12 votes

Claim: RonPaul.com asking $250,000 for domain, down from $800,000

Hey, Ron, Want Your Own Name?
Posted by Lew Rockwell

The other day, the nice young couple who registered LibertyPaul.com offered to give it to Ron. On the other hand, those who registered RonPaul.com are no longer asking more than $800,000. They've cut their price to $250,000. For his own name.

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i could see Ron Paul giving

i could see Ron Paul giving him 200 bucks for it, but anything more than that is just ridiculous.

lawrence

Really? They paid $25,000 for

Really? They paid $25,000 for it. They spent five years making it a high ranking domain site. They wrote and posted article after article consistently for five years to make it rank. Drove traffic to Ron Paul's two official campaign sites, c4l, etc.

What are your valuations based on? Your unwavering love, faith and hope in the Honorable Ronald Paul?

Exactly

You wish to sell a man his name -really?

This is pretty stupid IMHO

The comments below SMACK in the face of the Free Market that Dr. Paul has tried to drill for over 50 yrs.

Let the Market determine the price and shut up about it already!

While we are at it, lets just give EVERYONE free health care, free guns, free pot and a freeking free house. It's all overpriced anyway, isn't it?

This isn't an issue over

This isn't an issue over pricing some commodity. The issue is who owns Ron Paul's name/brand/likeness/trademark. That became the issue in relation to RonPaul.com because RonPaul.com was offered for sale to Ron Paul and it is a website about Ron Paul.

It would be entirely different if someone else named Ron Paul owned the domain name and Ron Paul the politician contacted them to buy it. Or if some business with 'ron paul' in the name was using it. In that case, whichever "Ron Paul" was willing to pay the most in the free market should get it.

But, the domain was attached directly to Ron Paul the famous politician based on how they used it. That can no longer be disputed. There can be no claim by the current registrant that "Ron Paul" is his dogs name, his son's name or the name of his corner deli shop. They took RonPaul.com, directly associated it to the famous Ron Paul then tried to sell it to him. That is cyber squatting, illegal and is bad faith usage of a domain registration.

...

In a free market...

people get to complain about prices.

They are free to charge whatever price they want to, and we are free to complain about the price to our hearts content.

Consumers expressing approval or disapproval of prices are a fundamental part of the free market.

Surely, complaining about the price of gasoline, food, or even the price of tea in China isn't anti market.

So, why is complaining about this price any different?

Prices work as incentives and disincentives to purchase products.

Many of us here think this price disincentives it's intended customer, because it does not take into account his frugal preferences.

What's anti-market about that?

Now, if you are exclusively condemning the people that are demanding it be handed over for free, then I agree with you.

Check out the Laissez-Faire Journal at LFJournal.com


"The State is a gang of thieves writ large." - Murray Rothbard

Ron Paul's appealing to the

Ron Paul's appealing to the UN's WIPO under Clinton's Consumer Protections Act. That's what's disturbing. And he did it after five years of grassroots activism and promotions from the site's owners.

Activism that directed their traffic to his official sites during money bombs, fundraising, book sales, petitioning, etc. For 5 years he said "Thank you. Spread the message."

Now that he's not running, he calls them Cybersquatters, calls Bank of America and Citibank's attorneys on them and appeals to the UN to intervene.

Look at the date of these posts.

These are from before lawyers got involved, the discussion was about the price alone.

Check out the Laissez-Faire Journal at LFJournal.com


"The State is a gang of thieves writ large." - Murray Rothbard

Can you

link to a comment where anyone demanded they hand it over free?

Yes. Here's Ron Paul's Appeal to the UN's WIPO

Yes. Here

Ron Paul's appealing to the UN's World Intellectual Property Organization under a Consumer Protections Act signed into law by Bill Clinton to confiscate his supporter's url and give it to him for free.

Mind you, they paid $25k for it to promote his 2008 and 2012 campaigns, money bombs, fundraising, books, etc.

Now that he's retired, he wants to sell his own stuff and doesn't want to pay the market rate they're asking. So he called the UN on them. Never thought I would see the day that Ron Paul (and Lew Rockwell) would cry price gouging.

There are many cases where

There are many cases where domain names have been found to be registered in bad faith with the result being the loss of the domain name without compensation: http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/search/index.html

If the current registrant of RonPaul.com wanted to sell the domain name for big money he should have NEVER used it in relation to Ron Paul the world famous politician. They should have protected their status as registrant from the beginning.

The current registrant had a choice, to either run a Ron Paul website OR to have nothing to do with Ron Paul the politician and use the domain name in another way. With the latter they would have a significantly stronger argument for both keeping or selling the domain name.

Instead, the registrant tried to both use the domain name in direct relation to Ron Paul and also to sell the domain name to Ron Paul. That is where the registrant messed up. He should have never connected use of the domain to RP and should have waited for RP to contact him with an offer, OR just be a RP supporter, use the domain for that purpose and be happy with that.

...

ACPA

It seems that the owners are violating the ACPA by initially asking for $800,000. Ron Paul likely won't sue them but for a "fan site" to act in a predatory and potentially illegal manner is not something I would defend.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anticybersquatting_Consumer_Pro...
http://www.yalelawtech.org/ip-in-the-digital-age/cybersquatt...

