[arin-ppml] On USG 'granting of rights'

John Curran jcurran at arin.net
Thu Jun 4 11:48:16 EDT 2015

On Jun 4, 2015, at 11:12 AM, Marc Lindsey <MLindsey at avenue4llc.com<mailto:MLindsey at avenue4llc.com>> wrote:

A court asked to decide on the property status of IPv4 numbers would, by operation of judicial precedents, apply this property law test because it is readily extendable to IPv4 numbers.  We  would also expect that, applying this test, the court would reach the same conclusion the Ninth Circuit did with respect to domain names: (1) IP number registrants have sole authority to decide how their numbers will be used within the Internet; (2) registrants have the right and authority to use IPv4 numbers exclusively for routing over the public Internet; and (3) like domain names, registrants are reflected in an authorized Internet registry, which "informs others that the [IPv4 number] is the registrant's and no one else's."  IPv4 numbers, like domain names, are now considered a valuable asset, and like domain names, they possess all of the requisite ingredients of private property.

If your supposition is correct, then it should be a trivial matter for any party
which feels their alleged “property rights” have been abridged to seek legal
relief, so as to obtain an order directing ARIN to update the registry contrary
to policy.   This has not occurred to date - instead, we have a string of results
which have ARIN updating the registry in compliance with its community policy.

The Kremen v. Cohen case also sheds some light on why ARIN firmly (and rationally) advocates the position that IP addresses are not property. The Kremen court found that the domain name registry at the time, Network Solutions, could be held liable for wrongfully converting another's property where it failed to observe an appropriate duty of care in maintaining and updating its registry records.

Actually, my principle concern is that the community currently maintains an
expectation regarding the application of registry policies in processing of
transfers, and this would be become difficult under a “IP property address”
regime.   Additionally, it is unclear if any party has the authority to recognize
the transfers of US Government property or whether we at the registry are
supposed to be simply recording the present party to whom these have been


John Curran
President and CEO

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