Update: The dispute was peacefully resolved on May 22, 2013. WIPO ruled that RonPaul.com shall remain with its current owners. The fight for liberty continues.
Is someone here violating the non-aggression principle?
I have not seen any threats of violence – taking control of a domain name involves a domain name registrar changing a database entry in the servers they own. ICANN has been granted a monopoly over the DNS root, but no one is forced to use their system. They have been nice enough that not enough people have put resources into alternatives.
It is possible that fraud has occurred, but that depends almost entirely on the motives of the two parties. Do the current owners of this domain really believe that its market value is 250k, or are they attempting to cash in for their hard work, foresight, shrewdness, or whatever? Which of those do Ron Paul and his staff believe?
The site looks like a bona fide fan site, including a small disclaimer at the bottom saying that it is not affiliated with Ron Paul. It is not lying in that regard, so I think it doesn’t run afoul of the legitimate part of trademark, i.e. doesn’t defraud customers into thinking that they are buying products from the trademark holder. (For the reasoning against the rest of trademark, see the works of Stephan Kinsella.)
I couldn’t decide who I would support in the court issue without knowing the minds of the participants.
Buying the domain at an agreed-upon price would not violate the non-aggression principle. Appealing to a governmental agency to expropriate the domain in the name of IP is a clear violation of the principle.
The market value of the site is whatever the buyer and seller agree upon. If the seller refuses to sell at a lower price or the buyer refuses to purchase at the higher price, the market price has not been discovered.
Copyright may not be libertarian, however trademark is. There is nothing in libertarian theory that precludes the state from protecting the trademark of a person or company from being used by someone who is not that person or company. You are clearly using Ron Paul’s name, and he would like it back. After all it is his. Trademark is simply the recognition that one person or business is not another person or business. To pretend that one thing is another is tantamount to deception and is not a libertarian market principle. Give him his name back, it belongs to him, and it not only violates the law, legit property law, but also private rules governing internet squatting. Give it back. At the very least stop asking for ridiculous amounts for it.
Actually, trademark is unlibertarian too, just as defamation law is. Just as patent and copyright are. There is no right to own a name or reputation. Fraud law is all that is needed to stop fraud.
Thank you Stephan for weighing in. I’d love to hear your position on Dr. Paul’s lawsuit.
Did it ever occur to you guys, that maybe he doesn’t feel the work / information you are performing is a correct representation of his values. I would say he’s entitled to stop others from relaying attitude towards society on his behalf and in his name..
Ron Paul is an icon, which is why I’d be disappointed if he has involved the UN.
This should be resolved with whatever price the owners of RonPaul.com choose to sell for, if they choose to sell.
Ron Paul, please remember what we stand for and retract your UN involvement.
Owners of this site, please remember all the good Dr. Paul has done and remember we’re all on the same team. Forgive the angry comments… they don’t speak for all of us who TRULY believe in free markets.
Ron Paul is a wonderful mind for liberty, but his corporate persona, RON PAUL, is a horrible entity. We have stopped all financial support to Ron Paul & RON PAUL.
Good luck in your fight against tyranny!
I dont understand why you wont just give him the website. Dont you trust his motives? The only reason you exist is because of him. Let him have it. How can you fight him? Why would you? Dont you think he has good plans for owning the site? Seems like you are being selfish and pridefull.
I don’t blame the owners for not wanting to hand it over….they do a good job managing it….Ron Paul has incompetent campaign staff…want to let Jesse Benton handle it?
Ron Paul…I shed a tear for this. Never a positive word about the UN, but now you go running to them for bureaucratic nonsense. Go against everything you have said over a stupid little website that has provided you unyielding support. Apparent friends of yours. Now, after thanking them for their hard work and accepting their support, you attack them? It would be far more beneficial for your purpose to take the .org site and collaborate with ronpaul.com. They have proven loyal and successful, you were an amazing candidate for president, why go out like this…
Read the comments please, I’m tired of explaining this over and over again.
To say that he ran to the UN is like you saying you ran to the government to settle a court case. You only have one place you can go, the court house, to mitigate your dispute. Similarly in this case, ICANN is an international agency that maintains .com and other extentions. .coms can be registered and used by anyone in the world, so naturally the governing body would be international. And you can’t pick NOT to use ICANN, they are THE ONLY ONES that handle .com and other gTLDs. By registering the domain name of a .com, you already consent to be regulated by ICANN under UDRP. WIPO is merely the agency who was brought in to be the arbitrators. They have lose association with the UN since they are an international agency. the UN has NO say to the outcome of these arbitrations.
