What Is Ron Paul Thinking? Sues To Unmask Anonymous Internet Users

from the perhaps-he-doesn't-get-the-internet-so-much... dept

One of the key points behind Ron Paul's success in this Presidential campaign (as well as in 2008) was his reputation for actually "getting the internet" and making good use of it to promote his message and motivate and activate his supporters. But it appears that perhaps he doesn't quite get the internet that well. That's all I can think after reading the details of a dreadfully short-sighted lawsuit that he filed to try to unmask some anonymous internet users. Basically, some random internet users created a pretty dumb, racist and offensive anti-John Huntsman attack video, essentially questioning his "values" because he speaks Chinese.
However, it was posted by a user under the name NHLiberty4Paul. And, at the end it briefly says "Vote Ron Paul." Still, there's absolutely nothing to indicate this was created by the Paul campaign. The video has received some attention on the campaign trail, with both Paul and Huntsman speaking out against the video. Huntsman said he doesn't mind people making fun of him for speaking Chinese, but was upset about bringing his family into it with some pictures and videos of his adopted daughters. Paul disavowed the video and the creators of the video, saying: "Nobody who actually supports Dr. Paul’s principles would put together something like that." Separately, they called it disgusting.

And really, that should be it. However, for whatever reason, the Paul campaign has now filed a lawsuit in the federal courts, in the Northern California district, seeking to identify whoever created and uploaded the video -- alleging trademark infringement and defamation. Even more ridiculous is that he's filed for expedited discovery to try to unmask those uploaders quickly. This is all sorts of bizarre and not particularly smart. It also seems to go against a bunch of Paul's main points -- including his belief in state's rights over federal (he's suing in federal court, not state court, using some questionable theories) and his support of the First Amendment -- which, many courts have pointed out, includes the right to speak anonymously.

Even more specifically, on the actual details of the lawsuit it's difficult to see how this is a trademark claim in any way, since it's questionable how this is a "use in commerce" (necessary for trademark law). Second, the defamation claim is just bizarre. As a public figure, the bar for defamation is crazy high -- and he'd likely have to prove that the video was made maliciously to make him look bad. That seems like a massively high hurdle, since it's just as likely that some clueless/ignorant people made the video thinking it would help him. But, on top of that, is just putting his name on a dumb and offensive video -- without ever suggesting he was directly associated with it -- even defamation in the first place? Hell, if anyone has a defamation claim here (and I don't think anyone does) it would be Huntsman.

Finally, what good does filing this lawsuit do? I can't figure out any conceivable argument under which filing the lawsuit makes sense. Not only is it on questionable legal theories and contrary to his core statements on Constitutional support, but it also simply calls more attention to the offensive video and brings the story back into the news cycle, after he's been trying to distance himself from it. No doubt, the video is stupid, but this lawsuit may be even dumber.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    Robert (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 12:07pm

    It's Simple

    Could be that he felt his campaign was hurt by the letters, so now he's taking an aggressive stance against anything racist using his name.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      TriZz (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 12:46pm

      Re: It's Simple

      That's what I was thinking. Being aggressive about it, not only to show is "disavowment" but to also, hopefully, prevent other supporters from making such videos.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      TriZz (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

      Re: It's Simple

      That's what I was thinking. Being aggressive about it, not only to show is "disavowment" but to also, hopefully, prevent other supporters from making such videos.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      TriZz (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

      Re: It's Simple

      That's what I was thinking. Being aggressive about it, not only to show is "disavowment" but to also, hopefully, prevent other supporters from making such videos.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        TriZz (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 12:48pm

        Re: Re: It's Simple

        It was a REALLLLY important comment. Anyway to delete the duplicates? Either TechDirt or my Internet froze and it got silly...

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          CD (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 4:27pm

          Re: Re: Re: It's Simple

          Your post hit when your ISP ran a test run of the SOPA/PIPA internet scrubber to check for infringing content. Since yours was free of infringement, they posted it two extra times for you to reward your good behavior.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Daniel, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:55pm

      Re: It's Simple

      Youre totally missing the point, apparently it isn't that simple for you. If an anonymous person were to create a video suggesting that you were racist because Huntsman was ambassador to the Chinese and/or had Chinese children, then wrongly said the video was approved by you, you would take legal action to that kind of slander, too.

