Food for thought, was Re: [AfrICANN-discuss] Internet regulation at national level?

Adiel Akplogan adiel at
Thu Nov 1 15:39:35 SAST 2012


On 2012-11-01, at 12:25 PM, Dr Eberhard Lisse <el at lisse.NA> wrote:

> I am not sure you are right here.
> Generally speaking a database is Intellectual Property (as a
> compilation) unless there is a /sui generis/ right as for example in
> the EU. Whether it is "public" or "internal" doesn't really matter.
> And it is not the names or numbers themselves which constitute the
> IP but the *compilation* (thereof), presumably because of the effort
> involved assembling it ("Sweat of the Brow" doctrine, which is used in
> the Commonwealth but not the US, for example).

It is the same case in MU, database *can* be considered an IP. However 
as RIR we do not claim ownership or any IP on our public WHOIS database. 
This mainly because RIR WOIS database are considered public technical 
tools and users are the one who build its content themselves. This is 
why generally RIR's WHOIS database are excluded from general debate on 
**domain** name WHOIS database. 

> It might also matter significantly where the IP (database) is
> physically located, not just where AfriNIC is registered …


> As any database has a value a non-profit can usually not just
> alienate it (to the public) as there are fiduciary responsibilities
> involved.  Usually the disposal of assets is regulated by the
> articles of incorporation or something similar.  At the very least a
> formal Board resolution might be required…

I'm not sure what you mean by alienation (my english is not that good at 
this time of the day :-). But most of the information contain in our whois 
are created by the users themselves, protected by themselves and can be 
maintained by themselves (deleted, changed etc…). The only objects we 
create as RIR are and have control on are Allocations (PA) and direct 
assignments (PI). Other assignments made by members to their customers or
their own infrastructure are created by LIRs and protected by them with 
their own Maintainer Objects same for PoC (Point of Contact).

> Have the Directors considered these three issues (What, Where,
> Alienation)?  And if so, have you taken legal advice in this regards?

Yes that is handled in our Registration Service Agreement and our IP
addresses allocations/assignments policies. Maybe there are some aspects 
that I'm not seeing, thanks for further clarify your point if needed.


- a.

PS: for those who may be confused here about "IP" note that
IP:Intellectual Property != IP:Internet Protocol


> on 2012-11-01 09:57 Adiel Akplogan said the following:
> [...]
>> AFRINIC is legally registered only in Mauritius hence operates
>> legally under Mauritius Law.  We have hosting agreement with
>> datacenters in ZA where we host copy of some of our public
>> services only.
> [...]
>> Now as part of our role of RIR we maintain a public WHOIS database
>> which contains public IP registration data owned by own by people
>> who created them.  So these public data in the WHOIS belong to
>> AFRINIC's community.
> [...]
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