Sorry Ron Paul, You Don't Get To Abuse Trademark Law To Unveil Anonymous Internet Users

from the how-very-unlibertarian-of-you dept

Back in January, we wrote about the bizarre decision by Ron Paul to file a lawsuit to unmask some anonymous internet users, who had created a controversial anti-John Huntsman video. At the end of the video, the anonymous videomakers had endorsed Paul, but some conspiracy-minded folks insisted that they were really working for Huntsman and staging an elaborate ruse to put up a video that looked bad about Huntsman to have that backfire on Ron Paul. For a variety of reasons that's either improbable or just downright stupid. But even if we assume the worst case scenario, Ron Paul's lawsuit not only made absolutely no legal sense, but it also seemed to go against nearly everything he believed in concerning internet freedom and the overreaching power of the government.

Either way, a judge has rejected Paul's attempt to unmask the videomakers on the narrow grounds that he failed to state a legitimate claim, since the video was not commercial in nature (necessary for a trademark violation). The judge did not go so far as to get into the First Amendment issues, but made clear that if Paul comes back with an amended suit with an actual claim, then the First Amendment considerations will be covered. Kudos to Paul Levy at Public Citizen for filing a pair of amicus briefs in the case to make sure the judge was aware of what was happening -- and hitting back at Paul's camp for its initial filing that completely ignored the relevant law and legal standards for unmasking anonymous internet users.

There are a number of especially troubling items in terms of how Paul and his camp went about this. First, just trying to unmask anonymous internet speech seems extremely problematic. Second, however, is the way in which he tried to twist trademark law to do so. As Eric Goldman explains, Paul's attempts to route around the clear requirements of trademark law were especially mockable:
To try to salvage the situation, Paul tries two mockable arguments. First, he argues that YouTube and Twitter are commercial sites, and that gives the dispute enough commerciality. The court rightly points out that the inquiry is about the defendant's conduct, not the websites where it took place, and notes the argument's illogic would mean non-commercial activity on any commercial website would be governed by the Lanham Act. In a footnote, the court adds that "using another company’s commercial website to post a comment or video is just far 'too attenuated' to result in an individual’s own conduct automatically meeting the Lanham Act’s commercial use requirement."

Second, Paul argues that "the video was intended to frustrate Plaintiff’s fundraising efforts and increase the amount of money contributed to Presidential nominees other than Ron Paul." The court says the Lanham Act is predicated on the defendant trying to improve its competitive status, and these defendants had no competing services; and the video on its face didn't try to solicit any donations.
Anonymous speech is protected under the First Amendment, and abusing trademark law to try to unmask anonymous speakers, whose speech was not commercial, is clearly an abuse of the law to try to "out" people online. As some have noted, it appeared to go against Ron Paul's own key principles -- and whether you agree with him or not, Paul certainly has the reputation for standing up for his principles. Yet here, suddenly, all of that went out the window:
What continues to amaze me, though, is how Paul is getting a free pass for this assault on free speech. Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum haven't filed lawsuits over identical videos that use their names in attacking Huntsman; why is Ron Paul the only candidate who filed such a suit? Indeed, so far as I have been able to discover, he is the only serious candidate for President in the past few decades who has ever filed a libel suit, and there are certainly Presidential candidates who have suffered far worse attacks. (I am not thinking of candidates who sued longer ago, but fifty years takes us back to the beginning of First Amendment protection against libel litigation brought by public figures). Why aren't the reporters who follow him around on the campaign trail not asking him how he can justify his use of litigation to oppress his critics and how it is consistent with the principles of liberty for which he claims to stand? How is this consistent with his First-Amendment based assault on campaign finance regulation such as McCain-Feingold? Does he just want to substitute the courts and privately financed litigation for the FEC?
Also surprising to me, is that even Paul's very vocal online supporters seem to refuse to recognize the issue here. I was amazed on our original post how many commenters came to Paul's defense here because they think that the videos were designed to make Paul look bad, and therefore the people "must" be revealed. That's not how the law works and that's not standing up for the basic principles of free speech, internet freedom and liberty that they supposedly stand for.

The sign of a truly principled person is when you're willing to retain those principles in the face of a situation where standing firm hurts you. Instead, Ron Paul folded and suddenly relied on big federal government regulations and abuse of the law to try to take away individuals' free speech rights.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 10:40am

    "Also surprising to me, is that even Paul's very vocal online supporters seem to refuse to recognize the issue here."

