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[rpd] [Community-Discuss] Unaddressed queries by AFRINIC during AGMM

Owen DeLong owen at
Tue Jun 29 09:01:21 UTC 2021

> On Jun 26, 2021, at 18:53 , Fernando Frediani <fhfrediani at> wrote:


> In the recent times as IPv4 exhaustion advances it's becoming more and more common to see defenses for a total liberalization in a "no rules scenario" of IP space regulation using nice words as "new economic, technical, and legal realities".


> The reality is that that most benefited from that are only a few companies who financially benefit during these difficult times, regardless of things like fairness and economic and social development of a region. These actors know the value of this market will have its peak and then will start to come back down, so it is somehow understandable the pressure we have been seen to try to make some absurds like IP leasing to non-connectivity customers or use out of the region as something "normal and acceptable".


Regardless of who does and does not benefit, the reality is that short of an actual government with the ability to enforce its rules using guns and prisons, people who can make a profit are going to do what they are going to do. I’m not particularly happy about this reality, but I do recognize that it is, in fact, reality and I’m not in favor of giving RIRs guns or the ability to incarcerate people. Contracts only get you so far and clever people can always find ways to comply with the letter of a contract while circumventing the other party's intent if they want to try hard enough.

So no, these are not “nice words”, they are the recognition of unpleasant and inconvenient truths that like it or not, we are faced with new realities, economic, technical, and legal.

In many countries legal frameworks the lack of a transfer policy allowing registrants to monetize the transfer of their registrations could be considered either restraint of trade or an anti-trust/anti-competitive matter.

> It is not by chance that some RIRs Community have chosen that majority of addresses must be used within in the region and the impacts it has on the social and economics of that region. It is a loss when every new company or entrepreneurship struggles to launch a new business due to the lack of addresses in the region that were taken way to be used elsewhere and these type of situations cannot simply be taken as "new economic, technical, and legal realities". In those scenarios where only a few actors earn their chunk of money regardless the losses to the region such movements can't be accept as something natural.


Which RIRs communities would that be? I believe you can only point to one RIR that actually has such a policy on the books.

Further, there is no lack of IP addresses, only a lack of IPv4 addresses. That is the new technical reality and the sooner we face that head on, the better off we will all be.

Addresses were never distributed to RIRs with the intent for those addresses to be regionally restricted. Instead, RIRs were created for the purposes of providing convenience in terms of time-zones, the manageability of a policy forum for the community, and to some extent language support.

This protectionist mentality about regional restrictions on addresses is a very recent phenomenon.

> It was probably in the line of "new economic, technical, and legal realities" the some RIRs didn't choose to have soft landing phases which certainly leads to a significant unfairness to newcomers and new business coming up and also to a higher market concentration. Fortunately for the less economic-developed regions in the world (LACNIC and AfriNic) this didn't happen and this discourse of "new economic, technical, and legal realities" was not predominant.


Again, to the best of my knowledge, there’s only one RIR that chose not to have a soft landing policy.

How is it fair to hold addresses that are needed for use to day in reserve for an unknown possible future need that may or may not come to fruition before the protocol is rendered obsolete? That’s neither fair to existing organizations, nor is it the best use of resources to keep them on the shelf.

Until very recently, within the ambit of legitimate need, internet resources (names and numbers) have been issued on a first-come-first-served basis. WIPO eventually managed to corrupt this in the names arena by creating a tragic juxtaposition of trademarks and domain names (which is incredibly poor because of the realities of trademarks being multiple overlapping namespaces while any given TLD is a single namespace). The classic example is that for decades, Apple Computer (founded 1976) and Apple Records (founded by the Beatles in 1968. In the trademark realm, because there is no likely confusion (at the time) between a Record Label and a Computer Manufacturer, the two uses of the same name did not conflict. Try that with (which went to the computer company entirely because of first-come first-served rules, but which under the messy IANA processes can’t be subsequently claimed by Apple Records in a trademark dispute because both trademarks legitimately hold the name.

> During the first discussions of Inter-RIR transfer policy, while AfriNic was still on Phase 1 of the soft landing we could see a big concern of several people about possibility of IP space be simply stolen from Africa and I believe that is still a concern of many and I doubt that these many would find it normal things like out of region usage or IP leasing.


Yet neither of those things is against current policy if one applies a plain text reading of the rules. Indeed, it would take incredible effort to contort the rules to claim they prohibit out of region use. OTOH, given that nearly every single LIR in every single RIR engages in some form of IP Leasing, I think it’s very difficult to claim that this is either prohibited by policy or abnormal.

If you think that they are against policy, please point to the appropriate and relevant sections of the CPM, RSA, or bylaws.

Wishing does not make it so. If you don’t want those things to be considered normal, then either point to the section of policy that prohibits them, or draft a policy proposal and try to get it to consensus.

Until then, please re-read the CPM, RSA, and bylaws with a critical eye considering the plain-text meaning of the documents and consider what they actually say instead of what you wish they said or think they should have said or think the community wants.


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