      "It's a simple" defamation attempt.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 6:46pm

        Re: Re: It's Simple

        Not to the same degree, no. So the knee-jerk reaction is definitely related to the letters that came out earlier.

        The article did not mention "approved by" only endorsing Ron Paul while attacking Huntsman.

        create a video suggesting that you were a racist because Huntsman was ambassador... I think you mean the UPLOADER was displaying a racist view of THEIR OWN against Huntsman and later endorsing Ron Paul.

        Slightly different from your translation, implying that somehow Ron Paul was racist because some anonymous person said racist comments and then said "vote for Ron Paul."

        It's not a defamation attempt against Paul. It's a racist comment against Huntsman given his ability to speak Chinese (Mandarin, good luck with Cantonese) and political connection with China.

        Your argument is like saying someone wearing a Pepsi tshirt assaults a Coke drinker and somehow that defames Pepsi because they wore a Pepsi shirt Pepsi somehow approves of it. No, it is purely the action of some individual.

        Ron Paul is smart to quickly speak out against it, but going as far as he has is simply a knee-jerk related to his lack of sufficient response when those letters surfaced from his campaign back in the day.

        Totally different.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        nasch (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 3:15pm

        Re: Re: It's Simple

        If an anonymous person were to create a video suggesting that you were racist because Huntsman was ambassador to the Chinese and/or had Chinese children, then wrongly said the video was approved by you, you would take legal action to that kind of slander, too.

        Why do you believe this? Has Mike sued someone for defamation for something similar in the past, or in any way indicated that he would do so? Or did you mean to say that you would take legal action? That's a totally different statement of course.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 12:08pm

    On an unrelated issue, Megavideo and MegaUpload were just seized by the FBI, servers confiscated, four arrested and bank accounts seized.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Sara, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 12:14pm

    Ron Paul

    I confess, I don't get it myself. This story had finally gone away and now it's back. Of course, very few of the publications who originally ran the ludicrously unsubstantiated story have printed follow-ups or retractions. So, I guess this is one way to right a wrong and possibly appeal to Huntsman voters who fell for it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    hegemon13, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 12:17pm

    Why? Perhaps because the media repeatedly claimed that the video was released by the Paul campaign, even AFTER it had been thoroughly debunked. Then, they used it to claim that Ron Paul attracted crazy supporters. Finally, what happened when it was demonstrated that the very first referrals to the video came from the Huntsman campaign? Nothing. No retractions, apologies, or corrections. That stupid still comes up in comments sections trying to prove that Paul is "racist" against Chinese.

    So, will the lawsuit go anywhere? No. But it should put a nail in the coffin of the idea that Paul had anything whatsoever to do with it. It's political theater in response to political theater, and I can't think of any better way he could have declared, "This was not ours." Especially since repeatedly saying, "This was not ours" didn't work.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      hegemon13, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 12:21pm

      Re:

      In addition, there is enough evidence pointing to the Huntsman campaign to be worth a lawsuit. If, indeed, the video was released by someone on the campaign, the anonymous lawsuit will go away, but a whole new lawsuit will be filed. While defamation law probably wasn't broken, campaign law most definitely was, if it was indeed produced by someone on Huntman's campaign.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        nasch (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 3:17pm

        Re: Re:

        While defamation law probably wasn't broken, campaign law most definitely was, if it was indeed produced by someone on Huntman's campaign.

        What if they did it without using any campaign money? Would they still have to disclose the source?

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      John Fenderson (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 3:07pm

      Re:

      "Then, they used it to claim that Ron Paul attracted crazy supporters."

      But no video is required to make this claim. All you have to do is look at his supporters. He does appear to have a larger-than-usual amount of crazy in that crowd.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 1:47am

        Re: Re:

        That is because he has support all across a bell curve of humanity. Naturally you are going to see the extremes of that bell curve included, both on the left and the right, and the explanation is very simple. Human liberty appeals to all sorts of folks. ALL sorts. That is the true meaning of Diversity.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        weneedhelp (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:13am

        Re: Re:

        "All you have to do is look at his supporters."
        -Citation needed.
        So you can tell crazy by looking?
        You have been in a position to see all of his supporters face to face?