    If that is surprising to you, you haven't dealt with vocal Ron Paul supporters very often.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      MrWilson, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 10:59am

      Re:

      I'd be more concerned with "vocal" Rand Paul supporters (though they're probably the same people): http://youtu.be/TsrD9NxRC74

       

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

    •  
      icon
      weneedhelp (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:14am

      Re:

      I dont agree with what he is doing here, but I will put his voting record against anyone you may have.

      "The sign of a truly principled person is when you're willing to retain those principles in the face of a situation where standing firm hurts you." Well it appears his whole life he has done this.

      "Instead, Ron Paul folded and suddenly relied on big federal government regulations and abuse of the law to try to take away individuals' free speech rights."
      So the whole of his life is ended by one bad decision?
      (Not rhetorical)
      Dont make me point out Bush I & II, and Barry Sorento's flaws.

      A small mistake most likely brought upon by an over-aggressive lawyer/campaign manager.

      Forgivable? Absolutely.

      Its not like he started wars that resulted in hundreds of thousands dead, trillions of dollars spent, all on false, or selective "intelligence" for his Neocon agenda.

      Yeah but that one bad lawsuit... OF WITH HIS HEAD!!!!

      Ron Paul bashers come crawling out of the wood work in
      3... 2... 1...

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:17am

        Re: Re:

        "He's not as awful as everyone else" is not a valid defense of Ron Paul.

         

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:23am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You must be new to politics. It's the only tenable defense of anyone in the field unfortunately.

           

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

        •  
          icon
          weneedhelp (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:34am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:17am

          First cockaroach, how the hell are ya?

          "He's not as awful as everyone else" is not a valid defense of Ron Paul. - Where on earth, or outter space, did you come to the conclusion that is what I said. Please explain the thought process there.

          RP in short:
          He has held the same beliefs since the 80's and his voting record reflects that. He is a man of principal. Thats why his fans are so fanatical.

          No where in my comment did I project that "He's not as awful as everyone else" Cause the fact is he is much much better than the rest.

          Here ya go, 22 years ago:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gjrCan9rtc
          Moar?:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MzdYEU0f ig

           

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

          •  
            icon
            Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:41am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            No where in my comment did I project that "He's not as awful as everyone else"

            I don't know AC's thought process, but that's exactly what I got out of your post.

            You failed to address the point that Paul abandoned his principles in the attempt to unmask anonymous political speech. Instead of addressing it, you pointed out how much worse other politicians are.

             

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

            •  
              icon
              weneedhelp (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 12:23pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "don't know AC's thought process, but that's exactly what I got out of your post." Thanks for the insight Josh.

              Help a brother out here:
              "I dont agree with what he is doing here, but I will put his voting record against anyone you may have." - Dont see that here.
              Nor here:
              "Instead, Ron Paul folded and suddenly relied on big federal government regulations and abuse of the law to try to take away individuals' free speech rights."
              So the whole of his life is ended by one bad decision?"

              This:
              Dont make me point out Bush I & II, and Barry Sorento's flaws.
              Or:
              Its not like he started wars that resulted in hundreds of thousands dead, trillions of dollars spent, all on false, or selective "intelligence" for his Neocon agenda.

              After reflecting on this, HELL YEAH ill defend the He's not as awful as everyone else stance because... well... he is just sooooo much not as awful to the point of being better.

              AND AGAIN
              Do we through out the whole of a mans life for one mistake?
              If so, then there are/were never great men, just men that did great thing(s). (or women, whew dodged that bullet)

              Thanks for the insight, its hard to see sometimes how the other side will perceive your comments.

               

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

              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 1:40pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Dont make me point out Bush I & II, and Barry Sorento's flaws.


                You're claiming that trying to compare Paul to these people is *not* trying to compare him to them?!?!??!

                See, this is *exactly* why it's reasonable that the video was done by Paul supporters - even when you make plain statements in plain language, you still can't understand what it is you said.

                 

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

                •  
                  icon
                  weneedhelp (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 2:11pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  You're claiming that trying to compare Paul to these people is *not* trying to compare him to them?!?!??!

