[NRO-IANAXFER] Internet Number Community IANA StewardshipProposal: Final Call for Comments

Jim Reid jim at rfc1035.com
Fri Jan 9 22:16:15 CET 2015

On 9 Jan 2015, at 19:49, John Curran <jcurran at arin.net> wrote:

> Interestingly enough, you have indicated that the RIR lawyers should develop 
> the contract, but apparently are not content that they will make use of the 
> community guidance (that dispute resolution be handle by arbitration), but 
> feel that you must have the opportunity to review their legal work.


The RIR community largely consists of network engineers and similar sorts of Internet geeks. No disrespect intended. IMO expecting our community to have sufficient qualifications in legal expertise makes as much sense as having lawyers specify Internet protocols or design networks.

I also think it's highly unlikely that the RIR community/communities could reach consensus on a one-size-fits-all contractual framework on IANA matters before the heat death of the universe. Such a thing may even be impossible anyway. A contract in jurisdiction A may well be invalid or illegal in jurisdiction B. Speaking from personal experience, I know ICANN's standard gTLD contract turned out to incompatible with English law, even though the US and English legal systems are fairly similar. 

FWIW it's not yet clear to me how or why a contract would be better than the current IANA-RIR arrangements or be an improvement once NTIA oversight goes away. If the relationship between IANA and the RIRs break down or IANA's service fails, there will be far more important problems to fix than arguing things out in court or even in an arbitration.

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