WIPO is a UN proxy.
ICANN is a Globalist Entity
same issue as the UN, CFR, NATO, Bilderburg, everything that undermines the absolute & total sovereignty of the United States & by extention, each & every individual citizen.
Believe it or not RP may be inadvertantly undermining all American’s freedom. Not good.
Why not give Ron the domain and have him set up 301 redirects for existing pages to a different domain hosting your site? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_301
301 redirects are permanent redirects and notify search engines and web browsers that a URL has moved permanently. You could retain the traffic and search engine juice you built and give Ron the name he built.
One more thing in addition:
The fallacy that one side is RIGHT is one of the most classic- this is what creates the 2 party system! Don’t fall into this trap. The way I see it, neither side is right, and you don’t have to fully agree with either.
Keep that in mind, instead of jumping on either bandwagon as most of you seem to be doing.
Lets try to look at this situation rationally… if anyone should have RonPaul.com, its Ron Paul. Whoever owns this site should be happy to move THEIR site over to RonPaul.org, instead of demanding a quarter of a million dollars.
Whether or not you believe in intellectual property, its not libertarian at all to extort a quarter of a million dollars out of a person, for use of their name’s domain… just because you happen to register it first.
That being said, it was extremely stupid of Paul to file this crap. Does he honestly think that a .org domain name will hurt his brand more than this? Perhaps he’s being advised by a terrible lawyer…because this is not the Ron Paul I supported in the elections…
STOP USING HIS INTELECTUAL PROPERTY.
STOP USING HIS NAME. IF YOU ARE GOING TO USE HIS NAME, MAKE SURE THIS IS SOMEONE ELSE.
STOP WITH RON PAUL
STOP WITH PAUL
STOP WITH RON
STOP WITH HIS PICTURE
STOP WITH HIS FED
STOP WITH HIS STORY
STOP WITH EVERYTHING
STOP RIPPING RON PAUL OFF.
LOOK, YOU ARE VIOLATING EVERY RON PAUL TRADE MARK AND YOU USE RON PAUL WITH OUT HIS AUTHORIZATION.
YOU USE HIS NAME AND YOU USE HIS LOG.
YOU MAKE THIS SITE LOOKS LIKE AS IF THIS IS HIS SITE.
YOU SHOULD BE SUED AND TAKEN TO THE COURT AND GIVE UP ALL THE MONEY YOU MADE OUT OF PAUL
So how come Ron Paul allowed this for the past 5 years?
How come he passed up on the opportunity to acquire it from the previous owner (a man also named Ron Paul) who wanted to sell it to him?
It’s called “…let those Australian suckers put in all the effort, you can always sue them after the election season.”
I love all the libertarians here who are exposing themselves as Ron Paul worshipers and not being true libertarians at all. Trademark and copyright laws are antithetical to libertarianism. Just because these laws exists don’t mean they’re moral and just. Sorry, guys, but all of you who are in favor of Ron Paul using force to something he has no claim to (you can’t words, names, ideas, etc, and saying so is actually a distortion of property rights and throws actual private property rights out the window). Intellectual property is not property at all.
I’ve supported Ron Paul since 2008, but he is in the wrong here. What he is doing is not libertarian in the slightest. And as I said, all of you claiming to be libertarians yet showing support for trademark and copyright and the use of force through the U.N. out of all organizations with no legitimacy, you’re not libertarians at all. Just a different type of sheep, really.
So ones minds, ones thoughts are not their own? Who owns my thoughts? Who owns my ideas? Who owns my labor? Who owns my hard work? Who owns my time? Should I not be able to protect these things?
To say one can’t be a libertarian if they believe in intellectual property is ridiculous.
The notion that my thoughts are not mine, my ideas are not mine, how is that a libertarian view exactly? Who ones it? Everyone? So if I invent something amazing, something that can change the world but also make me a lot of money. I’m not allowed, by your libertarian standards, to protect my invention, my ideas so that I can earn a living for myself?
Then who owns my ideas. Everyone? Sounds more like communism than libertarianism to me…
“Then who owns my ideas.”
Nobody. An idea can be used by any person capable of understanding it.