                  See, this is *exactly* why it's reasonable that the video was done by Paul supporters - even when you make plain statements in plain language, you still can't understand what it is you said

                  If it was so plain, and YOU dont understand it, maybe its YOU. Just sayin.

                  "You're claiming that trying to compare Paul to these people is *not* trying to compare him to them?!?!??!" Please describe in detail what you read that brought you to that conclusion.

                  Hmmm. Still no answer to:
                  So the whole of his life is ended by one bad decision?

                   

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

            •  
              icon
              weneedhelp (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 12:52pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "You failed to address the point that Paul abandoned his principles" I know I know he is out there now kicking cats and babies.

              Failed to address?
              "You failed to address the point that Paul abandoned his principles - Read below
              "A small mistake most likely brought upon by an over-aggressive lawyer/campaign manager." My opinion, but addressed.

              A small mistake no where near constitutes accusing him of altogether abandoning his principles, and that's exactly what I got out of your post.

              "you pointed out how much worse other politicians are." - So we agree?

               

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

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:50am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            That is exactly what you projected.

             

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

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 1:36pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "He's not as awful as everyone else" is not a valid defense of Ron Paul. - Where on earth, or outter space, did you come to the conclusion that is what I said. Please explain the thought process there.
            When presented that he changed his position, your entire defense was to call out other polititicians. That's where it came from - you actually did it. If this is "outter space", then you've got nobody to blame but yourself.
            He has held the same beliefs since the 80's
            Like the racist rants that he signed his name to, but now disavows because they're politically embarassing?

            Sorry, but a racist who has no understanding of the 19th century economics is *not* better.

             

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

            •  
              icon
              Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 2:10pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Sorry, but a racist who has no understanding of the 19th century economics is *not* better.

              Sorry, but the state of the world's economic system shows that none of these clowns understand economics.

               

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

            •  
              icon
              weneedhelp (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 2:19pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "When presented that he changed his position." See there is no clear evidence that says he changed his position. He or someone on his staff made a bad decision, a mistake. Oops. At least no one died from it.

              "Like the racist rants that he signed his name to, but now disavows because they're politically embarrassing?"
              Ha ha. You never called someone, even in your own head, a nigger, cracker, spic, etc. RHETORICAL no need to answer because we all know it.

              "Like the racist rants that he signed his name to" Interesting. Signed his name to. Signed his name to.

              Aww yep he is racist to the point of having KKK meetings every Wednesday at 3PM. /s

              "Sorry, but a racist who has no understanding of the 19th century economics" Pfftt hahahahahahahah no understanding of economics. Yeah OK. You tell yourself that. Thats why when the bubble burst he was all over TV because he predicted it.

               

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

              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 3:03pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                wait now im confused. Your defense of his racist rants was a) everyone has racist moments and b) he signed his name to them not necessarily wrote them?

                I don't have racist rants in public, for public consumption and I don't sign my name to other peoples racist rants claiming them as my own until being racist is can only get you votes in a few states.

                 

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

            •  
              identicon
              Psychic Octopus, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 9:23pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Everyone and their cousin was seriously concerned that race riots would erupt everywhere in the USA during the 1990s. The Rodney King LA riots were traumatic. A lot of statements and actions that are racist (and a lot more that are racially appeasing, such as acquitting OJ) have to be seen in that context. Fortunately race riots didn't happen; but the fear was realistic enough for many, and I don't blame Paul or Paul's ghostwriters (whichever it was) for having partaken in it.

               

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:48am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Sure, it's not a valid defense of his character. It's only a valid defense of choosing him over some demonstrably greater evil, which is usually what politics boils down to for an average voter.

           

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

      •  
        icon
        Mr. LemurBoy (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:18am

        Re: Re:

        Being Canadian, I haven't been following Ron Paul closely, but yes, if this is just one mistake, it is forgivable.

        Of course, it doesn't hurt to point out the mistake as well so that it's noticed and hopefully not repeated.

         

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 1:48pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Would you rather make a few mistakes like this?
          Or be the regular member of Congress?
          Your call people

           

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

      •  
        icon
        Hulser (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 12:51pm

        Re: Re:

        So the whole of his life is ended by one bad decision?

        Yeah but that one bad lawsuit... OF WITH HIS HEAD!!!!