        Please direct me to where I can see his larger-than-usual amount of crazy in a crowd.

        Haters will hate.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          John Fenderson (profile), Jan 21st, 2012 @ 2:37pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Just a personal observation, not a statement of fact. Btw, I don't hate Ron Paul at all, this isn't about him. It's about the people I meet and hear from who advocate him. Most of them are fine, but the crazy contingent -- and all politicians have one -- associated with him seems much larger than the others.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Ninja (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 6:03am

      Re:

      Sun Tzu would be proud. Every politician must have a copy besides their pillows. It's pretty common that when the elections draw closer all sorts of types of accusations and false information come and start being repeated ad nauseam by paid shills so it'll sound like it's the truth.

      Clever but rotten tactics. Not really surprising in our current rotten, morally degraded world.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    SandraF (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 12:18pm

    I'm Canadian, so I don't have a dog in the hunt, but I've always found Ron Paul honest and admirable. Still, it does seem out of character for him to sue. The only reason I can see to go ahead with this suit is to possibly unmask the uploaders as being connected with Jon Huntsman himself (there is some evidence).

    Still might be unwise though.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Troglodytarum_venator (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

      Re:

      Seems silly to make yourself look bad just to make someone else look bad.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Mea, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 12:56pm

      Re: Ron Paul

      He doesn't want this to come back and bite him in the rear somewhere down the line. He`s just covering his ass by totally separating himself from the whole thing. If you listen to the first few seconds of the talking part......that is John Huntsmam. Sounds like a home recording......Hmmm.......wonder where that came from?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      josh, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 12:48am

      Response to: SandraF on Jan 19th, 2012 @ 12:18pm

      Hi Sandra. Just wanted to reply that suing is perfectly consistent with the philosophy of Paul. 1 he thinks huntsman campaign itself may have been behind the video. 2 just like sopa or Megaupload raid, Paul thinks the industry is overstepping authority to go after such large public utility spaces. The reality is that a Judge's signature on a warrant is a much more fair and constitutional method of preventing libel or prosecuting copyright infringement.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Are You Retarded?, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 12:22pm

    Are You Retarded?

    The reason he is suing is because the ad was produced by the Huntsman campaign, which has already been proved numerous times.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      hegemon13, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 12:24pm

      Re: Are You Retarded?

      No reason to stretch the truth. Nothing has been proven. There is evidence that suggests the Huntsman campaign *may* have been involved. Worth a lawsuit to uncover? Yes. Proven? No.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      annon4whatever, Jan 22nd, 2012 @ 10:54pm

      Re: Are You Retarded?

      "...the ad was produced by the Huntsman campaign, which has already been proved numerous times."

      Aside from your grammatical ineptitude, I ask: Where has this been proven?

      I've seen ONE "independent study" released by the Ron Paul campaign saying it was someone attached to the Huntsman campaign.

      Lets see...

      1. Independent study done by ardent Ron Paul supporter who has given money to his (and his son's) campaign. Same supporter who openly voted for Ron Paul on Facebook straw poll and then posted about it. Same supporter who lists support on his Facebook for all kinds of Ron Paul stuff...



      2. The main argument that it was someone connected to the Huntsman campaign is that there was a referral link from huntsman's website or webmail servers. Ever use Twitter? If someone on the huntsman campaign got an email saying that @jonhuntsman had been mentioned in a Tweet and then clicked on the link, that means they were responsible for it? (I don't know if that's what happened, but that's a possibility that accounts for the "independent" study's view)

      What I DID like about Ron Paul has gone out the window with this ridiculous lawsuit. Do I think he posted/knew about/privately endorsed the video? No, absolutely not. Do I think it was Huntsman or his people? No to that as well.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Warezweek, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 12:23pm

    megaupload

    megaupload shut down by fbi

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 12:24pm

    There is no "Chinese" language. Both Mandarin and Cantonese are official languages of China. Huntsman speaks Mandarin, IIRC.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    John, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 12:24pm