No one can own ideas and words. Property comes from scarcity. To say intellectual property is actually property is absurd and to say that you’re not allowed to print/replicate certain words on your property because it’s someone else’s “intellectual property” is anti-libertarian. To tell someone, “look, you can’t use your own merchadise and your own money to print these words in this order because those words ‘belong’ to someone else” is anti-libertarian and anti-private property. Intellectual property and copyright are both inventions of the State and a distortion on true property rights. IP might be Ayn Randian, but it’s not libertarian.
Check out IP on mises.org
How is that anti-property. If I create something, something unique, I’m suppose to just… give it to everyone, free? That sounds more like communism and socialism then libertarianism to me.
Words, ideas, etc are not tangible creations and property. If I play or record a song from someone playing it, or if I print someone’s name on merchandise, I have not stolen anything from them. It’s a nonsensical statement. Ideas and words. Aren’t. Property. They are not scarce and are not tangible things to own. If you tell someone an idea, have you LOST that idea? To say you’re giving it away for free is nonsensical. Now, if you utilized that idea, and someone were to steal the actual property that you used to bring that idea to reality, that’d be theft and a violation of your rights. If someone uses your idea and you did not have explicit contract telling them not to do so, then tough luck. That person has done no wrong because you have not lost any property.
And again, the concept of IP is completely anti-libertarian and promotes the use of force against others’ actual property. Say someone has ink, paper, and a press and wants to print a book written by someone else that he has no contract with. To tell him, “No, you can’t because the words ‘belong’ to someone else” is to tell him what he can and cannot do with his property, even though he is not committing an act of aggression (printing someone’s words or name does not take anything from that someone; that someone hasn’t lost anything).
Please read up on intellectual property on mises.org. IP and IP laws are decisively anti-libertarian. To claim that it’s communism is quite funny considering IP is completely statist and promotes telling people what they can and cannot do with their own real property. THAT is what’s socialist and statist in nature. I hope you turn away from Ayn Rand’s crap and embrace true libertarianism.
If you want to keep your secret, then keep it secret. If I learn about your idea and begin using it to my advantage, you are not deprived of your idea in any way and therefore no theft has occurred.
Well said Brent.
Extremely disappointed in Paul.
I think the best thing to do was give it to him for free. I mean, his life has given you the ability to do what you have done here. Without him, you wouldn’t even have a business. And It’s not like you still wouldn’t have had a business if you move domain names. Companies do it all the time, even big ones. I don’t know how many apps on the iTunes store have to change their name constantly and are still doing great business. Sure you take a small hit, but its not like he’s ripping the business out from underneath you. And imagine the support you would have had if you would have given it to him. He probably would have been verbally grateful and endorsed you, but not now I’m sure.
If I were him, I would have gotten the domain long long ago during presidential campaigns, but mistakes were made. Now he’s trying to make a business out of his persona, and good for him – he ought to.
You should stop the smear campaign. I don’t think you’re going to garner much support from the people. Remember they don’t come here because they like you. They come here because of the man they want to know about. You provide a service about this man, they really don’t care about the service as much as the man. The man you’re fighting with. Now – I won’t be giving this domain any more traffic until it belongs to Ron Paul – one way or another.
Exactly, you could have gotten a lot more and still maintain the site had you just given it to him. I mean seriously, I’m looking at this coffee mug to the right of this text box that uses the same color, font and dimensions as his book. I’d be surprise if that doesn’t hold a trademark. Not necessarily the phrase “End The Fed” as it can be considered a phrase of common usage but the font, the proportions and the design, and showing the use of this trademark as the cover of his, can easily be be trademarks.
I mean, if Ron Paul wanted to get nasty, he could have you under the balls of litigation for copyright infringement, but he’s not after your money. He just wants his trademarked name.
You are fooling your self if you believe you have the ability to think.
Although I do not agree with the route Ron is going, I don’t agree with the route the owner of this domain is going either. Settle it like men. If I owned a domain name that was somebody’s name and profited off it for 5 years, and that person came to me and asked if he could have it, I would be honored. Sure I might ask if I could work with ’em, but all in all no questions asked I’d give it to ’em….. Fo Free
With a philosophy like that I see poverty and distitution in your future
This site has been run by the damned CIA long enough. GIVE RON PAUL his name back you useless yankee money grubbing counter intel banking cartel thugs. Making money off of a mans name is sick. I hope he sues you for 250 MILLION! bastards.
Maybe you are better suited supporting Elizabeth Warren.
