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[ih] Some Questions over IPv4 Ownership

the initial address space was decided on in 1977. initially just 256
blocks, but very soon  in 1981, this format was overtaken by the need
for more refined allocations and the "ABCD" format was adopted. Jon
Postel initially handled the tracking of assignments as the Internet
design evolved, expanding on his role as "numbers czar" for the
ARPANET becoming the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) for
the Internet while serving at USC-ISI under contract to DARPA. Recall
that this was an experimental system.

In 1983, the ARPANET was split into the research ARPANET and the
military MILNET and all hosts were converted to run TCP/IP so they
needed IP addresses. Somewhere in the 1993 time frame, Classless
Inter-Domain Routing was introduced using a new version of Border
Gateway Protocol. All during this time, Postel continued to serve as
the IANA.

Around 1992, the European Internet contingent formed the RIPE-NCC to
support the Reseaux IP Europeen (European IP networks). The "Network
Control Center" undertook to make IP address assignments from blocks
supplied by Postel.

In 1997, the Americas Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) was formed.
They undertook to manage addreiss allocations from blocks provided by
Postel for the Americas (North/South/Central). Postel contnued to
manage allocations not handled by either ARIN or RIPE-NCC (which was
serving some non-European locations). In 1998, after considerable
turmoil, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
(ICANN) and inherited the IANA function by way of the Department of
Commerce which had taken over from the National Science Foundation the
task of Address and Domain Name management.

Postel died in September 1998 just two weeks before the official
founding of ICANN.

through the ICANN Process, new Internet Registries were formed at Asia
Pac (APNIC), Latin American (LACNIC) and Africa (AFRINIC).

As to "ownership" I think the terms is more like "leaseholder" - The
authority went from DARPA to DCA/DISC, to NSF, to Department of
Commerce and then to ICANN via DOC.

Pre-ARIN and RIPE-NCC allocations are sometimes called "legacy"
assignments because the parties holding these addresses have the use
of them, free-of charge, until they do not need them any more. In
theory they should return the addresses to the pool but if there is
monetary value associated with IPv4 addresses space, you can be
assured that there will be a lot of interest in controlling these
identifiers. While in theory, unneeded address space is to be returned
to IANA (or possible to the allocating RIR), acquisitions of companies
have resulting in address space moving to the acquiring company.
Bankruptcy laws, at least in the United States, sometimes treat as
assets such things as domain names and address space. It is also worth
noting that if an address block is not in the routing tables, i may be




On Mon, Oct 11, 2010 at 4:59 PM, Ernie Rubi <ernesto at cs.fiu.edu> wrote:
> Hi folks,
> I am in the process of writing a research paper for an Internet Law seminar
> at FIU Law and have a few questions for those of you with enough
> institutional memory to remember how IPv4 address allocations were first
> handed out:
> 1. ?Who 'owned' IP addresses ab initio? ?Were IP addresses 'property' of any
> one entity or person or agency? ?What is the authority ICANN / ?IANA had to
> allocate these addresses if they are not 'theirs.'
> 2. ?Initially, were large blocks of IPv4 addresses 'handed out' with a
> complete ownership interest to their recipients? ?For example, when you
> received an /16, was it yours to transfer to? ?? ? ? other entities if you
> pleased? ?Could you have transferred sub-allocations of your /16 to other
> entities who weren't your customers/connectors?
> 3. ?Were the initial IPv4 allocations rolled into RIRs/ICANN at any point?
> If so, under what legal framework?
> Thanks all for your thoughts/comments,
> Ernesto M. Rubi
> Sr. Network Engineer
> Florida International Univ, Miami
> Reply-to:?ernesto at cs.fiu.edu