Ron Paul’s hypocrisy is well known by now. He sticks earmarks for his district into bills that he knows will pass and then makes a show of voting against them. He thinks that the United States should not take a position on the affairs of other countries, except for Israel. And he is against the United Nations exercising power over American citizens… unless it’s for his own benefit.
“The UN has no authority to make “laws” that bind American citizens, because it does not derive its powers from the consent of the American people. We need to stop speaking of UN resolutions and edicts as if they represented legitimate laws or treaties. They do not,” Ron Paul wrote in 2003, when arguing that the United States has the right to go to war in Iraq without UN authorization.
Legally speaking, Ron Paul has a pretty good case against RonPaul.com. Ethically, his case is pretty bad. And Ron Paul might want to remember that he who lives by UN laws, get screwed by UN laws.
Public figures do have a right to claim websites named after them, but Ron Paul’s entire campaign was built on the willingness of his supporters to build an online infrastructure for him free of charge. The only presidential candidate who treated his online supporters that way was… Barack Obama
Now that Ron Paul is transitioning from politics to private life, he’s trying to take over RonPaul.com for his own use. The last time he left politics for private life, he began putting out a newsletter full of crazy bigotry and disaster marketing. And he’s likely to turn RonPaul.com into more of the same. But he could just as easily work with the owners of RonPaul.com to do that.
More problematically Ron Paul has turned to WIPO to seize RonPaul.com for his own use. WIPO stands for World Intellectual Property Organization and is a specialized United Nations agency based out of Switzerland.
WIPO was not Ron Paul’s only UDRP resolution option. The National Arbitration Forum is an American organization that provides domain name dispute arbitration. Instead Ron Paul went to the United Nations. His complaint claims that his own fan base has no “legitimate interest” in the domain name. That’s a curious argument since the RonPaul.com owners have shown that Ron Paul’s people used them to help promote Ron Paul’s campaign.
Ron Paul claims that the owners of RonPaul.com registered it only in order to sell it to him. That seems like an unlikely argument since Ron Paul has a ton of fan sites and it’s doubtful that the owners of RonPaul.com have kept it going for 5 years just in the hopes of one day being able to sell it to him.
The Paul complaint does list an offer that the owners of RonPaul.com made to sell the website to him for either $250,000 to $848.000. On the other hand the complaint claims that the RonPaul.com owners took no other action with the site except to offer it for sale and that their only real cost was a $9.99 registration fee. That’s clearly not true as the site shows that extensive content promoting Ron Paul had been posted on it over the years and the domain name comes with the page rank that this content helped create.
Ron Paul can legitimately claim that under international law the domain name belongs to him. But it’s telling that he made no such claim until recently. Paul’s internet presence relied on sites like RonPaul.com and he never objected to their existence or their turning a profit using his name. But now that his campaign is over for good, he’s using the United Nations to seize the domain name so he can use it for his own purposes while accusing the owners of bad faith.
As usual, the only truly bad faith is Ron Paul’s.