    I don't have too much problem with him doing this. If you've been following the story of this video, there is a lot of suspicion that the Huntsman campaign or someone associated with the Huntsman campaign actually made it (to paint Paul as racist and bring attention to his family).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 12:31pm

    On Tuesday, here in Ireland, I walked into work and on the front page of the Daily Herald, a national newspaper, was a sorta similar lawsuit, filed by a kid against Facebook and Google and other companies, over a video that allegedly shows him evading taxi fare: except he says it isn't him in the video. He says that the video will hurt his employment opportunities, because employers comb through Facebook accounts these days.
    Kid, because you launched this lawsuit, it ended up on the FRONT PAGE of a NATIONAL NEWSPAPER. Employers now know who you are and how stupid you are. No-one had ever heard of him.

    What I also found ridiculous were our judges were apparently seriously trying to order the internet to remove the video. Yeah, like that's ever worked. Can anyone say super-injuction?
    Now, gimme a minute and I'll have a link.

    I found two links, sadly none from the Herald, but they provide enough information

    http://www.irishexaminer.com/text/ireland/kfidauojcwau/
    http://www.irishtimes.com/ne wspaper/ireland/2012/0118/1224310398051.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Trial, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 12:31pm

    HuffingtonPost

    "When The Huffington Post contacted the poster of the video through YouTube to ask why they created the video and whether they had any formal association with the Paul campaign, NHLiberty4Paul replied: "Sorry, campaign has asked me not to speak to reporters."

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/06/huntsman-denounces-video-_n_1189285.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      A Guy (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 12:46pm

      Re: HuffingtonPost

      That makes more sense. If he claims to be associated with and acting at the direction of the campaign, then the lawsuit starts making more sense.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 12:37pm

    Just heard from some buddies over Facebook:
    Megaupload has just been shut down.

    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/01/19/feds-shut-down-file-sharing-website/?test=latestnews

    I know, I'm linking to Fox...but it seems to be true, at least I've tried going on the site, and my browser fails.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 12:49pm

    Megaupload shut down. Is Dropbox next? Youtube?

    Why don't DMCA safe harbor provisions apply to Megaupload?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Bengie, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:27pm

      Re:

      The current "claims" are that MegaUpload not only made money via advertisment from the pirated movies, but they also paid other people to upload those types of movies.

      So they're claiming that Mega actively encouraged via monetary incentives to upload pirated movies.

      These are the claims anyway. Not sure if "facts".

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Difster, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:05pm

    Rock and a hard place

    I think Ron Paul's campaign wants to prove this video was put out by the opposition, not his supporters. The fact that they used his name is sort of forcing his hand.

    Then again, now that Huntsman has dropped out, maybe he should drop the suit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Phillip, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:20pm

    This is one of the few examples where I don't think this approach is stupid. Given that it's being talked about by both campaigns, this isn't something they're trying to hide so it doesn't matter if he draws attention to it. But what does matter is looking like he's only pretending to oppose it. The worst thing would be for people to think he's against it because he has to be but is secretly hoping his supporters will do more like this. His response to the earlier letters didn't go over very well.

    In this case the lawsuit itself (and any publicity it can bring) is a bigger goal than actually uncovering the person.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    nonanymous, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:21pm

    The trolls came out

    I love how mention of Ron Paul on TechDirt gets all sorts of nut cases and conspiracy theorists come out. Every. Single. Time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Josh, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 12:57am

      Re: The trolls came out

      We aren't trolls were constitutionalists who love liberty and want to protect it, including freedom and privacy on the internet from big government. I'm also an Iraq veteran who wants to end these expensive illegal wars and bring my brothers home from our 900 bases in 150 countries. Now who are you???

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    NASDAQEnema, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:39pm

    That video was proved fake by Huntsman campaign

    The Ron Paul campaigners are pissed off. Paul could make a statement.

    Huntsman may or may not have been involved just as this may just be a bunch of his supporters.