        Did Mike directly state or even imply anything close to these statements in his post? Not as far as I can tell. If you equate pointing out an instance of hypocrisy on the part of a politician with decapitation, then that's your problem, not Mike's.

         

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

        •  
          icon
          weneedhelp (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 1:18pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          FAIL. I asked that of this community because it appears that if you are RP, you get nailed for a small instance of hypocrisy, but in the grand scheme of things it is a non-issue.

          I never implied that mike implied this. Who are you; his mother?

          Trying to sound smart FAIL:
          If you equate pointing out an instance of hypocrisy on the part of a politician with decapitation, then that's your problem, not Mike's

          I also LOVE the way you didnt answer the question either:
          So the whole of his life is ended by one bad decision?

           

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

          •  
            icon
            Watchit (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 1:52pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I think y'all are arguing two different things at the same time, insisting that the other answer your own question without realizing how silly you're being.

             

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

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 3:06pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            No but he should be brought down a peg by you people who worship him so. Your golden man just went against something he has been a "vocal supporter" of "forever." Internet freedom is very important unless stripping someone of that freedom would be beneficial for Ron Paul. His life didn't end but hopefully some of his annoyingly vocal and loyal supporters will see him for what he really is, just another fucking politician.

             

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

          •  
            icon
            Hulser (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 5:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I never implied that mike implied this.

            You're not very good an understanding how people interpret what you write. Most people reading what I quoted would think that you were implying just that.

            I also LOVE the way you didnt answer the question either:
            So the whole of his life is ended by one bad decision?


            I didn't answer the question because the obvious answer is no. And that's the point. No one suggested otherwise. If you have a problem with how Mike or the Techdirt community has previously "nailed" Ron Paul, why don't you reference and address that instead of putting words into Mike's mouth?

             

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

            •  
              icon
              weneedhelp (profile), Mar 13th, 2012 @ 8:28am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "I didn't answer the question because the obvious answer is no." - But if you look at the comments, that's exactly what others here in the comments have done.
              "No one suggested otherwise."
              You sure?

              "If you have a problem with how Mike or the Techdirt community has previously "nailed" Ron Paul"
              I dont. I called out his campaign on this and am waiting for their response. I agreed that this was out of hand and wrong. But to "nail" the man for this is stupid. He made a mistake.

              "You're not very good an understanding how people interpret what you write." - I guess that's something ill have to work on now. NO ONE IS PERFECT.

               

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

          •  
            icon
            techflaws.org (profile), Mar 13th, 2012 @ 4:41am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            FAIL.

             

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

      •  
        icon
        Digital Consumer (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 1:01pm

        Re: Re:

        I am frightened by your lack of worry about someone you are voting for. They voted consistently for 10 years then flip flopped over one of the major issues of the day? That is not concerning? In the face of self interest, he had no problem setting fire to his self proclaimed ideals. In turn, once in a seat of unequaled power in the free world, what would he do in the form of self interest? I mean, what kind of bribes would people offer the leader of the free world? Honestly, I am more frightened by the thinking process of people like you than I am of any corrupt politician, because you are the person that puts these people in power.

         

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

        •  
          icon
          illuminaut (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 1:54pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          One of the major issues of the day? Setting fire to his ideals? Jesus, talk about hyperbole.

          This wasn't an "assault on free speech", unless you believe campaigns should be able to anonymously smear their opponents in an election. He wasn't going after some random individual on the internet because he didn't like the message. He was suing because he was reasonable sure that the Huntsman campaign was behind it. There are different standards and would the press have done their job with some basic investigative journalism this could have been quite a scandal.

          So yeah, you can complain about him using the wrong tools for the job, but to call this a flip flop on his ideals is stretching it.

           

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

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 3:08pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            " He was suing because he was reasonable sure that the Huntsman campaign was behind it."

            and what would have happened if he was wrong?

             

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

        •  
          identicon
          Wado, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 6:54pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Lighten up Francis... He didn't set anything on fire.

           

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

      •  
        identicon
        Evan Johns, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 5:10pm

        Re: Re:

        Let us also forgive his newsletters that contained racist statements, quite a number of them at that. Let us forgive his stance that he would not support the Civil Rights Act. Heck, let's not forget that he raised (eek) Rand Paul. One mistake? No. A career of a mostly good voting record and millions made off of newsletters that repeatedly had racist comments.

