[arin-ppml] Deceased Companies?

Ronald F. Guilmette rfg at tristatelogic.com
Tue Jul 26 20:27:51 EDT 2022

In message <CAEmG1=r+mps5sR3VvGMTKq3AqurMLdjQERWX6AWbx6zWd3TY-g at mail.gmail.com>, 
Matthew Petach <mpetach at netflight.com> wrote:

>Why would ARIN be the place to track changes of ownership of corporate
>If Elon Musk, for example, were to buy Twitter...

Now you are taking about (a) publicly traded companies and also about (b)
companies whose names are unlikely to change after an acqusition due to
the desire to keep all existing branding.

The vast majority of ARIN member organizations (a) are NOT publicly traded
and also (b) DO NOT have any compelling, overriding, or substantial investment
in branding.

So please, don't get off into the weeds.  My questions have been simple and
straightforward questions about non-publicly-traded companies which have
only some modest numbers of shareholders.  And as I have said, corporate
entities of this type, together with natural persons, represent the overwhelming
bulk of all ARIN memberships.

>Sure, you can look to SEC records to see the change in ownership; it's not a
>secret; but it's not something that's on ARIN's head to track.

Well, actually, even the SEC itself is not obliged to divulge the identities
of every last shareholder of every publicly traded company... which is as it
should be.  (Any anyway, in the modern era, doing that would be nearly
impossible anyway, logistically, because share ownership in publicly traded
companies these days varies millisecond by millisecond.)

But anyway, we agree.  It is clearly _not_ ARINs job to keep track of who
owns how much of any given member organization.  And although I might like
it to be otherwise, at least for non-publicly-traded companies, that is not
the topic de jure.  Today we're just taking about dead member cleanup, or
the lack thereof.  (We can come back and argue about whether or not ARIN
should be collecting beneficial ownership information for non-publicly-
traded companies some other day.)

All that having been said, it _is_ indeed my opinion that it _is_ ARIN's job to
know at least the identities of all of the legal entities that are its members.
And in general, I believe ARIN _does_ know all of that, except when it comes to
deceased entities, where it appear to be blind as a bat.

>Similarly, when GlobalCrossing was bought by Level3, there was no
>sudden requirement that every record within ARIN that used to say
>"GlobalCrossing" now say "Level3" (I mean Qwest) (no wait, I mean
>CenturyLink) (shoot, no, now I mean Lumen).

Maybe there should be.  Do you have something against Truth in Advertising
when it comes to public-facing WHOIS records?

(Note: I think that you may possibly be overlooking the possibility that just
because Level3 got acquired by some other legal entity, that DOES NOT
automatically imply that the legal entity known as Level3, Inc. has itself
necessarily ceased to exist.  It may still exits and may still be using
the same resources as it has in the past, all while simply having different

>Nowhere does the NRPM say that ARINs records must change
>when the name or owner of a company changes.

Right.  That's what I said.  And thus, because of that obvious hole in the
rules, I asked John how anybody outside of ARIN could reliably and independently
check to see that ARIN is actually doing what John claims it is doing, i.e.
cleaning up the leftovers of dead companies and making sure that those remnant
resources get properly assigned to the new legal heirs of the old (and now dead)
company, if any, or properly recycled otherwise.

>(You can verify this for yourself by searching through ARIN whois
>records for "global crossing", "Level 3", etc. to see that there has
>been no requirement that records be immediately updated to show
>that ownership and control has changed.)

Not only is there apparently no requirement for the WHOIS records to be
properly updated "immediately" but apparently there is no requirement for
the WHOIS records to be corrected/updated *ever*.

You may think that's just swell.  I do not.  But in any case, for me this
also is somewhat of a side-issue at the moment.  My first order concern is to
find out if ARIN really and truly is committed to cleaning up the remnants
of old, dead and defunct companies and persons that were formerly members
but that are now "pushing up daisies" as it were.

It is still not 100% clear to me that ARIN is doing that, even in cases
where the now-dead members are (to use John's words) "brought to the
attention of ARIN".  ARIN may be doing it, or then again, maybe not.  It
appears that, as with so many ARIN things, there may be no way for an "outsider"
to know if they are doing it or not.  And even if they are doing it, they
may perhaps be doing it on a geological time scale, which for me at least,
would be rather unsatisfying.


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