Do you suppose that if a Microsoft salesman had given me a free copy
of Windows back in 1990, I would have a right to use any version of
Windows for free forever?
I don't think this analogy exactly fits. I'm pretty sure that the legacy
space holders think of this as: a Microsoft salesman had given them
a free copy of Windows back in 1990, and had returned many years later
to say that MS had established a registry for all new recipients of
Windows that charged a registration fee, and MS wanted them to start
paying the fee for the free copy as well.
Regardless of what the legacy space users think, if the
RIRs decided to sign certificates for use in BGP route
for a small fee to recover costs, and if those legacy
space holders wish to make use of this new service (like
a new version of Windows) then they have to sign up and
pay the fees. The fact that they once received a free
service does not entitle them to receive *ALL* services
for free *FOREVER*.
Perhaps this discussion should move to http://www.groklaw.net
where people who understand how law works could comment on it.
In any case, the bottom line is that the existence of a few
legacy space users should not prevent us from leveraging the
RIRs to sign certificates, run route registries, run the
in-addr.arpa domain etc.