        Oh yes, let's not forget his statement about young black men being able to run fast. I can't find the quote now, but it does pertain to crime in the D.C. area. Paul supporters have blocked out all of this like an abusive childhood and he is now their great hope. Then again, looking at the rest of the Republican candidates, I can see why.

         

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

        •  
          identicon
          Psychic Octopus, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 9:31pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Again, read those statements in the context of the then-realistic fear of race riots. He and his associates are far from the only who really thought a racially based civil war could happen in the USA; even many liberals thought so at the time. It was a lapse of judgment, certainly, but in context I cannot blame him (or anyone) with a straight face. I probably would've been fearing the same.
          As for the CRA, it's really no longer necessary (though he is sure naive to think it never was or that inclusion could have been achieved more easily). There is a black president now, what else does anyone need to realize?
          How can anyone be a racist who wants to scrap the most racist policy ever enacted in the post-1865 USA: the War on Drugs? That one really is beyond me...

           

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 10:49am

    Glad to read this

    In a footnote, the court adds that "using another company’s commercial website to post a comment or video is just far 'too attenuated' to result in an individual’s own conduct automatically meeting the Lanham Act’s commercial use requirement.

    Good to see third-party-liability-stretching being contained like this. i.e. Someone posts a youtube video about how bad [insert designer manufacturer] handbags suck, I could totally see [same] trying to sue YouTube over it, and attempting to go the Trademark route.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 10:50am

    48 hours

    I just saw a movie called “Game Change” depicting the Palin/ McCain Presidential run. Anyhow, the thing that stuck with me is the this quote: “The news cycle is only 48 hours long. News is no longer memorable. News is now 100% entertainment.”.

    Which means this: Nobody even remembers the news story when Huntsman was criticized by a supposed Paul supporter(s). Nor do they remember what Ron Paul said concerning the lawsuit for it. In other words, Politicians are aware is only going to be a “story” for a few days before everyone forgets about it. So Paul saying he was taking legal action sounding good time, but now that it is forgotten I wouldn’t count on Paul filing a lawsuit any time soon..

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 10:52am

    it seems that on-line anonymity is perfectly ok as long as it doesn't interfere with what Ron Paul wants or deems ok. perhaps him being pro internet anonymity is not absolutely certain!

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:03am

    I just, 20 min ago in another post, typed my support for Ron Pauls message, and now im having doubts, that hes just another politician with hes fingers on the publics pulse, saying what he belives will get him the most support.........i hope im wrong, as the whole world needs what Ron Paul SEEMS to represent.........if hes playing us, all i can say is that he'll DEFINATLY need that tightening up of national security, then again, maybe he wants to beef up national security, BECAUSE, he'll know he'll need it........thats if hes playing us

     

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

    •  
      icon
      cgt (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:11am

      Re:

      Ron Paul is definitely not like other politicians. Ron Pauls message is the same as it has always been. The things he's saying now, he also said in 2008 and 1988. Ron Paul is not a politician, he's a doctor who was elected to Congress. Mr. Libertarian himself, Murray Rothbard (RIP), was a close friend of Ron Paul and he endorsed his campaign in 1988. Ron Paul is nothing like other politicians. Ron Paul has never sold out to the establishment and it is very unlikely that he will do so in the future.

       

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

      •  
        icon
        cgt (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:13am

        Re: Re:

        By the way, I just wanted to say that I do not like this case (I don't even like trademark law), but Ron Paul is not just another establishment puppet.

         

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:19am

        Re: Re:

        Yep, in my research of him, thats one of the things that made him appealing, that he's kept the same belives for all these years, makes me think that he actually believes in what he says and might lead to an actuall president following through with those belives

        If hes genuine, after this story, i can only hope that he trully listens to the wants of the people, as he's either a typical politician, or is unaware of the publics views on the sort of actions he's recently displayed......and being unaware of it, doesn't fill me with hope either

         

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 1:15pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Damn those people who can admit they are wrong and change their mind when they receive new information! Burn them all!

          That behavior is exactly the mindset that causes someone to believe in "intelligent design".

           

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

          •  
            icon
            Watchit (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 2:04pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You'll have to be more specific with terms like "Intelligent Design" it has a really broad meaning.

