Registration Services Agreement (RSA) FAQ
ARIN provides the FAQs and answers below to enhance the Internet community's understanding of RSA Version 12.0 / LRSA Version 4.0. The FAQs do not alter or otherwise modify any terms of any RSA. For information focused specifically on the Legacy Registration Services Agreement, please see the section below.
Section 2 provides ARIN the ability to terminate the agreement if a Holder actively misrepresents information it provides to ARIN. Does that mean that ARIN can, and will, terminate my agreement if we make an innocent or trivial mistake in an application?
ARIN has never terminated an agreement for an innocent or trivial mistake. However, if ARIN determines that an application contains significant or material misrepresentations, whether submitted during the application process or later, ARIN may use this provision to terminate the agreement, and if Internet number resources have been issued, revoke those Internet number resources. This provision is intended to protect the whole community from fraudulent applications or answers. It is a seldom used power and subject to ARN's dispute resolution mechanism. To date, no such dispute has ever occurred.
If I suspect that a Holder is using its Internet number resources for illegal purposes, such as phishing or spamming, should I contact law enforcement and/or ARIN?
Yes, if you suspect the occurrence of Internet number resource fraud please report these instances to ARIN as provided in ARIN's Fraud Reporting Process.
If you suspect illegal activity is occurring, ARIN suggests you contact the appropriate state, federal, or provincial law enforcement agencies. ARIN is not a law enforcement organization and does not have the authority to investigate such violations of law. Section 2(e) provides ARIN the authority to follow national, state, judicial, or other government decisions or directives concerning the alleged illegal conduct. In addition, ARIN will cooperate with national, state, or other government inquiries that use appropriate methods to obtain information, including, but not limited to, the use of a subpoena or other formal process.
Help us understand what the bankruptcy provision in the RSA means.
Section 10, the bankruptcy section, provides specific references to the Bankruptcy Code for the convenience of reviewing lawyers. The intent of this provision is that in the event of a bankruptcy, it facilitates the continuance of the Services to a bankruptcy estate, including the use of the included number resources for the Holder, and to preserves any rights to the registration of unique Internet number resources.
A bankruptcy estate can transfer Internet number resources as a result of a liquidation or auction so long as the recipient can comply with NPRM 8.2 (if the Internet number resources are part of a sale of assets that use the Internet number resources), or if the Internet number resources are transferred separately under NPRM 8.3, so long as the recipient can demonstrate need for the Internet number resources under applicable policy. Additionally, a bankruptcy estate now has the option of transferring Internet number resources under NRPM 8.4 in accordance with the provisions of that policy. Bankruptcy transfers of Internet number resources that occur without notice to ARIN or that preclude ARIN's policy and procedures from being followed may not be automatically accepted by ARIN.
When legacy number resources, not previously covered under an RSA, are being transferred in bankruptcy, ARIN will work with recipients to enter into an RSA as required by policy.
Why is there a mandatory arbitration procedure for dispute resolution outlined in section 14(k)?
ARIN believes that section 14(k) provides a fair, effective, and relatively low cost means of resolving any disputes. To date, it has never been used, but remains available if needed by either party.
I represent a federal, state, or provincial government entity. Therefore, I cannot agree to the RSA's standard provisions concerning indemnification, bankruptcy, governing law, and/or binding arbitration. How does ARIN handle this situation?
ARIN accommodates the unique circumstance of federal, state, or provincial government entities, and has a practice of modifying RSAs for such requirements. In order for any such modifications to be considered, governmental entities must provide statutory or regulatory references to explain and demonstrate the necessity for a modification in order to meet legal requirements and allow the governmental entity to execute the RSA. For example, when there has been an appropriate statutory or legal reference stating that a governmental entity cannot provide indemnification under applicable law, ARIN has modified or deleted the indemnification provision in its entirety. In other instances, ARIN, when appropriate, has deleted the bankruptcy provision. As to the governing law provision, if you provide ARIN with a federal, state, or provincial statute requiring that another state's law cannot apply to the agreement, we may revise the agreement to reflect governing law of that state applies or remain silent on choice of governing law. In addition, we can substitute a non-binding mediation provision for the binding arbitration, if required by law. ARIN's attorneys can quickly respond to such issues.
