[arin-ppml] Change of Use and ARIN (was: Re: AFRINIC And The Stability Of The Internet Number Registry System)

Michel Py michel at arneill-py.sacramento.ca.us
Tue Sep 7 23:12:39 EDT 2021

[ catching up with this a few days after the horse has left the barn :-( ]

> Mike Burns wrote :
> From my perspective as a bidder against Microsoft in that Nortel auction, ARIN transfer
> policies were completely ignored until the auction winner was announced.

This was my understanding as well. The justice system did not understand jack crack about IP addresses at the time. Do not make me say that it does now ;-)

> The judge had decided these were transferrable assets belonging to the bankrupt entity, and could be sold.
> [snip] It's true that it was the first true public IPv4 sale, and was seminal in that regard.

I do think that this was the one thing that created the transfer market, indeed. As far as I know, never before a justice decision had ruled that IPv4 prefixes were assets that could be sold for money. _MONEY_. Transfers existed before; the emerging black market was all about shell corporations that purchased other corporations in order to get the IPv4 prefixes transferred to them. When I wrote earlier that the Nortel / Microsoft case did trigger this, my analysis is that, because of both the identity of the buyer (Microsoft) and the amount of money involved (millions) it had become somehow something that the press started to talk about. Maybe there were legal precedents, maybe not; if earlier on someone auctioned a /24 for a couple thousand bucks, nobody cared.

> It's a disingenuous to say that ARIN transfer policy drove the market, I think that's
> cart-before-the-horse revisionism. If anything, even after the transfer ARIN had to
> be dragged into a modern transfer policy and significant RSA changes.

I was waiting for other people to chime in, but it is the way I remember it too. But read below.

> John Curran wrote :
> Agreed, and I would not say such... what I pointed out to Michel is that _transfers_
> were not “set in motion” by the Nortel case –  We were already doing them years earlier
> as it was first enabled by the adoption of the transfer policy in the ARIN region.

I am sorry I was not precise or specific enough; I was talking about the transfer _market_.

My uneducated view is that ARIN was kinda caught by surprise by the bidding process and the fact that prefixes had legally become assets. That being said, if I remember correctly, I was one of the few who, at the time, supported John and ARIN for catching the ball in flight and finally reaching a compromise that has become reality. It was a difficult exercise. Well played.

> Mike Burns wrote :
> Thanks for the refreshing discussion on the inevitability of leasing and the difficulty blocking it
> with policy, but if placed only in the context of the free pool, it's just a tempest-in-a-teapot.
> Nobody is going to build a leasing business on acquiring rental inventory from the ARIN free pool(s).

Indeed. But in AfriNic land, this still is the talk of the day. Timing, and how business is done in other parts of the world.


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