[arin-ppml] ARIN-prop-151 Limiting Needs Requirements for IPv4 Transfers

John Springer springer at inlandnet.com
Tue May 24 14:02:57 EDT 2011

Hi Mike,

On Tue, 24 May 2011, Mike Burns wrote:

> Please understand that although I do think addresses will be more efficiently 
> used in the future when they have monetary value than currently, or in the 
> past, when they didn't, I am not making this the crux of my proposal.

OK, how about the idea of making this a one crux proposal?

> What I am saying is that needs testing was a requirement for free pool 
> allocations, and that is why we imposed needs tests on applicants for address 
> space. Actually some kind of constraint was required, as it always is, for 
> the distribution of unpriced but valuable resources.

One thing that I have seen a lot of lately is asserting that something 
happened _for_a_particular_reason_, and then using that _reason_ as a 
launching pad. WRT the above, I agree that needs testing was imposed, but 
saying that it was a requirement, which is why we imposed it seems 

> So the stewards chose needs-testing of applicants, with the idea that we want 
> allocated addresses put into actual and efficient use, and this method of 
> constraint would serve those goals.


> Now, however, we do not need needs-testing to drive addresses towards 
> efficient use, because we are allowing them to be priced, and that is a 
> fundamental difference.

Not so much check. We could restate this in reverse with equally valid 
effect: We have needs testing to drive addresses toward efficient use, so 
we don't need to be allowing them to be priced.

> Maybe I haven't made clear why we didn't just give addresses out 
> first-come-first-served, from the free pool.
> I have referred to the Tragedy of the Commons, and if you  are unfamiliar 
> with this concept, you can google it.

Thanks for the tip!

> Basically, the British used to refuse villagers from allowing their sheep to 
> graze on the commons, a publicly held land usually at the center of the 
> village.
> Then it was decided to open the Commons to the villagers for this purpose. 
> Since the villagers would have had to pay any other landholder to allow their 
> sheeps to graze on their land, all the villagers herded their sheep on to the 
> freely available Commons.
> Whereupon the sheep ate all the grass and destroyed the Commons.

Man, that does not sound good.

> Whether this actually happened is immaterial, it instructs us as to what 
> happens when a valuable commodity is not contrained by price. The commodity 
> is almost immediately consumed.
> So the stewards were wise in choosing to constrain allocation by some 
> mechanism. They could have chosen price, as the government does when it 
> auctions spectrum, for example.
> I think there would have been many problems with that choice.
> But instead they chose a needs-test, which to me was an excellent choice.

The ARIN stewards, I presume, not the sheep stewards.

> Now, however, whether with or without my policy, the stewards at ARIN chose 
> to allow individuals to buy and sell addresses, and thus for addresses to 
> have a price.

Don't think so. I know you keep saying so, but IIRC the STLS allows the 
right to transfer the right to use, presumably, but not necessarily for a 
consideration. Seems to me there is a lot of care exercised to be sure 
that the phrasing does not give even the appearance of sell and buy.

> The price is the constraint on wasteful use that the needs test used to be.

Would be. Maybe. Among other things. Happy to talk about it.

> So maintaining the needs test is not a requirement for stewardship, as other 
> forces outside of our control will work towards the same ends of efficient 
> usage that the needs test was designed to incentivize.

Maybe not, if we were absolutely determined that at all costs the needs 
test had to go. But we have not so determined. You propose that this is 
desireable and are experiencing some discussion. Not everyone agrees.

> I think some stewards have gotten it into their heads that their role is to 
> decide the best, or at least better, use of addresses, but I argue that was 
> never a goal of stewardship.

Here again: some stewards _MAY_ be considering that it might be better if 
existing uses of addresses be prefered to proposed and possibly 
undesirable uses. I would think YOU have to justify convincingly the 
advantages of previously prohibited practices, not just assert repeatedly 
those advantages.

> Now on to your analogy.

I don't intend to spend a lot of time defending the details of the

> There is simply no granary in control of the addresses. The food has already 
> been allocated from the granary into the hands of a bunch of individuals.
> In our case, tens of thousands of individual ARIN allocants. (I just made up 
> tens of thousands maybe it's just thousands.)
> But in your famine scenario, they would be selling, buying, stealing, and 
> donating to each other.
> Unless and until some third party came in to say they could not engage in 
> certain of  these transactions.
> Which would make that third party a lightning rod for conflict, and a very 
> potential source of corruption.
> I know that you are presupposing that some speculator or hoarder will come 
> and buy up everybody's available grain.
> So your objection comes down to fear of speculators and hoarders, once again.

That's me, crippled with fear, repeatedly. OTOH, I also think speculators 
and hoarders may be odious. My outward appearances to such can be similar.

> What about the /12 limit in my proposal, specifically designed to prevent 
> speculation and hoarding?
> In your analogy, I guess you could say that everybody had a limit to the size 
> of their storage silo, which would prevent them from hoarding.

No opinion so far, seems kinda large.

> Thanks for your thoughtful consideration of the matter, though, and your 
> belief that this is a proper topic for the AC to discuss.

Pleasure, likewise,

John Springer

> Regards,
> Mike

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