LRSA version 3.0 is the first truly fundamental rewrite of the prior LRSA, therefore it is not useful to describe changes paragraph by paragraph. Every section has some clarifying language, but most often these confirm terminology changes and do not necessarily change the meaning of the paragraph or policy: see e.g. LRSA v2 section 9 on 'no property rights' while section 7 of revised LRSA v3.0 is substantively unchanged. Some sections do contain significant changes, and these are described below.
What are the core issues that governed the rewrite?
First, LRSA v3.0 breaks apart the application process that was described in the prior LRSA and Registration Services Agreement (RSA) and removes the application process from the contract document. (Note - ARIN intends to make similar systemic changes in the near future in a new version of the RSA.) We believe this change will be very helpful to the clarity of the agreement.
Second, based on having approximately 500 LRSA's completed, ARIN has a clearer understanding of the language in prior LRSA versions that was perceived as allowing more than one interpretation, particularly as it applied to the core of the Legacy holders rights. We have made this language more exact in almost every section and removed language that created confusion. An example is in LRSA v2.2 section 8, Review of Legacy [Holder's] Number Resources, now Section 6, which clarifies that ARIN does not have contractual authority to take any adverse action against an LRSA holder if they are not currently using their legacy resources. ARIN is not changing policy, but rather ensuring that its practice is fully documented in the LRSA. We believe this will reassure legacy holders of the value of the LRSA.
Along those lines, ARIN has substantially clarified and reduced the references to 'termination for cause' by ARIN, as can be seen by comparing old section 14(b) with revised section 12(b). ARIN has also increased the breadth of reasons why a legacy holder would be allowed to 'terminate for cause', as shown by comparing old section 14(c) and (d) with new section 12(c) and (d).
Third, ARIN recognizes that there is a broad perception that an LRSA is considered to be more 'favorable' to registrants than the standard RSA. As ARIN moves toward the final issuance of new IPv4 resources, it is actively reviewing how the language of LRSA v3.0 can be used in the future when appropriate to amend the standard ARIN RSA. In the short run, ARIN intends to narrow the differences between the two agreements by extending some of the language of the LRSA into the RSA. The only area where LRSA v3.0 requirements are being amended in a direction towards the RSA is in the area of payments. LRSA v1 and v2 holders were given very attractive financial terms that may not fully cover the fair share of costs in providing services to legacy holders generally. In order to ultimately converge the two RSA forms in the future, more flexibility is needed in this area, as described in Fees Payment section. To this end, the LRSA fee has increased to $300, and language has been added to insure that ARIN will charge LRSA holders fees no greater than RSA holders for the same services.(See section 4b)
Fourth, we edited the dispute resolution mechanism, which has never been used to date, so that venues in Canada are accommodated, and Miami has been added as a potential venue for Caribbean disputes (see amended section 13(k).
Finally, any prior LRSA signatory may voluntarily update form any version 1 or 2 to LRSA v3.0, but no one will be required to do so. The community's constructive thoughts on LRSA v3.0 will not only help us finalize this set of changes, but lead to the RSA being conformingly amended as well where ever possible.