My organization requires a certification that amounts invoiced by ARIN are for registration services that have been fully completed and delivered. Will ARIN provide such a certification?
ARIN invoices are for pre-payments for services to be rendered in the upcoming year. In the case of renewals, invoices are generally sent approximately sixty (60) days in advance of the upcoming term. Therefore, ARIN cannot make such a certification; however, ARIN is willing to make any formal representation consistent with this answer.
My company signed a previous RSA version. Is it possible to have my previously issued Internet number resources covered under the most current RSA, thus receiving those rights and benefits?
Yes, you can have your registration of previously issued Internet number resources covered under the most current RSA version. Please contact us and we are happy to assist you with entering into a new RSA, but you are not required to do so.
My company would like a version of the RSA that we can edit and identify proposed revisions to the RSA. Will ARIN provide an editable version of the RSA?
ARIN does not provide a readily editable version of its standard RSA to customers and only provides the RSA in the PDF file format. ARIN staff will gladly receive and review any requested modifications to the RSA from governmental entities and will make available a revised version of the RSA when appropriate.
Under Section 3 (a) and (c) of the RSA, there is a reference to unauthorized access. Why is this provision in the agreement, and can the RSA be revised to only reference individuals currently associated with our organization (i.e. current employees, current agents, etc.)?
ARIN relies on the information provided by you regarding individuals authorized to act on behalf of your company as the Point of Contact (POC) and who can make changes to your account in the ARIN database. It is the account holder's responsibility to maintain this information and safeguard the access to your ARIN account. ARIN requires indemnification from you if any Claim is made against ARIN due to unauthorized access as defined in Section 3. Absent a governmental entity, changes to limit this provision to generally reference individuals currently associated with your organization are not permitted. It is the account holder's responsibility to ensure individuals formerly, but not currently, associated with your organization (i.e. former employees) no longer have access to your ARIN account.
The RSA has limited ARIN's authority to modify the agreement without prior consent, as described in section 1(d)(the same authority was in an unnumbered paragraph previously). What is the change about?
Virginia Code § 59.1-503.4 of the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act provides Virginia corporations like ARIN with the authority to modify an agreement so long as the following occurs: (1) ARIN reasonably notifies the Holder of the change; and (2) ARIN permits the Holder to terminate the contract as to future performance if Holder determines the modification is unacceptable. ARIN has included this provision in all RSA versions since RSA 5.0, introduced in June 2004. However, ARIN never used this provision.
In this version in paragraph 1(e) ARIN has substantially limited when it may use this provision. First, ARIN's Board must find "an immediate and compelling need to amend the Agreement due to a definable, discrete, indentifiable change in relevant statute or case law." Alternatively the Board may seek ratification of a proposed change by the members. These twin limits should substantially reduce any concern the provision can be used to materially change member contractual rights.
Please note that RSA 12.0 also provides an additional means of notification, should ARIN use this provision. Section 1(d), as written in RSA 12.0, specifies that, in the case of a modification, ARIN will provide notification to the Holder as defined in the RSA. This notification is in addition to the notification that ARIN will provide on its website. Moreover, Section 13(d) provides a Holder with the ability to terminate the agreement at any time with the return of Holder's rights to registration of number resources.
Because the Internet community has the ability to change policies, the authority in Section 5 is consistent with the necessary ability of ARIN to respond to rapidly changing conditions.
My attorney reviewed the RSA and has suggested certain revisions; however, I noticed that the RSA specifically states that ARIN will not accept any alterations to the agreement. Will ARIN consider my proposed revisions?
ARIN does not negotiate individual changes in the RSA or LRSA. This is done as a fairness issue to ensure all RSA holders have the same rights and responsibilities in each RSA version. ARIN will consider your proposed revisions only for future RSA versions. Given that ARIN processes thousands of RSAs each year, it is unable to provide most requested revisions with the exception of governmental entities. Indeed, the RSA is based, in part, upon the feedback ARIN has received from the community.
