[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[ih] Some Questions over IPv4 Ownership

I would suggest that this question:

> 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.

really needs to be framed in terms of routability.

In a gentler time (pre-RFC 1918, et al), people just picked addresses at 
random for networks that "we know will never be connected to the Internet" 
to use internally, and when these networks were connected to the Internet, 
they were either renumbered (my team helped roll over a few thousand nodes 
one weekend) or NATted, because no one would send us packets to the prefix 
we were using (the prefix was already in the routing table, pointing 
somewhere else).

My understanding from the mid-1990s was that some prefixes were considered 
"polluted" - you didn't assign them, because someone was already "squatting" 
on them - but if the routing tables are updated to send traffic somewhere 
else, squatting wasn't interesting any more. Squatting became even less 
interesting when people started doing ingress filtering. At that point you 
couldn't receive packets sent to a squatted prefix, AND your ISP was 
dropping your packets at ingress time if they came from a squatted prefix.

If you "use" that address range, but no one sends you traffic for it, and no 
one accepts traffic from you that uses it, what does "use" actually mean?