Check out http://ronpaulforums.com for activism and news.

No

If you read the ACPA carefully you will see the registrant of RonPaul.com did nothing wrong thus far, including apparently asking for 800K.

They registered that name and put a fan site on it. That's acceptable. They then apparently offered to sell the domain name. Whatever price they ask is irrelevant. Legally, at least, they've done nothing wrong.

ACPA 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d)(1)

(A) A person shall be liable in a civil action by the owner of a mark, including a personal name which is protected as a mark under this section, if, without regard to the goods or services of the parties, that person

(i) has a bad faith intent to profit from that mark, including a personal name which is protected as a mark under this section; and

(ii) registers, traffics in, or uses a domain name that—

(I) in the case of a mark that is distinctive at the time of registration of the domain name, is identical or confusingly similar to that mark . . .

15 U.S.C. § 1125(d)(1)

.
~wobbles but doesn't fall down~

This RonPaul Case is Exactly what Cybersquatting Is

The domain name RonPaul.com only had and has value because of Ron Paul's name.

This seems like an exact repeat of the Madonna.com scenario.

RonPaul.com only had value and meaning as Ron Paul the TX congressman at time of registration.

It's actually even worse for

It's actually even worse for the registrant than that.

Prior to January 2008, RonPaul.com was owned by a guy named Ron Paul (just not the famous Ron Paul). He sold it on eBay for $25,000 in Jan '08.

There is no doubt whatsoever that at the time RonPaul.com was purchased on eBay that it was done knowing that the value came from Ron Paul the politician running for President.

The domain registrant dug himself in even further by running a fan site on the domain.

He had two options: to use RonPaul.com to run a fan site as a supporter OR to run RonPaul.com without any connection whatsoever to the famous Ron Paul.

Instead he tried to do both which is now why this likely will not go his way.

...

What

are you attempting to show here? Nothing there says the registrants of RonPaul.com acted in any way out of step with the law.

What you have to understand is that to for a registrant to be in violation of ACPA a few conditions must be true. One condition is that they have "bad faith intent" to profit from the mark. That hasn't happened.

If that was the case, every

If that was the case, every famous name would be registered by domainers and there would be fake placeholder fan sites on all of them.

Running a fan site is not a way to be exempted from acting in good faith regarding domain name registrations.

The registrant chose to run the domain in direct relation to Ron Paul the famous politician. He cannot undo that. The registrant cannot claim any other fair use such as having a child with the name, his dog named Ron Paul or even owning a corner store that he named Ron Paul.

The registrant connected RonPaul.com to the famous Ron Paul then tried selling the domain to him. That is bad faith use of a domain registration & cyber squatting which is illegal.

...

The Mark

They attempted to sale the mark, a commercial activity, to the owner of the mark for more than the cost of registration and transfer.
If they had agreed to sale the mark to its owner for fifty thousand dollars they would have been within the law, they held out for more and now face the wrath of competing in the market place using a mark against the owner of the mark.
Is RP.com engaged in commercial activity
Or are they supporting a public figure running for office ?

Back in early January 2008 I

Back in early January 2008 I emailed the then owner of RonPaul.com to see if they were interested in selling. The domain was owned by none other than "Ron Paul," although it was not THE Ron Paul but another guy with the same name.

My interest was in both securing the domain (so that detractors would not get it) and also to help promote this amazing politician that I had just learned about.

The Ron Paul who owned the domain at that point had an agent represent him in the sale of the domain, they listed it on eBay.

I'm very nearly certain that I am remembering the selling price correctly... I believe it sold back then (in Jan 2008) for $25,000.

After the sale the RonPaul.com website went online and as far as I can tell it is the same website which is online at ronpaul.com now.

...

According to the

statement on RonPaul.com they bought the domain when it lapsed:

As many Ron Paul supporters and most RonPaulForums/DailyPaul members know, over the past few years we acquired various domain names that were either passed up or allowed to expire by Ron Paul’s staff (including RonPaul.com, RonPaul2008.com, RonPaul2010.com, RonPaul.net, RonPaul.org, RonPaul.info and several others)

When a domain expires you only have to pay registration fees (typically around $10-$20 per year).

The statement you quoted says

The statement you quoted says that they "acquired various domain names that were either passed up or allowed to expire."

RonPaul.com must fit into the category of "passed up" (by the campaign) and "acquired" by the current owner, not an expired domain name that was purchased for $10-$20.

I was able to find additional evidence of what I described happened with the domain back in January 2008. Here's a link to a forum thread from Jan 2008 on RonPaulForums about the eBay auction: http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?92905-RonPaul-com-is-for-sale! Near the end of the discussion someone even mentions that it had sold for $25k: http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?92905-RonPaul-com-is-for-sale!&p=1045496&viewfull=1#post1045496

I also still have the emails of what I discussed with 'the other Ron Paul' who owned the domain name back then along with emails to his agent for the sale.

Anyhow, not that all of this is of significant importance regarding the current sale, but it is what happened back then.

