[arin-ppml] ARIN-prop-170 Transfer of Number Resources in case of Bankruptcy

William Herrin bill at herrin.us
Thu May 10 18:44:15 EDT 2012

On 5/10/12, Scott Leibrand <scottleibrand at gmail.com> wrote:
> The challenge identified by Counsel, as I understand it, is that sometimes
> organizations (particularly those being broken up during bankruptcy) wish
> to transfer the right to use number resources separately from the
> underlying tangible assets in order to maximize their value.  That is
> currently only allowed for IPv4 resources, via 8.3 transfers.

I want reframe that a little bit to reflect my understanding of the
issue. Please correct me if I have it wrong:

"The lawful and correct way to transfer that asset requires the buyer
to pre-qualify itself through a private organization, namely us" is a
hard enough sell to a judge without adding "That asset is not
severable from this group of assets over here. Furthermore, if that
group of assets is broken up, this one must be abandoned despite
willing buyers."

Where the conditions of the bankruptcy and ARIN's policies collide in
a way that requires ARIN counsel to make the second claim, ARIN places
itself at unnecessary legal risk. A judge could very legitimately
decide that an AS number is an asset and where the buyer would
legitimately qualify for an AS number, he may legitimately acquire
this one. Thereby overturning current ARIN policy.

Worse, if a judge finds any piece of ARIN policy to be incompatible
with bankruptcy law, the credibility of the rest is called in to
question. Particularly in light of the brief from prospective buyer
Address Sales R Us, claiming that ARIN restrictions on IP address
transfer are unlawful restraint of trade.

If ARIN were to simply "let it go" when someone wants to buy an AS
number in bankruptcy, that whole dicey situation is avoided.

Nobody has particularly cared about the AS number so far, but as
transfers become more common and we run out of 16-bit AS numbers, the
contemplated situation is likely to arise.

Bill Herrin

William D. Herrin ................ herrin at dirtside.com  bill at herrin.us
3005 Crane Dr. ...................... Web: <http://bill.herrin.us/>
Falls Church, VA 22042-3004

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