>> the requirement for RSA in the proposal may be insufficiently specific to express community
>> intent.
> I agree, though my intention was that it was the RSA, not an LRSA, but the RSA modified by my proposal.

Understood, but, staff has made it quite clear that they will not interpret the policy as
written in that manner.

Unfortunately, I am not sure that we can actually influence the choice of RSA through policy.
I'm hoping that a public clarification of this issue will be forthcoming soon.

>>> Maybe the increased/decreased exposure of ARIN to lawsuits?
>> I think this would not significantly impact the legal exposure. We are as likely to get sued
>> by someone unable to obtain resources in the market on the basis that we failed to properly
>> regulate need in the market as we are to get sued by someone opposed to our attempts
>> to regulate need, IMHO.
> I can't see any legal right to sue ARIN if the community decides to drop the needs policy, but I am not a lawyer.

This is the united States. Anyone can sue anyone for just about anything.

> I wonder if anybody has sued APNIC on that basis?

Entirely different legal system(s).

> Maybe the ARIN legal staff can comment on that.
> But I can sure see somebody suing ARIN if ARIN re-issues their address to another allocant.

ARIN wouldn't do that. What ARIN might do is issue addresses they have been hijacking to
another registrant, but, the point of policy is that it does not protect hijackers from this. If you
want the protections of guaranteed uniqueness, you have to play by the rules. If you do
an unregistered transfer, then, you aren't a registrant, you are a squatter at best and a
hijacker at worst.

> If ARIN's legal interpretation is that they can revoke legacy addresses if they are not utilized, for example, that leads to their reissuance, and legal trouble.

If they are still held by the original organization, generally ARIN will not do this. If they are being used
by an unregistered organization for an unregistered purpose, ARIN will probably first try to contact
the original organization to verify the intent. If a transfer was intended, ARIN would probably first attempt to work
with that organization to see if an 8.2 or 8.3 transfer could be made to fit the situation somehow. If they
cannot, or, the party using the addresses is unwilling to cooperate in that process, then, I have no
problem with ARIN reclaiming the addresses and I think that is the correct course of action.

> If ARIN's legal interpretation is that legacy addresses are outside its authority, that risk is minimalized.

So long as they are held by the original legacy registrant or their successor in interest, I believe ARIN
will continue to provide registration services to them. There is a difference between not reclaiming them
and believing that they are outside of ARIN authority, however.


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