             

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

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 4:32pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              And you'll have to list what all you think it could mean, because as far as I know that term applies to one thing only: that being the term used to try and teach creationism in the classroom, by, and this is the part that personally offends me the most, pretending it's scientific.

               

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

              •  
                icon
                Watchit (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 8:21pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                There are those who believe in intelligent design and evolution, and believe in "intelligent design" without considering it a "science". I don't like to be lumped together with the Young Earth Creationists who try to prove things with faulty pseudo science or try to disprove evolution.

                 

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

                •  
                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 1:26am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Oh I have no problem with those that believe both in a god and evolution, I only have a problem with those that try and push religion as science.

                  If I did offend by making you think I was calling you a YEC supporter or what have you, sorry, that wasn't my intention.

                   

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

                  •  
                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 6:51am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Intelligent design at its outset, iirc, was the idea that yes evolution happened as science says but there is a higher power at work that has guided it through the ages. It is kind of the mix between accepting scientific evidence and believing that god exists and has, through grand design and planning, created human kind in his image. As opposed to the creationist view in which science is made up garbage and god said "poof there is a human," and there was a human we didn't come from no damn apes.

                     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Wado, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 12:22pm

      Re:

      You mean like Obama did? Just look at his record, he's not towing anyone's line for sure.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 5:17am

      Re:

      Well, If you have doubts, check his record.
      It's practically spotless.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    improbable?, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:08am

    It is 'improbable'? No one is saying it has to be Huntsman's campaign but it clearly was someone specifically trying to make Ron Paul and his supporters look bad. It was a brand new youtube account with a brand new name which was 'Ron Paul related', used his trademark in a nasty smear of Huntsman's family, then instead of spreading this work of art as anyone PROUD of it would have done, the log shows the very first tweet of it was to the Huntsmans and the very first web pick up was by the Huntsman campaign. Someone wanting to paint Paul badly might have sent it to the Huntsmans to make sure it was 'caught' by those most likely to be angry about it, but there is no rational explanation why an ACTUAL Ron Paul supporter would act that way.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Jonathon, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 2:25pm

      Re:

      Do a search for "Jon Huntsman" on the stormfront website. All of the talking points in the video ("Manchurian candidate, his daughters ethnicity) can be found on those boards.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Skysurfer, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:12am

    I'm not seeing the big deal here, they put a case together, submitted it to the courts, and the courts denied them. That decision was respected by the Ron Paul camp, and that was the end of it. Isn't that how the legal system is supposed to work? If this same case was being brought by the current administration, they'd be whipping out the Patriot Act to find the online "terrorists".

     

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

    •  
      icon
      crade (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:19am

      Re:

      Well, the deal is that he was *trying* to abuse loopholes in the law to get around free speech protections.. Sure he failed, but he shouldn't even be trying if he is honest about where he stands on free speech.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        kj, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:57am

        Re: Re:

        SLANDER and LIBEL of his reputation are not protected speech.

         

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

        •  
          icon
          Chris Rhodes (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 12:18pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Oddly enough, I don't really agree with either side of this debate. Anonymity is not a right, nor do you have a right to your reputation.

          The only violation of libertarian property rights here is trying to use the courts to force a private entity to turn over information that they otherwise wouldn't. As un-libertarian as that might be, free speech doesn't really factor in.

          (If he had called up Google and asked them to turn over the logs, and they had complied willingly, it wouldn't have been inconsistent with libertarian principles at all.)

           

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

        •  
          identicon
          mischab1, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 12:19pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          That does not make it ok for him to abuse trademark law in response. Two wrongs does not make a right.

           

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

        •  
          icon
          Watchit (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 2:07pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          maybe in the UK "slander and libel" are not protected speech in the UK, but in the US protest is covered by free speech.

           

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

        •  
          icon
          Glaze (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 2:15pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          actually the last I heard... if you willingly put yourself out there as a public figure, the lines of slander and libel become extremely wide, thus making it extremely difficult to prove slander or libel. In this case, he would have to prove himself not guilty of whatever is that is being said. I must admit I don't really follow politics and haven't seen the video, but I do have a degree in broadcast journalism, and took a class that covered all the degrees of acceptable slander and libel which can occur to a public figure before a lawsuit can be filed against such free speech.

