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

Mike Burns mike at nationwideinc.com
Mon May 23 17:36:02 EDT 2011


I'm not really sure whether ARIN would be in the position to determine the 
"legality" or "illegality"  of any such transactions or the legitimacy of 
any particular claims of "ownership". Generally you need a Judicial, 
Legislative or at least Government Executive body to weigh in on those with 
any degree of authority...and since ARIN is none of those, I'm not sure it 
would be in a position to make such a determination. I think the most anyone 
could expect to ask of it (unless I misunderstand it's role) is who it 
considered the official registrant of a given address space was in it's 
database, and whether a particular action was in accordance with it's 
policies or not.  Unless I'm mistaken, ARIN's policies don't carry with them 
any force of law....although individual contractual agreements ARIN has with 
specific entities might be enforceable (for those entities only) with the 
force of contract law.

Also, given that we're dealing with numbers and not necessarly assets tied 
to any specific physical location, it's entirely possible that any number of 
jurisdictions might weigh in with different and conflicting rulings over who 
"owned" what and was allowed to do what with a given resource....and that 
ruling would probably only be enforceable as far as entities that operated 
within that jurisdiction or recognized that jurisdictions authority to rule. 
For example, the government of North Korea could rule that the entirety of 
the internet address space was "owned" by Daffy Duck (I hear they are quite 
fond of Daffy over there) and it could likely enforce that ruling as far as 
the portion of the internets physical topology located within the bounds of 
North Korea was concerned.  However, that wouldn't necessarily mean squat to 
anyone in Topeka.

Generally speaking, absent a law or judicial ruling entities are allowed to 
do whatever they want in recognizing the status of something according to 
their own records.  I assume, aside from any contractual agreements it might 
have,  ARIN could change it's policies to recognize Mickey Mouse as the 
official registrant of the entire IPv4 address block.  It seems that the 
only thing that could prevent that is if a Court that had jurisdiction over 
a location where ARIN operated (the state it was incorporated in?) 
recognized "ownership" of an address block in contradiction of ARIN's 
records and ordered ARIN to change it's registration entries accordingly. 
Has such a ruling ever happened (and been allowed to stand)?

Christopher Engel
(representing only my own views)

Hi Chris,

It's important to understand that ARIN *does* have legal contractual rights 
with all address holders under RSA. The RSA is the contract which gives ARIN 
those legal rights. But the legacy holders don't have any agreement, and so 
ARIN does not have any contractual rights over legacy space, as they do over 
RSA space.

This is the clear implication of Ray Plzak's words in his declaration. 
Trying to bind legacy holders to ARIN policy is a difficult legal row to 
hoe, absent these agreements. But ARIN doesn't need any agreement with 
legacy holders to control Whois. I believe ARIN could legally reissue *all* 
legacy addresses to new allocants and update Whois. ARIN has exclusive 
rights to control Whois in accordance with community policy.

But your points about multiple jurisdictions is important, and goes to my 
argument that ARIN should recognize the most liberal address holder rights 
as possible to go furthest in preventing potential conflict between ARIN and 
address holder, or ARIN and some local government.  When you tighten up 
restrictions and begin the process Owen is talking about, the revokation and 
reissuance of space, the potential for conflict is ripe.


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