-35 votes

Ron Paul Calls on United Nations (Which He Doesn’t Believe In) to Confiscate RonPaul.Com?

I really need to hear Dr. Pauls side of this and soon....

Ron Paul Calls on United Nations (Which He Doesn’t Believe In) to Confiscate RonPaul.Com

In 2008, a group of Ron Paul supporters founded RonPaul.com, a Ron Paul fan-site that became one of the leading sources for information about and support for the perennial Libertarian presidential candidate. The creators of the site "put our lives on hold and invested 5 years of hard work into Ron Paul, RonPaul.com and Ron Paul 2012." His presidential campaign fell short, but the enthusiasm lived on as supporters continued to rally around this free enterprise Messiah.

Yesterday morning, Ron Paul repaid their support by filing a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization, an agency of Paul's much-reviled United Nations, seeking the expropriation of both RonPaul.com and RonPaul.org from his supporters without any compensation.

The editors of RonPaul.com explained the situation,

read here:
http://gawker.com/5983066/ron-paul-calls-on-united-nations-w...

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Good luck using self imposed

Good luck using self imposed rules that not everyone else will self impose.

What you're doing is intentionally losing at the game of life. Reality is different from what you want it to be. Living in a dream reality will not make it real.

A dream reality?

Self-imposed rules? What ever happened to consistency in principles?

There is no luck involved in anything; only choices.

What would Ron Paul be imposing on himself that others are not imposing if he were to not file this case against Ronpaul.com?

Love thy enemy.

It's obvious what he would give up

His apparent choice and capability to do so.

Anyone else would be capable of doing this, why should he not do it if anyone else could and he clearly wants to?

Remember "a free man is he that in those things which by his strength and wit he is able to do is not hindered to do what he hath the will to do," from Thomas Hobbes?

What principle is it violating to act in accordance with the law as it exists?

I realize he *wishes* that the UN had less/no authority, but that is clearly not reality. The UN does have authority in some international matters. Should Ron Paul ignore this fact and simply hold back any intended action and pretend that the UN doesn't exist and never involve himself with it on principle because he wishes it didn't exist?

I hope you're not really saying that. Believing in something is one thing, but pretending that what you believe is reality no matter what can gimp you or even be dangerous to you. Not to mention you can deny yourself liberty which would be the case here.

jeffjeffjeff's picture

I haven't done the research

I haven't done the research on this issue and I'm just reacting to the content here but lets be clear that if Ron Paul did not jump on registering this domain ahead of time then it should be his fault for lacking the knowledge and foresight that the domain name would be useful to him in the future and thus investing it in early on. Regardless of the intent of those behind RonPaul.com, they went through the proper steps to register this domain and develop a site with actual content. One could argue that Dr. Paul may be playing within the law, but even he would argue is that the Morality of the People comes before law and should shape law and not the other way around. So from my perspective, if Dr. Paul is trying to seize ownership of RonPaul.com by using law based on questionable morality, then I think he is wrong for doing it and recognize that nobody is perfect and hope that he comes to realize that this act is likely lacking the moral character he has come to enshrine.

Like everything bad

Like everything bad in this world, I blame Jesse Benton. :D

That is my argument, as well.

We are debating whether or not a domain name is the right of someone that didn't pay for it. Trademark law or not, it is first come first serve.

Okay so, they can recover the website and apply it to a different domain. However, their initial work was put towards the availability of the content that the name ronpaul.com had to offer and not some other ().com. So, how is it fair to expect them to reap the same benefits from a different domain without just compensation(the 250k that they are asking)?

Love thy enemy.

Okay, you still don't understand what a

trademark is for or how it's acquired. A trademark is consistent with free markets, and I would argue ESSENTIAL to free markets, in that it protects both the consumer and the business.

Austrian Theory adheres to the subjective theory of value, meaning that the prices are not determined by how much labor or time the producer puts in or how "useful" a given product is (utility theory of value) but that the value of a given product is subjective to each situation and individual: I can be ready to pay 1000$ for a hammer but you would not pay more than 1$ for the same hammer, it's subjective.

Trademarks protects the consumer from fraud and it protects the business' reputation therefore preserving the integrity of any subjective theory of value. And no, it is not first come first serve, a trademark is EARNED and it has various degrees of strength.

Let me give you an example:

Suppose my birth name is Michael Jordan (just like the famous ex NBA star and the name is very common across America) and I decide to make running shoes on which I put my name on it (Michael Jordan) even before Michael Jordan became famous...

