Ron Paul

Ron Paul Loses Attempt to Claim and Domain Names


As I blogged back in February, Ron Paul angered some of his fans by relying on a UN-sponsored dispute resolution mechanism, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), to try to claim he should legally own the domain names and, not the people who currently did. 

WIPO has now decided against Paul and for the current name holders. Their full decision on the .org challenge specifically.

The core of WIPO's reasoning:

First, Respondent [current owners] has used the Domain Name to link it to an independent and legitimate fan site. As Respondent puts it, expressing support and devotion to Ron Paul's political ideals is a legitimate interest that does not require Complainant's [Ron Paul] authorization or approval. Moreover, Respondent's legitimate interest in the Domain Name is strong because the site provides a place for political speech, which is at the heart of what the United States Constitution's First Amendment is designed to protect. In this way, the Panel is persuaded by Respondent's arguments and evidence that Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Domain Name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish any trademark at issue.

Moreover, Respondent has submitted evidence that there are multiple, very clear disclaimers on the website to which the Domain Name links, indicating that the site is not Complainant's official site. In regards to Complainant's arguments that the website is actually a "pretext for commercial advantage", the Panel finds the website linked to the Domain Name is primarily a noncommercial service, while the products advertised and sold are ancillary to the site's primary purpose as a source of news and information about Ron Paul, and serving as political forum…..

The website is offering goods and services that promote Ron Paul and sells only goods that promote Ron Paul. The site goes far to dispel any confusion that Respondent or JNR might have a relationship to Complainant, including use of multiple, prominently placed disclaimers. Finally, related to Respondent's second main point, there is no evidence that Respondent has attempted to corner the market of domain names to prevent Complainant from reflecting his alleged RON PAUL mark in a domain name. To the contrary, the evidence indicates that in 2013 Respondent offered to give Complainant the <> Domain Name for free.  

My book on Ron Paul and his fans, Ron Paul's Revolution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired.

NEXT: Man Sues Over Injuries Sustained During Misfired SWAT Raid

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I did hear, though, that Obama gets to keep, even though it was originally registered by Bush.

    1. We’re getting into gangbang territory.

      1. And that’s if you’re only counting presidents. Forget congress.

    2. Ron Paul has not gone to the UN to strong arm ron…..npaul-com/

  2. This is an ordinary property issue, and Ron Paul is in the wrong here, just like Clinton was when he tried to get the old porn site shut down. If the owners of the domain were falsely claiming to be his official representatives, then that would be fraud, and he should have recourse against them. Otherwise, the domain name is a piece of property, and he should have no more (official) say in the matter than he would over someone buying his childhood home and repainting it in a color he dislikes. Yeah, it sucks, and I understand why he wouldn’t be happy about it, but a libertarian should be able to restrain his urge to call in the government when he sees someone using their own property in a way that he thinks sucks.

    That said, I don’t think less of him for it. Everyone lets their emotions override their principles sometimes.

    1. Dispute resolution measures should be entirely voluntary, the corollary of which is that there no person should be subject to the king’s justice.

      As you phrased it, “a libertarian should be able to restrain his urge to call in the government” in order to resolve disputes.

  3. What kind of through-the-looking-glass weird shit is this.

    Ron Paul goes anti-libertarian, runs to the UN for help, the UN rules in a libertarian way and says “Private Property FTW!”.

    I’m just… ok.

    1. There’s nothing anti-libertarian per se in trying to assert property rights over disputed property in a court, but appealing to the United Nations after long railing against it is at least a touch hypocritical.

      1. I’m not hatin’ on the Paul. I mean, we share a name.

        I’m just picturing your average Paul supporter and thinking there’s not a lot of trust or love for the UN. I mean, I love the man, but he does have a black-helicopter wing within his supporters.

        1. I mean, we share a name.

          To his eternal shame. I mean, he never even mentions you, even though you have the same name! Definitely embarrassment.

    2. You’re falling into the “drama trap”. Ron Paul didn’t “go to the UN” – that’s just stupid news sites trying to create a story where there is none.

      Ron Paul wanted to see if he could get back. In order to do that, he had to go to the organization that handles all domain name disputes, which just happens to be affiliated with the UN. All these stupid websites try to make it sound like he tried to call in a marker from his “friends at the UN” or something, even though anyone who even remotely knows Ron Paul would realize he HAS no friends at the UN. 😉

    3. who the fuck are you again? you talk about ron paul like he’s something who is known to back down/run away? again who the hell are you? in a group fight i would see you run away first, and maybe you think of mocking others for this because you see yourself doing it. projection much?

      “I’m not hatin’ on the Paul. I mean, we share a name.”

      okay, whatever. asian paul.

  4. Yeah, I wasn’t too thrilled with this whole thing, but I do think it worked out for the best. RP probably alienated some fans at the margins, unfortunately. But hey, he’s out of the officeholding business, so what difference, at this point, does it make?

    1. Your question sounds eerily similar to the one recently posed by the wicked wench from Wellesley.

  5. Ron Paul has not gone to the UN to strong arm ron…..npaul-com/

  6. Ron Paul should have no right to demand the owners of the domains turn them over to him.

    However, now that he is no longer an elected official, he should be able to sue and recover damages for unauthorized use commercial use of his likeness. He should also be allowed to prevent the domain users from using his name in their domain name, but only because it is clearly based on HIS name (not some other person named “Ron Paul”.)

    In short, Paul shouldn’t get the domain name, and the domain name owners should not be allowed to us Ron Paul’s name.

    That of course makes the domain name unusable for both parties. It’s a bit like Solomon offering to cut the baby in half – but my bet is that under those circumstances, the two sides could work things out… or not.

  7. Does anybody get mad at Ron Paul for using federal reserve notes to buy food for his cookbook’s recipes? Then pipe down. Does he have a drivers’ license? Sheesh. Did he run for president using the uselessly corrupt establishment-controlled primary system? Did any “libertarian” get mad at him for that?

    Few of the people that fell for the “owners”understands libertarian principles enough to understand why he may have done this in good faith. His impeccable character and incorruptible history should give a clue. Insulted by the first extortionist offer of half-million, which they brought down to a quarter-million, apparently after having contributed nothing to the campaign or PACs from their sales except a T-shirt and trinket stand with Ron Paul named merchandise.

    It’s not ownership. von Mises describes what true ownership is. Government and UN-blessed ICAHN is the only place to go to for recourse, after the insults from owners. They let you use the DNS entry. Bwah. Ron Paul fans will quit the domain name and go where they can find real Ron Paul supporters.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.