At first I agreed with you, but after giving it some thought I changed my mind.
If the current registrants just sat on the domain and did nothing with it except demand money I'd side with them.
> What if the site owner's name were also Ron Paul?
But it isn't.
If the owners were using the domain for a completely different purpose, I'd side with them. Look at the etoy.com case. That disgusts me.
Basically, if the owners of ronpaul.com weren't selling Ron Paul merchandise then I'd side with them. If they were just making commentary about Ron Paul either positive or negative I'd side with them. But what they are doing is selling Ron Paul branded products and the rules of the .COM namespace say that's not OK and they willingly agreed to those terms before they paid $25,000 to acquire the domain.
> A domain is a piece of real estate.
No, it isn't. It's a piece of namespace. It's address space. It's like a phone number, not like a plot of land.
> It's not that unique a name.
I'm not so sure I support the concept of copyright, but I do support the concept of trade mark.
Look at it this way: If someone got McDonalds.com first and wants a million bucks from the fast food restaurant in exchange for it, that's fine. If they start selling things they claim to be McDonanld's products, that's no longer OK. That's tricking people into buying what they think is McDonald's, but is really some substitute.
If ronpaul.com were being used for something other than selling Ron Paul the politician from Texas branded merchandise that would be perfectly fine. Ron Paul the politician from Texas would have no claim to the domain on the basis of trade mark.
> If disgruntled buyers are allowed to sue sellers for asking high prices under the misguided notion that it is the buyer who sets the price for the seller's property, then the world will go completely topsy-turvy.
That's not what's going on here. If you were allowed to sell products and say those products were made by me, then the world really would go topsy-turvy.
> Ron Paul is basically engaging in a variation of eminent domain where the government takes someone else's property and pays them for it at a price the government sets itself.
No, he's asking for the maintainer of the address space to enforce the rules that those who received allocations within the address space voluntarily agreed to when applying for such allocations.
Regardless of what happens, Ron Paul will not be given the web site itself.
> Does he also have automatic ownership of RonPaul.net? How about RonPaul.me? RonPaul.org? RonPaul.co? RonPaul.tv?
No, it depends on the rules set forth by the organizations that allocate address space under .me .org .co and .tv.
> The more you think about the ridiculous of Ron Paul's assault on this guy through the courts, the more outraged we all should be.
As if a man who's famous for saying "No" to far more powerful men than us, when no was was even paying any attention to him, will care.
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