North American Network Operators Group|
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RE: Can a customer take IP's with them?
> Not directed at anyone specifically, but has anyone noticed that on > these lists, people tend to focus on whether or not people's analogies > are correct, rather than trying to answer the original question? So long as you continue to focus on the analogy as it relates to the original question, rather than picking at aspects of the analogy that have nothing to do with the original question, you're fine. Unfortunately, it's very common to attack the analogy rather than show why the analogy doesn't apply. In cases where we're dealing with things that have not been dealt with before, analogy is a powerful tool of persusasion. I'm sure arguments like "IP addresses are just like telephone numbers" has been used and will continue to be used to argue that IP addresses must be portable to preserve competition. In this case, it's perfectly reasonable to argue that they're not alike because they are routed in very different ways but totally unreasonable to argue that they are not alike because they differ in length. Analogy is formalized in law in the form of precedent. Lawyers will argue that their case is exactly like some other case that was ruled in favor of the litigant they analogize their client to. It's critical to be able to distinguish your case from apparently similar cases when the ruling in the apparently similar case isn't the one you want. This particular case isn't about ownership at all. It's about whether or not the ISP can or cannot continue to allow the customer to use those IP addresses. It's about what hardship will be placed on the customer if they are not allowed to continue to use them against what hardship will be placed on the ISP if they do. To get a TRO, you need to show two things. One is that the balance of the hardships favors you. That is, that you will be more seriously hurt if you don't get the TRO than the other side will be if you do. Unfortunately, it will be hard to argue that in this case. It really doesn't hurt the ISP too much if they allow their customer to continue using the IPs for, say, 6 months. At least, unless there's something very unusual about this case that we don't know. Courts are not impressed usually with theoretical harm. The ARIN arguments are just that. Theoretically, if everyone ported their IP space, we'd all be harmed. However, there is no real harm in compelling the ISP to continue to allow their customer to advertise the IP space for a few months. The customer will argue that forcing them to renumber in less time will cause them real harm. (This may or may not be true and a court may or may not find the argument impressive. I'm just saying that trying to argue theoretical harm due to principles will likely not work.) The court will likely look at the harm imposed on the ISP for this one block. However, you also must always show that it is more likely that you will prevail in your main claim than that you will not. No matter how much the balance of hardships tips in your favor, you will not get a TRO if you cannot show the court that you are quite likely to be found entitled to the relief the TRO asks for if there were a full trial to determine such. We don't know anything about the actual issues in dispute in this case, so we can only speculate on this. I think courts will in general follow the contract between the ISP and the customer. If the contract doesn't say, industry practice is (at least IMO and experience) to allow the customer a reasonable period to renumber (3 months? 6 months?) unless the customer terminated the contract for no reason at all. (If the ISP raised the price, then the renumbering period would likely apply. If the customer just decided to end the contract when the ISP would extend it at the same price, then no renumbering period applies since the customer can continue to buy service through the renumbering period at terms they already found reasonable.) Harder cases include when the ISP terminates the customer for cause or when external situations change the ability of the customer to continue to use the ISP's services. IANAL. It certainly wouldn't hurt to clearly state your expectations in this regard in your contracts though. Don't rely on your contracts and policies with ARIN to be enforceable against third parties. DS