Legacy Resource Holder FAQ
You released a new Legacy RSA (4.0); how is it different from previous versions?
This Legacy RSA version is combined with the RSA as the terms and conditions of the distinct agreements (RSA and LRSA) have been intentionally converging for the past few versions of each agreement. Revisions made to the combined agreement seek to achieve the following:
- The agreement is only applicable to "Included Number Resources" (i.e. the Internet number resources pursuant to the agreement, not any other number resources that parties may hold under an LRSA as legacy resources that are not under agreement)
- The Customer acknowledges that "Included Number Resources" in the agreement are not property. The does not address any other number resources held by the party
- Providing uniform service terms and conditions (other than fees) for all customers receiving services from ARIN
- More clearly defining ARIN's services that are covered by the agreement, including resource certification
- Providing a more balanced agreement with respect to term language previously seen as more favorable to ARIN
Does the new version automatically supersede my previously signed LRSA?
This version does not automatically supersede a previously signed LRSA. A legacy holder has the option of having this updated version of the agreement cover legacy number resources covered by a previously signed LRSA. If you wish to register legacy number resources under an Org-ID that currently has a previously signed LRSA, you will be asked to execute the LRSA 4.0 to supersede your previously signed LRSA in order to include the additional legacy number resources under that particular Org-ID.
Can I upgrade to this version? Why should I?
As stated above, you do have the option to upgrade from a previous version of the LRSA to this updated version of the LRSA. You, in consultation with your contracts and legal departments, must decide whether this updated version is better for your company. If you have any questions regarding the new agreement, ARIN staff remains ready to respond to any such inquiries to assist in your decision making process, and ARIN's Counsel is available to discuss it with your lawyers.
What is a legacy number resource and who is a legacy resource holder?
A legacy number resource is an IPv4 address or Autonomous System number that was originally issued to the current registrant by an Internet Registry (InterNIC or its predecessors) prior to the inception of ARIN on Dec. 22, 1997. A legacy resource holder is any individual or organization that was directly issued legacy number resources.
How do I know if my legacy number resources are already covered under an LRSA or not?
Typically, any legacy number resources that are covered under an LRSA will be associated with an Organization ID ending in a "-Z". If you have any questions regarding your legacy resources, please contact ARIN's Registration Services Department. You may contact the Registration Services Help Desk at +1.703.227.0660 or send email to email@example.com.
How and why does this LRSA differ from ARIN's previous LRSA, which covers number resources previously or subsequently issued by ARIN?
This RSA differs from previous versions of the RSA and LRSA in that it is a single document serving two purposes – as RSA 12.0, it addresses the registration of non-legacy number resources and the applicable general fee schedule and as LRSA 4.0, it addresses the registration of legacy number resources and the applicable fees for legacy number resources. Other than fees as described here, this agreement now provides for more uniform service terms and conditions for both legacy and non-legacy registrants.
I have legacy IPv4 number resources and want to apply for IPv6 number resources as an end-user, but haven't signed the RSA. The policy seems to say that I have to sign an agreement in order to qualify for IPv6. Can you clarify?
There is nothing in ARIN's current Number Resource Policy Manual that requires legacy resource holders to have a signed agreement in order to qualify for IPv6 address space directly from ARIN. However, once an organization is approved for IPv6 resources, it must sign a standard RSA for the IPv6, if a current version has not already been executed, before the IPv6 resources can be issued. This is part of a long-standing procedure in which ARIN issues and/or transfers resources pursuant to an executed RSA.
If I currently hold legacy number resources, must such resources be utilized before ARIN will issue new IPv4 number resources to me?
Yes, in accordance with policy, ARIN will issue new IPv4 number resources to those that hold legacy number resources only after verifying the utilization of those legacy number resources.
I have legacy number resources registered in ARIN's Whois database but have no plans to sign the LRSA. Will ARIN continue to maintain my records, and can I still make database changes to my records if I need to?