...

Michael Nystrom's picture

Let's see if this helps to clarify things

Do people here think Ron Paul has a claim to the DailyPaul.com domain as well?

What if he said, yeah, I like that one. Nice name. Has a nice ring to it. Decently popular. Decent traffic. I'd like that one. Let's just say, for the sake of argument he rang me up and said that.

And in respons, I said, "Ok Dr. Paul. As you know, I've put a lot of work and effort into building this site. Many sleepless nights, endless heartaches and headaches as I wrested with personell issues, hosting issues, getting sued, etc. over the past six years. I'd like to keep running the site if I could. It is my livelihood. But, if you really want it, I'll happily sell you this domain for $250K if you really want it. I would consider that a fair price, considering what I put into it."

And would everyone have the same hysterical reactions as they're having down below? Would they say, "That is an outrageous price. Nystrom should give it to him."

The truth of the matter is that values are subjective. Is it worth $250K? He's got the money, so that is not the issue. It will certainly help people find him faster and easier. It will avoid a lot of confusion. It will help his customers find him faster.

Is his new venture (whatever it is) going to generate $25 million in revenue each year? Then $250k is a drop in the bucket; part of the cost of doing business.

Ron Paul preaches the gospel of personal responsibility. Looks like he lost RonPaul.org as well. So - his mistake, now he has to pay for it.

We live in a market economy, and markets are the voluntary, non-violent way that prices and values are determined.

To be mean is never excusable, but there is some merit in knowing that one is; the most irreparable of vices is to do evil out of stupidity. - C.B.

Ron Paul's name is not "Daily

Ron Paul's name is not "Daily Paul." There is a very clear distinction between "Daily Paul" and "Ron Paul." The issue with RonPaul.com is that Ron Paul owns his name/brand/likeness/trademark and the people from RonPaul.com first associated the domain name directly to Ron Paul (instead of having no association with Ron Paul the famous politician) then they proceeded to try to sell the domain to him.

It would be very different if they had an established business using "Ron Paul" in the name which was not connected at all to the Ron Paul we know or if the registrant himself or one of his children were named Ron Paul.

Running a fan site would have been fine as it is generally protected. However, running a fan site then trying to sell the domain to the famous person is not.

...

Michael Nystrom's picture

Running a fan site is fine?

Well, that is what it says at the top of RonPaul.com: "A fan site"

However, running a fan site then trying to sell the domain to the famous person is not.

According to this article, they don't want to sell it - they never did. There is a lot of half truths and shallow thinking floating around this whole story. I've spoken with my lawyer about it - the IP lawyer who helped defend me against Righthaven. He says the folks at RonPaul.com have a decent shot at keeping the domain, if they make the right arguments.

Much of that is covered in this article at Techdirt, which was a great source for me during the Righthaven days. This article is a lot more informative than 90% of the chatter going on here on the DP.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130210/01422321932/ron-pa...

To be mean is never excusable, but there is some merit in knowing that one is; the most irreparable of vices is to do evil out of stupidity. - C.B.

Not the same

The DailyPaul in terms of everything it encompasses is probably worth $250K (or more) type figures. It's the largest site for Ron Paul supporters. Many people refer to it, including apparently RNC chairmen.

So asking those type figures to trade for a site so established is understandable. In comparison what has RonPaul.com accomplished? Pretty little. That's proof of what I'm trying to tell people that not much value is only in a name.

The people that bought RonPaul.com and related names did so SPECIFICALLY because they knew such names had value. I'm not saying they don't have a right to ask for money, but they should have handled the whole thing differently IMO.

If it was me, as a supporter, and if I wanted to cash in I would have said, hey I'm a supporter, but I want to get compensated too, to be honest. How about 75K? Considering I paid less than $100 to register the name I think that's a good reward.

But no, they go for $800,000 then drop their price more than 50% when they don't get that down to $250K.

:)

To be honest, I was thinking he would be better off spending that 1/4 million getting the DP - if you came with it. I understand why he would want "Ronpaul.com" but if he wants to reconnect with the grass roots, this is the place to find us.
It is reasonable to ask for compensation, my issue is with the big announcement they made making it sound like they were offering to give it to him. And even by "give" I assumed he would cover their expenses.

Love or fear? Chose again with every breath.

DailyPaul.com is worth something

You've put alot into this site, built it up to what it is today. This is a very popular website with lots of traffic. RonPaul.com seems like a real dud to me. Besides, you never claimed to have bought this domain to protect Ron Paul or said you were just holding it for him. Of course the owners of the RonPaul.com domain name have a right to do what they want with it. I just don't buy the notion that they did him a favor by buying it.

Oh, they absolutely did him a favor.

To let "ronpaul.com" become a parody of him would have been bad, and someone would have done it.

Love or fear? Chose again with every breath.

Perhaps

the people who'd make a derogatory website of Ron Paul just haven't offered much money for the domain name...afterall, RP isn't running for prez anymore and he left congress. Since they're asking so much money from Ron Paul and not getting it, I wouldn't be surprised if they'd sell it to anyone who was willing to cough up the cash.