    I think I'll focuses on bankers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:40pm

    I am curious just how you define the term "commerce" for purposes of federal law. You appear to have a definition that is not congruent with its SCOTUS definition.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Kevin, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:45pm

    There is solid evidence that this came from Jon Huntsman's campaign. Jon Huntsman and his wife came out and called the video disgusting and made a huge deal about it even though it was uploaded anonymously, the account was made that day, and it had only a couple hundred views when it started being aired by the media. If it turns out that Huntsman made it, his political career will be over and the media will look like shills. I hope Ron Paul issuccessful.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Erin, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 10:26pm

      Huntsman

      There are screenshots around of the video originating from Huntsman's daughters. Yes, they could have been doctored.

      Reportedly, a private company was hired to track the IP, which seems to go back to Huntsman's campaign hq.

      The suit was filed about a week or so (maybe two) after the video aired, which means the Paul campaign probably did their research and verified these things before filing suit.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Innocent befor proven guilty, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 11:08pm

        Re: Huntsman

        If the Paul campaign "verified these things" then why is he wasting time suing John Does?

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    yup, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:53pm

    Huntsman F'd up

    Huntsman F'd up and he knew it, that is why he dropped out.. If they were to find out it was made by his camp and he was still running... oh yeah, that's a doozy. Good for RP in doing this. Just caused another one to bite the dust.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Paul Alan Levy (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:13pm

    "use in commerce"

    I agree with almost everything you say (and thanks for the link to my blog post about it), but I offer one technical correction. The problem is not lack of "use in commerce" but rather the fact that the video is entirely noncommercial, or, in the relevant language of the two sections of the Lanham Act invoked here, there is no "connection with any goods or services" and the video is plainly not a "commercial advertisement." We used to make the "use in commerce" argument in our defense of Internet critics running gripe sites and the like, but when we won the Bosley Medical Institute v. Kremer, 403 F. 3d 672, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bosley_Medical_Institute,_Inc._v._Kremer (and that is a Ninth Circuit case, which will be the controlling law here), that court indicated that it was the "in connection with goods or services" and not the "use in commerce" language on which it was relying. After doing several more cases like Bosley, I have come to conclude that this is, in fact, the better argument.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    womanforpaul, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:21pm

    Ron Paul, a patriot, who has honorably served his country, defends both the constitution and
    civil liberties, and is for peace and prosperity. Dr. Paul has the wisdom, foresight,
    honesty and integrity to be president.

    Dr. Paul believes spending and deficits are destroying this country. Dr. Paul's budget plan
    would save $1 trillion in the first year. Besides the spending cuts, there are other issues
    of importance to voters. For conservatives, Dr. Paul scores an A+ on all of them: Second
    Amendment protection, pro-life record, right-to-work, pro-business, anti-tax, states'
    rights, you name it.

    Dr. Paul also believes America should have the strongest national defense on earth which
    he believes begins with not trying to constantly police the earth. Right now, our
    government puts our best and bravest in harm's way on a regular basis for questionable
    reasons and with no discernible notion of victory. This is not supporting the troops. It's
    abusing them. Dr. Paul wants an end to this absurd, costly policy.

    The voters have declared Dr. Paul the alternative to the liberal, flip flopping Mitt Romney.
    The other candidates are simply irrelevant. In the New Hampshire Primary, Dr. Paul received
    more votes than all the supposed Anti-Romney (Santorum, Gingrich, and Perry) candidates
    combined.

    The question for Republican voters is not whether they can afford to vote for Dr. Paul -
    it's whether they can afford not to.

    America Needs Ron Paul.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Jared (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 3:24pm

    I looks to me like a strategic use of the Streisand Effect. What's the worst case scenario here, his lawsuit gets thrown out, the video author remains anonymous, and everyone learns that Ron Paul sued to find out the real producer of a racist video? Best case scenario: he proves he didn't create it. Win-win.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    David, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 3:42pm

    what if

    Huntsman's campaign was behind the Ad? Wouldn't it be important to know this? The lawsuit is simply there to find out who was behind it and expose fraud. I do not care that he has dropped out. If this came from his campaign it needs to be publicized especially with how the media made it out to sound like Ron Paul was responsible for it. So now that he is being responsible and trying to pull it and find out who was behind it we attack him for that as well?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Oscar, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 3:57pm

    The question isn't whether someone from the Huntsman camp did it, but whether they are working for other campaigns still in the hunt (NPI). In this case, tracing it to a person or group (or maybe a PAC?) could prove worthwhile.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    goodkarme, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 4:18pm

    it should be noted that ron paul had a independent investigation done and its possible huntsman peoples made the video being that they were the first to share the video with msm sources also as far as racist newsletters google ben swann find out who actually DID write it !