ARIN's current practice is to process requests from the authorized points of contact of legacy number resources for updates to their registration records without requiring an RSA/LRSA. There is no current policy that prohibits ARIN from processing updates to records that are not covered under an RSA. Please note that community-developed policy could change this in the future.
Will updating my organization record in ARIN's database and signing the LRSA require me to return to ARIN any legacy number resources I hold that are not currently being utilized?
Signing the LRSA as a legacy resource holder will not obligate you to return unutilized legacy number resources to ARIN. The LRSA explicitly states that ARIN will not reclaim unutilized legacy number resources from those who sign the LRSA. Additionally, it states that organizations that voluntarily choose to return unutilized legacy number resources to ARIN may be eligible for a series of benefits.
Can ARIN take away the legacy number resources my company or institution currently holds if I don't sign the LRSA?
ARIN has no plans or intention to "take away" legacy resources from those who have not signed an LRSA/RSA. Absent any community developed and passed ARIN, or global, policy or a changed statutory or case law requirement, ARIN will not do so. Signing the LRSA contractually locks in a set of rights that each organization should carefully consider.
I have legacy number resources registered in my own name and want to sign the LRSA. Can I sign the LRSA in my own name and not a company name, and if so, how do I proceed with this?
Yes, if your legacy number resources are currently registered in the ARIN Whois database in your name, then you can sign the RSA in your name. The procedure for signing the LRSA begins with the completion of a legacy application which can be found on the ARIN website (www.arin.net). Once ARIN staff has verified the information you have supplied, they will send you a PDF copy of the LRSA and instructions on how to complete the LRSA.
I represent a U.S., or Canadian, or other ARIN-region sovereign nation's Federal Government agency and have questions about covering legacy resources under the LRSA. What do I do first?
Given that sovereign Federal Government agencies may have unique legal limits that impact signing an LRSA, we suggest that you first contact ARIN's Registration Services Department to discuss your circumstance. In some cases you might then be referred to ARIN's legal counsel. You may contact the Registration Services Help Desk at +1.703.227.0660 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I represent an ARIN sovereign state or provisional government entity. Because of that status, I cannot agree to the LRSA provisions concerning indemnification, bankruptcy, governing law, and/or binding arbitration. How does ARIN handle this situation?
ARIN is willing to accommodate governmental entities with appropriate revisions when governmental authorities provide specific statutory references that support their concerns. For example, with regard to the governing law provision, if you provide ARIN with a Federal, state, or provincial statute requiring that another state's law cannot apply to the agreement, we may revise the agreement to reflect the governing law of that state applies or remain silent on choice of governing law. In addition, we can substitute a non-binding mediation provision for the binding arbitration, if required by law. ARIN's attorneys can quickly respond to such issues.
If a legacy resource holder decides to sign the LRSA, but its organization name is different from the one currently registered in the ARIN Whois database, can they still fill out the legacy application and sign the LRSA?
If the organization's name has changed due to a merger or acquisition type of activity, then the recipient organization must complete a transfer with ARIN before they can sign the LRSA if the organization is a separate and distinct entity from the original registrant of the legacy number resources. In this case they would not be eligible to sign as a legacy resource holder since they were not the original registrant of the legacy number resources.
Why is arbitration used as a dispute resolution technique in the agreement, and how does this impact rights?
Arbitration is generally seen as more cost efficient and tailored to handle disputes about an agreement's application. Generally, reliance on courts is more formal, may require more time for adjudication, and is more expensive than arbitration, particularly where the parties mutually pick a single arbitrator. As a practical matter, to date, there have been no cases of arbitration over the LRSA or prior LRSAs, so the reliance on this dispute resolution mechanism has not yet been used.
Is there a U.S. government agency that provides guidance on ARIN's role from the government perspective?
Yes, please see:
Consistent with the NTIA guidance, ARIN continues its stewardship and management of both legacy and non-legacy space within the ARIN region through community-developed policies.
For additional information regarding legal aspects of Internet number resources please refer to the following paper.