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Ron Paul Asks UN For Help Geting Control of RonPaul.com Domain From Fans 611

Posted by samzenpus
from the strange-bedfellows dept.
First time accepted submitter thoughtfulbloke writes "Ron Paul has gone to the United Nations' World Intellectual Property Organization to seize control of the RonPaul.com domain from the fans that built it up, rather than purchase it. From the article: 'The proprietors of RonPaul.com say they reached out to the retired politicain and offered him RonPaul.org as a free gift, but if he "insisted" on owning RonPaul.com then they would sell it to him. There was a catch, though. It would be part of a "liberty package" with the site's 170,000 person mailing list for... wait for it... $250,000. They think the price is totally worth it: '"
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Ron Paul Asks UN For Help Geting Control of RonPaul.com Domain From Fans

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday February 11, 2013 @10:38AM (#42858571) Journal

    There was a catch, though. It would be part of a "liberty package" with the site's 170,000 person mailing list for... wait for it... $250,000. They think the price is totally worth it

    That's the funny thing about Capitalism ... wait for it ... the market decides what the price should be. And right now, they have a very unique piece of property that will cost whatever they want to sell it for because they ... wait for it ... own it! But, you know, let's clamor and argue for the defunding and dissolution of the UN [thepoliticalguide.com] right up until it benefits us personally. This is a very surprising and disappointing action from Paul -- a politician who once rarely (if ever) contradicted himself.

    From the horse's mouth [ronpaulforcongress.com]:

    We must stop special interests from violating property rights and literally driving families from their homes, farms and ranches. Today, we face a new threat of widespread eminent domain actions as a result of powerful interests who want to build a NAFTA superhighway through the United States from Mexico to Canada.

    We also face another danger in regulatory takings: Through excess regulation, governments deprive property owners of significant value and use of their properties – all without paying ”just compensation.”

    Property rights are the foundation of all rights in a free society. Without the right to own a printing press, for example, freedom of the press becomes meaningless. Congress must work to get federal agencies out of these schemes to deny property owners their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property.

    Property rights are the foundation of all rights in a free society unless the property we're talking about are domain names that you feel are yours, right Senator Paul?

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Monday February 11, 2013 @10:57AM (#42858759)

    So you believe his name is unique?
    No one else has that name on Earth?

    What if I want to make a website about how he is a hypocrite? Why can I not buy ronpaul.com and make that my site about his hypocrisy?

    How about instead of more regulation we simply let the free market solve this?

  • by DarkOx (621550) on Monday February 11, 2013 @11:07AM (#42858883) Journal

    I have been a Paul support and I disagree. I would say unless what they are putting on the site is untrue, in which case its libel and is why we have civil courts, there is no reason they should have to turn over the name or be expected to do so without compensation. Compensation should be the price they set as its currently their property.

    You can't call them squatters either they are actually using the domain, have real current content there, and its even related to the subject the name would lead you to expect. What they are doing is more or less the antithesis of domain squatting.

    Really I am disappointed in Paul over this one in a big way. I don't see anything wrong with what the people on the site are doing. Actually Paul should be grateful because they are basically promoting him.

  • by rs1n (1867908) on Monday February 11, 2013 @11:07AM (#42858889)
    Let's put politics aside for a bit. Why should _THIS_ particular Ron Paul be allowed to "claim" ronpaul.com over some other person named Ron Paul. That combination of first and last name is not unique (http://howmanyofme.com/people/Ron_Paul/). Why should one person have a stronger claim to a domain name simply because they are more recognized by the public? I could understand the fight for MyBusinessName.com if your business is named MyBusinessName and said name is not some generic word/phrase. But whether it's Ron Paul or Michael Jordan or Joe Schmoe, I just don't see how it would be fair to all the other Ron Paul, Michael Jordan, or Joe Shmoe people.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday February 11, 2013 @11:11AM (#42858923) Journal

    With friends like that who needs enemies.

    This is nothing but a $250,000 shakedown by his alleged "supporters".

    "Back in 2007 we put our lives on hold for you, Ron, and we invested close to 10,000 hours of tears, sweat and hard work into this site at great personal sacrifice."(emphasis mine).

    They are actually quite honest: they invested in him(after all, altruism would have been unethical), and now they want their ROI. This isn't a 'friendship' thing, this is a 'VCs fighting with their start-up's CEO over stock options' thing.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday February 11, 2013 @11:21AM (#42859047) Journal

    What I like is that they are fighting over something that is purely a creation of ICANN: there is nothing magic about DNS that makes domain names globally authoritative(and, unlike with fiat currency, it isn't even legally troublesome to make your own, if you can get anybody to accept them), ICANN just runs the nameservers that people give a damn about.

    If they wanted to take this out to the marketplace and settle it like men, they could just each provide an IP and let their respective supporters modify their hosts files or local DNS records according to their preferences, as consumers, about which ronpaul.com offered a superior ronpaul.com product and/or service.

