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Article posted Feb 12 2013, 5:20 AM Category: Politics/Corruption Source: Techdirt Print

Ron Paul, UN Hater, Asks UN To Take RonPaul.com Forcefully From Ron Paul's Biggest Supporters

by Mike Masnick

One of the problems I see with this is the failure of the Paul camp to make a counteroffer and engage in any sort of back and forth, instead they went straight to a lawsuit. I think the $250,000 offer is quite reasonable, but perhaps through negotiations they could have gotten a lower price.

Meanwhile, in the suit they act like the site is only worth $9.99 to $29.99, the cost of registering the domain! That's so disingenuous it boggles my mind. It's just like Mike Masnick notes about the RonPaul.org domain, they claim in the suit it would be part of the deal only if they paid the $250,000, when in reality the guy offered that domain to them FOR FREE! You can read the letter where he offers it to them in the suit itself! It was a massive goodwill gesture, that domain is no doubt worth at least a few thousand dollars, yet in their filing they ignore it, wrongly say it was only part of the $250,000 deal, and attempt to seize what the guy offered to them for free!

This strikes me as very short-sighted, of course on the other hand people are saying the man profited off Ron's name, and all Ron is doing is trying to get back what is rightly his. I don't agree with that at all, for one thing there's tons of other Ron Pauls, for two the guy had the foresight to buy it himself when it went up for an open auction, at which point Ron or whoever had just as equal a chance at buying it, yet they chose not to. As to the intellectual property angle, it seems stupid to me the idea that if he used the site not to promote Ron Paul, but instead to promote some other Ron Paul the site would still be his and he would be free to sell it at a market price to the ex-politician Ron Paul, yet because he chose to promote this Ron Paul he's going to get his website seized. Additionally, if Ron Paul gets to seize these sites because they profited off his name, does that mean he gets to seize any other site which profited off his name as well? Does he have the "right" to seize DailyPaul next? What of the myriad of other sites which could potentially be infringing on his "trademarked" name?

I know some are arguing the internet is supposedly "private" and this is merely the enforcement of a private contract, sorry but ICANN is not private, this is a creature of the state given a total monopoly over domain registration, that's not private, and the rules and regulations it has created under this framework are not reflective of those which would be made in a free and open market. Note also, the dispute is being filed with the "World Intellectual Property Organization" at the U.N., not with some private arbitrator, again, that's not private. - Chris
The WIPO filing is really a guffaw-inducing piece of work. It doesn't just present one side of the story, it goes out of its way to imply things that are clearly untrue about those who run RonPaul.com -- suggesting that the whole effort was some sort of scam to extort money from Paul.

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