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[ih] Some Questions over IPv4 Ownership

This is a great discussion ... but I think it's way too logical and
engineering-based.  IMHO, legal structures are rarely logical to us
engineers.  But legal mechanisms will be applied to Internet
technologies and infrastructure, just like they were applied in
telephone, railroads, radio, shipping, etc. in the past.

So, for example, in legal property worlds there is a concept of
"prescriptive rights".  Basically if you use someone else's property for
long enough without their permission or objection, you acquire the
ongoing right to use that property.  I.e., for practical and legal
purposes you own it, or at least own a right to use it.

If I use a particular range of IP addresses long enough, without the
permission of whoever thinks they own it, do I now own those
addresses...?  It's clear to me what the engineering answer is, but I
have no idea what a court might decide.  Hence the question of ownership
- legal rights - is very relevant.

In fact, I wonder if all the laws currently governing portability of
telephone numbers also apply in some way to IP addresses, if someone
decides to litigate?  I know they're very different numbers from an
engineering perspective, but from a judge's bench...?

This is the kind of question that we can't answer by logical engineering


On Tue, 2010-10-12 at 11:28 -0400, Noel Chiappa wrote:
> > From: Dave CROCKER <dhc2 at dcrocker.net>
>     > On 10/11/2010 5:14 PM, John Day wrote:
>     >> Do you own the address where your house is?  When you move do you take it with
>     >> you? Do you get your mail at the address where you were born?
>     > You mean like portable phone numbers, especially ones that are easier
>     > to remember?
> Neither one of those analogies is entirely applicable. One phrase for
> everyone here: 'separation of location and identity'.
> However, the former analogy is more applicable to IPvN addresses than the
> latter. For one, portable phone numbers are (now) the equivalent of DNS
> names. I.e. to actually use them for communication, they _have_ to go through
> a binding layer, the output of which is the number's current, actual
> location. (The fact that the _syntax_ of the output of that mapping looks
> like the input, i.e. phone numbers, doesn't change the fact that the
> _semantics_ of the output - i.e. the properties of that output number - are
> different from the input.)
> 	Noel