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Louis Nardozi, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 4:19pm

    So it's fine for the law to protect ANYONE else

    But if Ron Paul seeks protection under the law, he's somehow 'betraying his principles'? I suppose you'll deny Ron Paul has been the target of a massive campaign first to hide him, then to marginalize or discredit him by the media.

    Why won't people ask themselves, 'Why is this happening?'
    Could it possibly be the people who control society don't want Ron Paul in office? Gee, I wonder why ?

    I can't even blame people like our illustrious author here because he knows his job relies on reporting the 'right' points of view.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    TC, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 4:22pm

    Smack'em Dr. Paul

    He's had enough of their attacks. This is called checkmate. I bet others will rethink any funny business before they try such a thing in the future.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Laroquod (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 4:46pm

    Cue Streisand Effect

    n/t

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Backfire, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 4:57pm

    Do a search on Stormfront for 'Jon Huntsman.' Ron Paul supporters there were vetting Huntsman (esp. his daughters) one day before the video surfaced and in another thread a member defends the contents of the video. This lawsuit could very well backfire on Dr.Paul

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    submetropolis (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 5:01pm

    Paul's motive

    He did it so show that he's not behind it nor does he support it. Just "saying" I don't support this video doesn't mean much these days. Maybe he knows there is no way in hell they'll be able to track these asses down so its just a motion to separate himself from it. When questioned about the video he can hold a document up stating "That shit wasn't mine!" Hopefully the lawsuit goes no where and he'll drop the it after figuring that out.

    I don't agree with the law suit and think it does go against most of his values. That said I don't think the guy had much choice. It could turn into another BS witchhunt and boom he's out of the race again.
    He was criticized about the racist zine articles and criticized on how he reacted to them. Guess he should've sued then too. I don't blame the guy for being a little reactionary. He's under the magnify glass now and every thing he does is going to look bad.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Backfire, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 5:08pm

      Re: Paul's motive

      Well those newsletters that he PUBLISHED are not going to help him one bit in court. Whether he wrote them or not his image was already tarnished eons ago. Nothing in that video could have changed opinions of people who had already made up their minds regarding Ron Paul based on his role in PUBLISHING racist newsletters and PROFITING from them.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Braaainz, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 11:58pm

    Ron Pajl suing? Are you it's him?!?

    Rat-fvcking. Are you sure Paul is suing? Or is this an evil, underhanded attempt to discredit him in the eyes of his internet followers?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Leo, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 1:38am

    Wise move

    Suing for discovery of the source makes sense on two fronts. First, there is a quite real possibility of an intentional smear tactic by an anonymous party. This action will discourage any further such attempts should that be the case. Second, if the video is indeed a genuine statement, this action will quell the nitpicking media attempts to portray him as lax when it comes to weirdness published by any old someone who nominally supports Paul but holds views contrary to Paul's ideas.

    All in all, a very wise move to cover a flank on which establishment statists will continue to attack, especially when lacking any other credible approach.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Barry Donegan, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 1:59am

    To clarify

    The video was made by someone in an attempt to pain Ron Paul as racist. Since the actual venue of the upload wasn't knowable, federal court would actually make sense in this case. It is hard to pin down a jurisdiction on random activity online. Granting jurisdiction to a state court requires knowing where the activity was carried out.

    When filing a court case against a party who is unknown but knowable via discovery, then it is legally required to use expedited discovery or the case can't move forward. None of this is contradictory. This is what Ron Paul should have done on the newsletters. Good to see he has that issue under control now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    money bomb, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 2:48am

    in the lawsuit there it's mentioned the ad has affected Paul's fundraising ability's. His December money bomb raised over 4 million while his last one only raise 1.3 million. Can it be he is trying to find a scapegoat for his campaigns shortcomings?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Joe G, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 2:52am

    Hmmmm

    1) could it be that the ad is still up and the users neglected to take it down (even if a 'dumb paulbot' put it up, they wouldn't keep it up.)