You mean like in Reagan.com
Anyone who is siding with Ron Paul (or more likely someone on his team) is not a libertarian plain and simple.
If Ron Paul goes through with this, it invalidates a lot his work. This is thuggish behavior using the power of the state to take your property. If Ron Paul doesn’t drop this I’m renouncing my support. This is terrible on his part.
This is standard operating procedure in the web development, marketing and branding industry. Our company holds several trademarks, and if someone violates our trademark, we will go after them too. Ron Paul spent a lot more money and a lot more time than these guys building his name. He also legally holds the trademark for his name.
When they registered their domain name as a .COM, they agreed to the UDRP policy, particularly section 4
a. Applicable Disputes. You are required to submit to a mandatory administrative proceeding in the event that a third party (a “complainant”) asserts to the applicable Provider, in compliance with the Rules of Procedure, that
(i) your domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and
(ii) you have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(iii) your domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
In the administrative proceeding, the complainant must prove that each of these three elements are present.
Section 4b(iv) is also applicable
(iv) by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your web site or location or of a product or service on your web site or location.
The confusion can easily be proven on the facebook page of this site as many people have said that they thought RonPaul.com was an official site and that facebook page was official endorsed.
While I disagree with many laws in this country, this is a particular law that I support. As an entrepreneur in the web development, marketing and branding industry, I know how important trademarks are.
By your logic Adam, all the RonPaul sites should be handed over to Dr. Paul.
I own RonPaul.NAME….should I have to hand over to him? RonpaulForums.com, ronpaulproducts.com, Ronpaulmarket.com etc.
Ron Paul needs to own them all?
Why’d you call him Adam?
That was Steve, I’m adam
Here’s an emotional blurb for you – I’d say from your post you qualify as a techno-thug also. Nice little corporate NAZI aren’t you, you fit right in.
It’s not quite that bad. At least not necessarily. I’d still vote for him today, right now, even though I’m disappointed. I feel slightly betrayed, but not that surprised. And we don’t know what’s really going on in his mind, & all the people around him.
The most important thing is we stick by Dr.Paul, his principles, & do not let his name be tarnished.
He is NOT an Idol meant to be worshipped. He is only Human & thus is Falable.
He has done more for Liberty than nearly anyone since the days of our founders.
This movement was never meant to be a Cult of Personality, but about Individuality & Freedom, & the Constitution.
I am begining to think (from this and past experience) that Ron Paul surrounds himself with “bad” people.
I’m not going to list a huge argument, but I believe you guys are right. As much as I admire Dr. Paul, I have to call him out when I believe he’s done wrong.
You guys made a smart investment, and you deserve to be compensated for it.
You guys made a great gesture in offering ronpaul.org, and I think it’s questionable for Ron or his staff to commit “legal plunder.”
They have been compensated for it 5 years of advertisement and merchandising, on the back of a mans 30 year career of fighting endless battles and being ridiculed on a daily basis.
He had the trademark for his name. They bought the domain, and began to profit on his name. It’s his name, his brand, his trademark, thus his property. 5 years of work riding his coat tail compared to his life time building up that name to mean something, the libertarian in me says that his property rights trump the rights of this site.
Ron Paul has been a public figure all these years.
By the way, you forgot to pay royalties to the creators of the English language. I’m calling the UN.
Do they have a trademark filed? Let’s see the document.
Otherwise, troll somewhere else.
I think you have been over compensated for any work you have done in web business and online industry for to long. I demand you give all your property related to this immediately for free.
Well said Matthew…
Let me tell you the whole story about RonPaul.com…The current owners bought it on Ebay back in 2008 from a man whose name was also Ron Paul…they didn’t cybersquat and initially register the domain themselves…cost them over 25K on Ebay…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. Seeing millionaire Lew snark about the price they’re asking is salt in the wound. Why the hell didn’t he buy it back then, either?”
Why should Ron Paul (the ex-congressman) get this domain just because that’s his name? I’m sure there are several other Ron Paul’s out there that would also like the domain. Why shouldn’t they get it? What if someone names their child google? Does that give them the right to the domain name google.com?
If this is akin to property rights, then shouldn’t the person who is homesteading the domain get to keep it justly?
And why did he get the UN involved? Is that a hoax? If not, I’m very disappointed.