Michael Jordan becomes famous and I'm still selling the shoes with the name on it.

How it protects the consumer:

Now as a customer do you think it is plausible that when making your purchase you might confuse the Michael Jordan name on the shoes, which is in no way affiliated to the NBA star, to in fact represent the name of the NBA star? Very plausible IMO and in the mind of the consumer he is buying a product affiliated with the NBA star and will pay the price that he believes those shoes should be worth because of that belief. In reality though, those shoes are not affiliated with the NBA star and you're paying more than you would be ready to pay if you knew that those shoes were not related to the nba star. With no trademark protections for the costumer this sort of things are inevitable and will in fact be routine in a free market. The free market would have no integrity as the subjective value of products would be skewed.

How it protects the business (the mark):

If I (Michael Jordan, not the nba star) make shitty shoes that fall apart 2 weeks after buying them and put the name Michael Jordan on it do you think that the reputation of the mark (the NBA star Michael Jordan) will increase or decrease as a consequence of it? Do you think that the reputation of the mark (the person, other products that are genuinely from the NBA star, books, ect) will not be affected? Do you think that the price of other products that are related to the mark will not be affected?

Do you see the distortion and how it diminishes the integrity of free markets in which trademarks don't exist and how it isn't first come first served when it comes to trademarks?

"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom — go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, an

No, I do understand what a trademark is, I just don't agree that

it coincides with the principles of a free market.

A free market works best when the customers are knowledgeable. A free market is no longer a free market when ignorance is protected by a governing body.

Trademark protections fall under the premise of a failing free market.

What if your name was Michael Jordan and you made better shoes than the NBA brand? Who do the trademark protections work for then, the famous person or the unknown with a better product?

Love thy enemy.

Ignorance doesn't have to be protected by a governing body,

(like a government for example), it can be arbitrated by a private entity just like courts. At core, trademarks are for product identification. No trademark and you inevitably protect widespread counter fitting, it's not desirable and it would just fall apart since no amount of knowledge would protect the consumer because there would be no consequence for counter fitters and the practice would just grow like weed. Some consumers will be lucky enough to find the right information in order to purchase the brand they intended to buy some won't and it's those that won't that would allow the counter fitters to still be in business. Also, just the fact of consuming will not become as widespread IMO because of all the hassle in getting the right information about the right product and because of the fear of the traps in such trademark-free free market.

Furthermore, it would skew the demand vs supply mechanism for any given brand since the counter fitter is in direct competition with the brand that is trademarked.

You cannot have a free market with integrity where no trademark protections exist, at one point the whole house of card would collapse just like what happens to anything which is based on lies.

For your question:
"What if your name was Michael Jordan and you made better shoes than the NBA brand? Who do the trademark protections work for then, the famous person or the unknown with a better product?"

Then the loser in this situation would be person that made the quality shoes (not the NBA star, the other Michael Jordan) as the NBA star would reap the benefits in good reputation of the quality product without him actually making that product. Are you saying that it's preferable that way? Another scenario is that they can both benefit: the nba star from the enhanced reputation as a result of the good product that he didin't even make AND ALSO, on the other hand, the maker of the shoes that unsuspectingly reaps the benefits of Michael Jordan's stardom and is shown in an increase in sales. Either way, the consumer is being deceived but remember this second scenario is only possible if the shoes are in fact a good product, if the shoes are a bad product this is not the case.

"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom — go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, an

Registering ronpaul.com is clearly cybersquatting

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cybersquatting

I don't find it to be an ethical practice. Ethical would be giving the website to the person that it's named after, is about, and obtained popularity/use only due to, upon request.

This also makes me beg the question - how is ronpaul.com worth 250k when this website has to be run with donations? What are they doing so right? In my experience, ronpaul.com doesn't update as frequently, doesn't have as much content, doesn't cover as many subjects, as dailypaul.com, yet one is thriving while the other needs to be run on donations?

If that is actually the case it must be due to the name difference, dailypaul is not something a person would automatically assume contains anything, let alone a bunch of information on Ron Paul, while ronpaul.com would be the obvious default for getting information on him. Most, if not all of the profit that ronpaul.com makes, is due to Ron Paul... and now ronpaul.com wants to get even more money in a big final payoff from Ron Paul. I can't see that as ethical.

Cybersquatting would be

Cybersquatting would be acquiring the domain for RonPaul.com then doing nothing with it. This is not the case here.