    2) Those are some mighty intimate pictures and footage of the huntsman family. I wonder what "random person" had access to them. I think you know what I am getting at. The probability is higher than just a longshot.

    3) Defamation is not protected speech. Right to anonymity is not protected when defamation is involved.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Joe G, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 3:20am

    Hmmmm

    1) could it be that the ad is still up and the users neglected to take it down (even if a 'dumb paulbot' put it up, they wouldn't keep it up.)

    2) Those are some mighty intimate pictures and footage of the huntsman family. I wonder what "random person" had access to them. I think you know what I am getting at. The probability is higher than just a longshot.

    3) Defamation is not protected speech. Right to anonymity is not protected when defamation is involved.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Mick, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 5:18am

    Lack of intelligence

    This whole article was written because you "can't figure out any conceivable argument under which filing the lawsuit makes sense.", which only indicates an appalling lack of imagination on your part. Imagination is the key to intelligence, and until you develop your mind, your journalistic venture will be of no use to anyone. I've never read any of your other articles that I know of, but I will refrain from doing so in future. I'm actually shocked that anyone who knows the facts of this case would ridicule the plaintiff. It's a clear case of defamation, and the Huntsman campaign will likely end up paying for it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Steven, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 7:16am

    He is suing in federal court because this is a federal election, dummy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Stephan Kinsella (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 8:57am

    constitution?

    Agree, Mike, with your post, except not sure that suing for defamation and trademark is contrary to Paul's Constitutionalism. Defamation is a state law. Federal trademark is arguably unconstitutional because it is not an enumerated power--this is my view, but most people don't share it. But this is a horrible idea, and terrible. I have to assume some staffer did this but still...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Edward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 9:03am

    ***It also seems to go against a bunch of Paul's main points -- including his belief in state's rights over federal (he's suing in federal court, not state court, using some questionable theories) and his support of the First Amendment -- which, many courts have pointed out, includes the right to speak anonymously.***

    I'm not sure why there would be a problem suing in Federal court... this is clearly a trans-state conflict, and thus is clearly the jurisdiction of the Federal courts.

    And while those courts have consistently ruled one can speak anonymously, they have never extended that privilege to slander or trademark infringement.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    heresyerhelp, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 2:03pm

    @weneedhelp do a google search for this phrase:
    "ron paul stormfront"
    I guarantee you will find some crazy "Ron Paul supporters." I guarantee it!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Jbla, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 3:30pm

    Vengeance

    Seeing as the second referral (and second view!) to the video was from the jon2012.com website, it would seem that someone was using webmail to view their own handiwork, or a friends (the first couple views are usually someone looking at their own video). I have looked at stats on other vids with the name of huntsman uploaded around the same time and none had any referrals from the jon2012 web site. Add that to the fact that the profile nhliberty4paul was created the same day the video was uploaded, and that the huntsman campaign was all over it before even a few had seen it... Stinks. If I were Paul's team, I too would be furious to the point of being unreasonable. If a candidate such as huntsman can do this, then he would have no prob fabricating intelligence or a "gulf of Tonkin incident" to lead us to war.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Jeffrey TG, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 3:49pm

    Ron Paul believes in free speech, and this is not a violation of free speech. It's widespread defamation. Notice Ron Paul isn't keeping them from expressing themselves. As George Carlin said, you are free to say what you want but I'm free to kick the shit out of you."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Jeffrey TG, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 3:56pm

    Most jurisdictions allow legal actions, civil and/or criminal, to deter various kinds of defamation and retaliate against groundless criticism.

    I don't see how this contradicts Ron Paul's message. They're free to express themselves and he's free to sue them for harming his campaign and fundraising. The fact that he believes in freedom doesn't mean he's going to roll over when he's attacked.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    heresyerhelp, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:29pm

    Reply to Nasch

    There are hundreds of fan made Ron Paul "commercials" on youtube. Wouldn't they have to be reported under "campaign law" as well?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      nasch (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 6:25pm

      Re: Reply to Nasch

      There are hundreds of fan made Ron Paul "commercials" on youtube. Wouldn't they have to be reported under "campaign law" as well?

