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[AFRINIC-rpd] New Policy Proposal: Inter RIR IPv4 Address Transfers (AFPUB-2013-V4-001-DRAFT-01)

David Conrad drc at
Thu Jan 17 01:26:55 UTC 2013

On Jan 16, 2013, at 3:40 PM, "Andrew Alston" <alston.networks at> wrote:
> Just had to respond to what is found above, because it's potentially an *extremely* slippery slope we go down if we accept that.  Let me explore a hypothetical, and again, I am not a lawyer, but this is interesting...

Despite being guilty of chasing down this particular rathole myself in other venues (usually arguing against assertions that everything is black or white), I suspect pursuing legal theories about address space/registration data ownership/leasing, etc., while entertaining, is ultimately not going to be useful or fruitful. Realistically, I suspect any legal question about who is ultimately responsible for address space will take more time to fully resolve than remains in IPv4 usefulness, particularly given the necessarily international nature of the discussion.  

I'd personally recommend focusing on matters that can be resolved within the community via cooperation and industry self-regulation. In reality, the whole Internet resource management system from IANA on down only works because everyone (more or less) agrees it works (a concept termed the "Tinkerbell Effect"). If folks start poking and prodding at these structures with lawyers, I fear there is non-zero risk that it will all come tumbling down and a _lot_ more unpleasantness will result.  After all, all it would take would be a few ISPs with sufficient market share to decide (perhaps at the insistence of their governments) to believe someone else's registration database for things to get quite confusing, quite quickly.



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