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"Leasing" of space via non-connectivity providers

On Feb 5, 2011, at 2:25 PM, Owen DeLong wrote:

> The fact that a very large number of network operators use the data
> contained in the RIR system in a cooperative manner is convenient
> and makes the internet substantially more useful than I can imagine
> it would be under alternative scenarios. However, that does not mean
> that the RIRs are granting any sort of license, right to use, or ownership.
> Nor does it mean that terminating a registration constitutes taking away
> such a grant that was never given.

This is a pretty tenuous position.  If the Whois database isn't specifying the proper association between an organization and an address block, what is it for?  I think you're suggesting that the definition of "proper" in this case is no more than ARIN's non-binding recommendation.  If that's the case then ARIN has no "authority" as the address registry.  I think ARIN's own statements, relationship with NRO and IANA, etc, all contradict this.

On the other hand, if ARIN intends the Whois to reflect the proper association between organizations and address blocks, then it has some responsibility for the accuracy of that data.  While not a perfect comparison, it would be somewhat like a financial services company hired to maintain shareholder ownership records of a public company - negligence in maintaining accurate records can result in criminal consequences.  In fact, in my example, if the company decided to reallocate one group of shares to new owners they'd find themselves in a deep pile of trouble - we have laws that govern property rights, define theft and fraud, etc, all of which takes precedence over company policy.

It would be disingenuous to offer a database of information, recommend it be used by the public, support its use as an authoritative source, and then deny any responsibility for the contents.  I don't think your position on this particular topic reflects ARIN in reality.