          And after re-reading your comment, the only thing he could stand on is a defamation of character suit, which would not be covered under slander or libel aspects of protected free speech. And even the defamation of character suit is iffy, becuase he's running for president... how many other candidates do you see filing defamation of character suits when their opposition runs a nasty ad campaign against them? not too many.

           

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

      •  
        icon
        Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 2:16pm

        Re: Re:

        Well, he could have just done what the rest of the government does and bypass all law and order to expose the videographer then grant full immunity to whatever corporation gave up the info. That, my friend, is the patriotic American way!

         

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:28am

      Re:

      Ron Paul knows the legal system very well. All politicians do. Implying that they were a bit taken back or surprised that the case was thrown out I think is unrealistic.

      They were aware the case was doomed. It's not like career politicians are unfamiliar with law. The Paul campaign organizers saying they were taking action sounded good at time, but it was a very empty threat. All smoke and mirrors.

      Politics as usual. Now that the story is forgotten nobody even cares what happens. John Huntsman? Who is that? LOL!

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:20am

    Three identical videos, all claiming to come from supporters of Huntsman's opponents? That sounds very very fishy. I do not believe that the videos came from Romney, Santorum or Paul's supporters. I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but I believe it was done by someone with malice towards all 4 of these candidates. These videos must have come from someone who supports another candidate, probably not in an official capacity. But then again, what do they have to hide? If you aren't doing something with malicious intent and you legitimately support a candidate, why would you want to remain annonymous? I do so here because I am lazy not because I am trying to hide.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:51am

      Re:

      Maybe the lesson is, how people don't know this already, don't believe everything you read/see on the internet especially from anonymous sources.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 7:52am

      Wanting to hide

      The great thing about this country is that wanting to hide is not proof of a crime or malicious intent. It is only proof of wanting to hide. I'm assuming you are a Ron Paul supporter. As such, I would assume that you already know that and wouldn't use having something to hide as an argument

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:21am

    Principles?

    This is an election campaign. During such events, it's not uncommon for candidates to have items of various sorts placed in their mouths (and other bodily orifices) by unseen hands. It would appear that Ron Paul's "principles" may be one such item.

    [Waves hand.] These aren't the principles you're looking for.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    susie, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:24am

    unlibertarian of doing so?

    "how-very-unlibertarian-of-you ". Libertarian also means you have a right to defend yourself when other people interfere/invade it.Right? If someone steals your money over online banking, you would just let it go?

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Chris Rhodes (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:59am

      Re: unlibertarian of doing so?

      As a Ron Paul supporter myself, I ask you:

      How was Ron Paul "invaded" by the video in question? Which property right did they infringe upon?

      This is a misstep for his campaign, for sure (even though I don't find it to be a huge one).

       

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

    •  
      icon
      Watchit (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 2:11pm

      Re: unlibertarian of doing so?

      stealing money over online banking is completely different than protesting the actions of an elected politician. One is strictly illegal in all forms and the latter is a matter of free speech.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:26am

    Proves that like all the others... Talk talk talk... but little do do do unless it helps Him or people that cut him big checks (and actually i had hoped he was different than the other parasites in Washington...oh well)

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      mule1ear, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 3:15pm

      Re: Big Checks

      I disagree with the lawsuit, and think RP allowed the wrong thing to be done there. I won't know what he was thinking until he explains for himself. But I don't expect people to be perfect. And in the end, this isn't about the man, this is about the message - Peace, freedom and the resulting prosperity.

      As far as the 'big checks' go, I actually laughed out loud. There are no big checks with Ron Paul's name on them. Check out the FEC site, and see for yourself.

      I think about this sometimes - We've been 'at war' since 2001, and probably about 70% of my life. And we have now, in the person of Ron Paul, the opportunity to stop the war(s) and stay out of the next one (Iran?, Syria? somewhere else?). And this is not important enough to enough people to happen. And I don't know if it (the opportunity) will ever come around again.

      I think on that, and I am dismayed.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    JT of Caroline, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:29am

    ...

    LOL...the defendents are guilty of fraud in their contracts. Say what you will of statute law. The applicable standard here is common law. Of course Paul knows common law is pretty much a joke these days, doesn't agree with the situation, and takes whatever course of action that will protect him from the fraudulent acts of others. In this case, the only tool to turn to was our nations' tyrannical trademark and copyright laws.