      If they're fan made, obviously not. I was asking about if they're made by someone from another campaign, even if not funded by the campaign.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Socius, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:13pm

    It's because...

    It's believed that someone affiliated with the Jon Huntsman campaign created the video in a smear attempt. They wanted to make it clear they had no connection to the video, and what's more clear than trying to sue whoever it was?

    Good move. Should have done it sooner.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    anonny, Jan 21st, 2012 @ 4:05am

    video was posted by huntsman campaign

    google it

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    annon4whatever, Jan 22nd, 2012 @ 11:00pm

    People keep saying its been proven that this ad was produced by Huntsman. I ask: Where has this been proven?

    I've seen ONE "independent study" released by the Ron Paul campaign saying it was someone attached to the Huntsman campaign.

    Lets see...

    1. Independent study done by ardent Ron Paul supporter who has given money to his (and his son's) campaign. Same supporter who openly voted for Ron Paul on Facebook straw poll and then posted about it. Same supporter who lists support on his Facebook for all kinds of Ron Paul stuff...

    Here is where I'll mention that if Huntsman had made it to my state, I may have supported him. I liked him. That said, I liked Ron Paul too.

    2. The main argument that it was someone connected to the Huntsman campaign is that there was a referral link from huntsman's website or webmail servers. Ever use Twitter? If someone on the huntsman campaign got an email saying that @jonhuntsman had been mentioned in a Tweet and then clicked on the link, that means they were responsible for it? (I don't know if that's what happened, but that's a possibility that accounts for the "independent" study's view)

    What I DID like about Ron Paul has gone out the window with this ridiculous lawsuit. Basically he is showing willingness to use the federal courts to trample on anonymous free speech. Do I think he posted/knew about/privately endorsed the video? No, absolutely not. Do I think it was Huntsman or his people? No to that as well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      hegemon13, Jan 23rd, 2012 @ 9:44am

      Re:

      Agreed - it's not proven, and it's ridiculous to say it is. However, the lawsuit will allow it to become proven, if, in fact the Huntsman campaign was involved.

      There is not currently enough evidence to prove Huntsman's campaign is involved. There is enough evidence, however, to move forward with a lawsuit to attempt to uncover additional evidence.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Erin, Jan 26th, 2012 @ 10:12pm

    It was Huntsman

    He's suing because the video was uploaded off of the Huntsman's campaigns IP address.

    On the Huntsman forums, his daughter was claiming responsibility for it and LOLing.

    That is why he is doing this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    edgar poems, Jun 15th, 2012 @ 9:10pm

    ron paul

    honestly really why why why why are we talking bout racist in 2012 man it feels like mainstream just want drama we all know ellections are bs look at buch vs gore in 2000 gore won he really did on the popular vote most people of the usa wanted gore yet in the ellectora votes where our representatives or each state mostly voted for buch agents the advice our the people or ther own state and county the paople that voted them in why did paul only get 1:49 of free talk in the gop yet randmy (sorry cant spell)got a womping 7:38 and in that time ron paul waz aploded 3 times romny for his time only 5 ask your self why did the media only show one oplase for ron and like 7 dif aplose for romny

    PS im not 100% sure on the times n how long they waz given each but i know that ron waz the lowest talk time and allways cute short in his answers what real reporter with nothing no facts real ones to seggest that ron is crazy no docters no counseling no substance abouse lol how can fox n cnn say in public on natinal TV ron is crazy next time if and when they do say such statemts im posting them but if anyone calls ramny a religius freak ohhh they would fire who ever said it anf maybe end up in terriorst wach fbi will come nocking if u post any truth bout the fed its corupt you knw it obama knws it the world knws it who owns it i begg this site or fbi to take this post down i dare you to put me in consitration camps randomb dui check points seem a lot like nazi papers check points to make sure we not driven drunks hmm seems like to make sure your not a jew

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This