    It's like watching two gold-bugs fighting over a $100 'federal reserve note'...

  • by Stone Rhino (532581) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (ekrapm)> on Monday February 11, 2013 @11:27AM (#42859127) Homepage Journal

    No, there's actually a documented history of names being used for other purposes. This kind of thing has been going on for over a decade. FordReallySucks.com is all about the quest of big companies to squelch critical sites that use their name.

    http://www.fordreallysucks.com/more_info.html [fordreallysucks.com]

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Monday February 11, 2013 @11:37AM (#42859227)

    Yes, it's the most delicious piece of libertarian hypocrisy since Ayn Rand took Social Security payments and Medicare benefits under the name of Ann O'Connor.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 11, 2013 @12:38PM (#42860227)

    (Not saying that's what happened here.)

    It's what actually happened. The first owner's name was Ron Paul...the current owners bought it from him...Let me tell you the whole story about RonPaul.com...The current owners bought it on Ebay back in 2008 from Ron Paul...they didn't cybersquat and initially register the domain themselves...I remember going to the Ebay auction back in 2008 and seeing RonPaul.com go for over 25K...a friend of mine told me this
    -------
    "If Ron Paul could hire competent people, he would already own the damned thing. They are supporters who bought it at an auction, while his staff, as usual, ignored all the pleas from the grassroots to buy the damned thing for Ron.
    No sympathy for him at all in this. The people that bought it kept the domain from falling into neocon hands, they spent their time and their money using the site to do nothing but support Ron and his message, and this is the thanks they get. No wonder libertarianism turns off so many people.
    If Ron had any sense, he'd hire them to run the site. That's the win/win solution. But selling it to him would mean it will be run badly. If you doubt that for one second, check out his recent Facebook and Twitter posts. I suspect this is just another effort by those close to him to cash in on his name, now that the campaign well has run dry.
    The story is this: another guy named Ron Paul owned it. He wasn't a fan and wouldn't sell it until the 2008 campaign was winding down. Then, he put it on eBay because they couldn't get on touch with Ron through the campaign.
    I was one of the people calling and emailing the campaign. I had Benton's cell phone number - I personally left him messages. I called the office several times, I emailed the eBay listing to every Ron Paul contact I could find. The people that bought it did him a favor.

  • by Holi (250190) on Monday February 11, 2013 @12:55PM (#42860469)

    Bad argument in the Mikerowsoft case as they settled and it did not go to court. In the end Mike Rowe won, it was Microsoft that walked away with the black eye. They origianlly offered him $10, in the end he got Microsoft to pay all of the expenses that Rowe had incurred including setting up a new site at and redirecting traffic to MikeRoweforums.com. Additionally Microsoft provided Rowe with a subscription to the Microsoft Developer Network, an all expenses paid trip for him and his family to the Microsoft Research Tech Fest at their headquarters in Redmond, Washington, training for Microsoft certification and an Xbox with a selection of games.

  • by gravis777 (123605) on Monday February 11, 2013 @01:16PM (#42860833)

    From the article you linked to:

    is registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name with bad faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else. The cybersquatter then offers to sell the domain to the person or company who owns a trademark contained within the name at an inflated price.

    Um, yes, that is the defination of cybersquatting, according to the document that you linked to.

  • by guynorton (149974) on Monday February 11, 2013 @01:26PM (#42861063)

    Rand wrote in "The Virtue of Selfishness".....that accepting any government controls is “delivering oneself into gradual enslavement.”

    Also....Rand is one of three women the Cato Institute calls founders of American libertarianism. The other two, Rose Wilder Lane and Isabel “Pat” Paterson, both rejected Social Security benefits on principle. Lane, with whom Rand corresponded for several years, once quit an editorial job in order to avoid paying Social Security taxes. The Cato Institute says Lane considered Social Security a “Ponzi fraud” and “told friends that it would be immoral of her to take part in a system that would predictably collapse so catastrophically.” Lane died in 1968....

    There's an even greater irony here in that she needed health care benefits >> Rand also believed that the scientific consensus on the dangers of tobacco was a hoax. By 1974, the two-pack-a-day smoker, then 69, required surgery for lung cancer. And it was at that moment of vulnerability that she succumbed to the lure of collectivism.

  • by Burning1 (204959) on Monday February 11, 2013 @04:44PM (#42864429) Homepage

    I found a source on the internet quoting the worth of Ayn Rand's estate at ~$500,000 at the time of her death. It's unclear how much of that was tied up in property, how much of it was the value of her writings, and how much of it was liquid. What is clear is that her declining health and battle with cancer could have had a significant impact on her wealth.

    So, Ayn Rand spent most of her life smoking, and when she was diagnosed with Cancer, she turned to Medicare to protect her estate.

    Do you know what Ayn would have called someone who made devastating life decisions and then turned to the government for salvation?

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