They might only have been

They might only have been seeking to legitimize their profiteering. Like it takes so much effort to post videos that other people produced in the first place. I'm sure they slaved away many hours typing "Ron Paul, today" into youtube and waiting for things to happen.

They are engaged in a

They are engaged in a business that generates profits from the sale of placed advertising and merchandise. Both legitimate ways to make money.

I once owned a web site with "Ron Paul" as part of the name, but I abandoned it. I just checked today and noticed it was up for sale for almost $2,000. Guess I should've kept it.

Also, before one more uninformed person mouths off, read this:

Domain Name: RONPAUL.COM
Registrar: FABULOUS.COM PTY LTD.
Whois Server: whois.fabulous.com
Referral URL: http://www.fabulous.com
Name Server: MYNS1.FABULOUS.COM
Name Server: MYNS2.FABULOUS.COM
Status: clientTransferProhibited
Status: clientUpdateProhibited
Updated Date: 10-feb-2013
Creation Date: 22-nov-2000
Expiration Date: 22-nov-2020

What's weird to me is you

What's weird to me is you say, "both legitimate ways to make money"
What makes Paul's legal actions not legitimate?
Would you judge somebody the same if they did not hold his political views, or would they be let off the hook?

Just like the social security throwaway arguments of old

To me, this is EXACTLY like when people were turning on him/trying to bash him for receiving social security.
Yes, he is against the policy of having social security as a representative, and in his political life, and for philosophic reasons.
But as a person interacting in this world, it would be a tremendous setback for anyone to not work within the existing framework to accomplish your goals. Not receiving SS because you believe there should be no SS does not get rid of SS, just like not using the mechanisms in place regarding domain names at the UN would not abolish the UN. It's weird to me that not everyone gets that.

I mean for pete's sake, this is the most elementary argument. Think about it.

"Well, if you don't like the government and don't think it should have a role, don't go to the hospital or drive on a road, etc. etc."
Same line of reasoning /\

It's not the same argument.

It's not the same argument. This is about private property. Nobody's entitled to another person's property.

I agree-

Nobody has a right to anybody else's property,

but what's in dispute is to whom the property actually belongs, not whether or not it can/should be taken.

It's also relevant to me that, though I have visited ronpaul.com (used to be a frequenter, until the 2012 election cycle when they were updating less frequently than their competitors, namely dailypaul.com) the ONLY reason I ever initially typed in ronpaul.com into the url box is because I thought I'd see Ron Paul's personal website, not a fansite. The only reason I continued visiting it at the time, was because they were updating with information on Ron Paul and the focal point of their site was Ron Paul. I would bet that there are many people like me on either or even both counts. It's not just that they're using his name, it's that they're using his name, and everything about him, in order to turn a profit from the liberty movement and from him.

Also, the only reason they're the "top visited Ron Paul" webpage is the exact reason that Ron Paul would want the URL - it's the automatic (default) URL that you would expect to represent him. If he wants to have the best chance of success spreading his own message on the internet venue, he needs that URL. Ronpaul.com's operators know that. Do you think this is the first time somebody has bought a URL with the intent to sell it at a ridiculous price to a person or business they know has or will have an interest in the URL?

And BECAUSE it's the default

And BECAUSE it's the default site, it demands a premium price.

Ron Paul should be grateful that the owners promoted him, his money bombs and his candidacy for years.

thedrudgereport.com is owned by someone who hates Drudge.

He probably is grateful, and

He probably is grateful, and now he wants the domain name. I don't see any inconsistency there.

Maybe it does demand a premium price, or maybe it will be ruled that it demands no price. I'm not a lawyer, nor do I sufficiently know the precedent involved to say what the outcome will be, but I don't sleight anyone for using the mechanisms of the 'system in reality' as opposed to the 'idealistic system of non-reality' that people would prefer Ron Paul use. Just because he's against this or that law doesn't mean he doesn't, in reality, have to abide by it.

Just like I don't find people who 'abuse' tax loopholes to be unethical - they are doing what they have to, what everyone else can and does do, and if they don't they fall behind relative to everyone else. If anything is unethical it's the rules of the game, not its players. If the game allows steroids and you're the only one not taking them, you're losing on purpose - if the game disallows steroids and you use them anyway, you're cheating. Ron Paul is not cheating by going to the UN because everyone, in his circumstances, has to go to the UN.

tasmlab's picture

Dicey!