Those other Ron Paul’s don’t have the name Ron Paul trademarked. Those other Ron Paul’s didn’t spend the last 30 years building up the name Ron Paul to be synonymous to liberty and freedom. Those other Ron Paul’s didn’t write amazing books like End the Fed and The Revolution: A Manifesto.
Those other Ron Paul’s photos are not plastered all over RonPaul.com Those other Ron Paul’s face don’t appear on key chain merchandise as found on the left advertisement column of this website. Those other Ron Paul’s words, ideas, videos, audio recordings, and down right inspiration aren’t found on this website.
That someone can name their child Google, but will not be able to register her name as a trademark, which is held by Google.com, thus will have NO claim to Google.com
The involvement of the UN is similar to you’re involvement with your local court house. As much as you may deplore government, if you have a dispute, the only legal way (since we have done away with Dualing) is to take them to court. It’s just the only way.
And the connection with the UN is such a lose association, it’s ridiculous.
Ron Paul, in this instance, is working with the UN just as much as the site owners of RonPaul.com. How you might ask? Because anyone registered a domain name agrees to ICANN and UDRP, which then provides arbritration services, which happen to be WIPO, who is hardly the big even UN.
As a web developer, I’ve had to submit a request to retrieve a domain name for a client, and I had to go through ICANN and UDRP, but was settled before we had to make it to arbitration. I probably would have been directed to contact WIPO had it gone that far.
This is the process, and to accuse Ron Paul of working with the UN for this arbitration is a stretch and many of you are becoming so paranoid, I wouldn’t be surprised if you were scared of your own shadow. Did my shadow just make a secret call to the UN?! Disavow your shadows!
You are missing the point that taking something that isn’t Ron’s is using force. He has no right to this website. It is completely unlibertarian.
He does have the legal right to his name, which is trademarked.
This is not the first nor the last time a company had to take a domain that was used to profit from their work.
If RonPaul.com was just some guy that blogged about fishing, then Ron Paul probably wouldn’t have a case to take the domain back.
But because the site directly profits from Ron Paul, his work and his name, and because he hold trademarks on his name, he has every legal right to have it.
And how am I missing the point?
I’d think I refuted his argument as to why other Ron Paul’s won’t have a claim to the website pretty well actually…
It’s clear you aren’t heavily invested in libertarian ideas. A lot of us who supported Ron Paul are.
What the law says and what is right are two very different things. I expect Ron Paul to do what is right not what is legally possible.
Steve – You are an extreme idiot as well as a troll AND a fool. Ron Paul has been a public figure the whole time and to base this claim on copy right laws is ludicrous. What, copy right laws trump other laws? If that is true than copy right laws need to done away with. I know if I was on a jury trying this case in court the Ron Paul camp would NOT prevail.
So it’s about intellectual property? I believe most libertarians oppose that — including Ron Paul. As they very well should. I know his biggest fan club over at lewrockwell.com mostly oppose IP but they seem to be cheering on Paul’s use of force to defend IP now. Strange. Disappointing.
Yes, I consider myself a libertarian. Doesn’t mean that I think laws are inherently evil or bad.
In this case, maybe it’s because I have more experience in the branding, marketing and trademarking world, I have a different view on things, but I fully agree with trademarking laws.
I spend countless hours building a brand. Basically, I understand the site owner’s argument, but why does 5 years of work riding another man’s success trump a lifetime of work by Ron Paul HIMSELF.
So you’re saying the bottom feeder, opportunist should have priority over the original man who build up his name, his reputation and his brand?
I just noticed this on this site’s Facebook page:
“Ron Paul: Chris Kyle Had It Coming”
Really? You think Ron Paul would have approved that? Because the live by the sword bible quote didn’t mean he had it coming to him, but that by living a life of violence, unintended consequences (read: blowback) of violence with come back to you, thus Jesus advised to put the sword away and stop living by violence.
Not that he had it coming. And to post that on RONPAUL.com, the number one result on google when searching the mans name???? COME ON!
Steve, I own RonPaul.NAME
How is my domain different than RonPaul.com? Why doesn’t Ron Paul come after me…he wants his name and I got his .NAME
and what about all the other sites like ronpaulforums.com, ronpaulmarket.com, ronpaulproducts.com who are monetizing their sites from RonPaul’s name and image?
Something else you forgot…PUBLIC DOMAIN…Ron Paul was a publicly elected official…therefore his name and image is in the public domain and anyone can profit from it…same way as you can write a book about Obama and keep all profit and you don’t owe him a dime.
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