I guess this dispute proves that libertarianism doesn't work!

Currently consuming: Gatto: "Underground history of education..", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

Not necessarily. This is a

Not necessarily. This is a personal identity ("My good name means something!") vs. intellectual property issue. I predict private ownership will win out and Ron, or whomever is acting on his behalf, will eventually lose the lawsuit.

Besides, ours is not a Libertarian system, is it?

What?

Chickens don't lay eggs in freezing weather, so Libertarian-ism doesn't work. Well played.

Ron brought the Liberty movement together, Rand is expanding the crap out of it! :)

Can you...

please elaborate on your statement.

The Libertarian Party, irrelevant since 1971.

tasmlab's picture

Just joking (and not very well)

I was reading all of the comments back and forth over property rights vs. free markets vs. IP law, etc. The problem is messy on both sides and there isn't an apparent simple and elegant market solution.

I was mocking the critics of libertarianism (laizze faire, in particular) who claim it is a wholesale failure when there is sometimes things don't work out well/neatly.

Currently consuming: Gatto: "Underground history of education..", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

Oh yes...

the people with little faith are all being exposed. Let the Ron Paul bashing begin.

But here is some information for the "libertarians" who still believe in property right.

The domain names of RON PAUL.com and Ron Paul.org are actually the intellectual property of Dr. Paul.

He is the former congressmen from Texas, he has written countless books and articles and was former three times presidential candidate.

The domain names started on or about 2007; it was during the same time when Dr. Paul announced his candidacy. Both domains were started without the acknowledgment of the 3rd party consent.

Unless the owner can prove his name is "Ron Paul" or provide evidence the domain name was created for some other Ron Paul his got nothing.

What nerve of trying to sell Dr. Paul's intellectual property back to him for 250k? I'd say this guy thinks Dr. Paul was born yesterday.

Its like someone purchasing the domain name Sears.com without the acknowledgment or consent of Sears corporation. Sears would win hands down.

And for all the saboteurs and misinformed, Dr. Paul doesn't believe in being in U.N. but he never said, U.N. shouldn't exist. The free market principles doesn't stop at the door steps of the United States.

And now you know. And knowing is half the battle.

The Libertarian Party, irrelevant since 1971.

Sorry, Randy but that's not

Sorry, Randy but that's not how the system works. I can buy the site www.RandyDog.com (or your real name) and use it for any purpose I want. There's nothing you can do about that. Ron Paul is not a corporation. He is a famous person. There is nothing currently that prevents anyone from buying a web site using any famous person's name. A person is not entitled to a web site by dint of being a famous person, much less simply being born and named. To protect yourself, buy your own name first.

You misunderstood...

about my example, the domain names was explicitly formed in likeness of Ron Paul.

Dr. Paul has intellectual right to his name as a former congressman, presidential candidate and has trademark on numerous material published under his name. The website cannot obtain benefits without his permission.

And now you know. And knowing is half the battle.

The Libertarian Party, irrelevant since 1971.

I recommend you brush up on

I recommend you brush up on trademark law. You can do so at USPTO.gov. Being born and getting a name from one's parents does not automatically entitle a person to another's private property.

That isn't what Ron Paul supposedly stands for

If the the people over at ronpaul.com are misrepresenting themselves as speaking for Ron Paul, or disparaging Ron Paul, then there are laws to protect against that: fraud, libel, and slander. Ron Paul isn't trying to protect his good name. He is trying to take a fan site without just compensation. That goes against any libertarian principle and is hypocritical. The people operating ronpaul.com appear to be slimey, but that doesn't give Ron Paul the right to take something that he did not pay for.

Ron Paul is apparently for the free market until big government inetervention can be used to benefit Ron Paul. I'm disappointed. He could have created his own site and competed for traffic. His supporters are smart enough to find his site, even if it is not named ronpaul.com. Instead, he is choosing to take something from someone else and shut down what they created through force of government.

Even Sean Hannity is above this type of behavior. Take a visit to seanhannity.com and see what you find. That seanhannity.com website has been that way for years, and I assume Sean Hannity's people are aware of it.

We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.

-C. S. Lewis

IDK...

This Sean Hannity web site doesnt have anything to do with Sean Hannity while the RONPAUL.com looks like it could be his web site, with tabs that include two runs for president a tab with all his books and other merchandise. Its one thing if the website was about a random RON PAUL but it is clearly about Ron Paul the Congressman. From other posts about the same subject it looks like the UN isn't really involved.