    It's pretty laughable to read Mr. Masnick's account above and how shamelessly he supports fraud perpertrated under our current system of jurisprudence and statute law with its standard of 'precedent'.

    We'll see you on the battlefield Mike...don't worry, I'll aim for your head to make it nice and quick for yah!

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Nastybutler77 (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:54am

      Re: ...

      Nice. Way to make those of us who support Ron Paul for POTUS seem crazy by makeing vague death threats implying an upcoming civil war. Thanks a lot, nutjob.

       

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

    •  
      icon
      Nastybutler77 (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:56am

      Re: ...

      Oh, and just because you support someone, doesn't mean they are infallible. He's not the Pope, or Jesus Christ.

       

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

      •  
        icon
        Phillip (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 12:02pm

        Re: Re: ...

        Agreed, although in actually the pope is only infallible when speaking Ex Cathedra (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_infallibility#Ex_cathedra)

         

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

    •  
      icon
      The Infamous Joe (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 12:00pm

      Re: ...

      People like you make Ron Paul look bad. The best support you can ever give him is to publicly support his opposition in the same way you just supported him: by looking like a crazy nutjob.

      Do this country a favor and stop supporting Ron Paul, so he might actually win.

      Have a great day.

       

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

    •  
      icon
      Kevin H (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 12:21pm

      Re: ...

      You give the rest of us that though perhaps someone might listen to Ron Paul this time around a bad name. Your veiled threat is as transparent as as your patriotism. Thank you for being part of the problem rather than working towards a solution.

       

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

    •  
      icon
      Pickle Monger (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 1:26pm

      Re: ...

      Dear Mike Masnick, if there's ever a civil war, part II in US, you have a standing invitation to stay over at my place.

       

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

    •  
      icon
      Pickle Monger (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 1:38pm

      Re: ...

      Here's a thought: JT of Caroline, would you perhaps like to advise Ron Paul campaign of your personal info just so that he doesn't worry about finding another ridiculous way to twist the law in order to unmask your identity?

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 1:51pm

      Re: ...

      Thanks for making us all look bad, asshole.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Louis Nardozi, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:37am

    Please

    This 'ruling', just like this judge is laughable. Not that Paul provides the legal basis for any lawsuits that might be filed - his legal department does that. The fact that it was twisted, just an anything Paul-related reported by the media is twisted, is just more of the same. The Man is doing his best to prevent your from realizing his foot is on your neck. But that's OK - we at least have the satisfaction of knowing if you win your reward will be your continued enslavement. Laugh that off, Jimmy.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:44am

      Re: Please

      ....what?

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:50am

      Re: Please

      I'll have some of whatever it is that Louis Nardozi is having please?

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:52am

      Re: Please

      Put it this way, if Ron Paul trully feels that its ok to unveil an anonymous user for a superficial reason as opposed to a more serious reason, then in my opinion, there is no one worth voting for, as the other candidates all give me a vibe, that they'll gladly bend over backwards to please the "powers that be"

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        KH, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:55am

        Re: Re: Please

        The person posting this WAS slandering him by pretending his supporters were 'like that', in other words, nasty bigots. I think if someone falsely trashes your reputation, you have a right to unveil them. As one of the supporters also slandered, I root for his 'unveiling' but would rather it were restricted to slander.

         

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 12:20pm

          Re: Re: Re: Please

          Although i have the same suspicion as you, i dont like the precedent it sets, if its ok to use the courts in this way, then when else will it be ok to

          The only saving face that i can give Ron Paul here, is if he'll be the kind of president that will make his decisions based on what the people want, everyone makes mistakes.........its your actions afterwards that will show the man....we'll never know what kind of president he'll be, until he's actually president

           

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

        •  
          icon
          Gwiz (profile), Mar 13th, 2012 @ 8:47am

          Re: Re: Re: Please

          I think if someone falsely trashes your reputation, you have a right to unveil them.

          And I am thankful you are not a Supreme Court Justice.

          The US Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized rights to speak anonymously derived from the First Amendment.

          The Illinois Supreme Court Rule 224 requires that the verified petition for discovery must set forth "the reason the proposed discovery is necessary." Basically it means that there needs to proof sufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss, even though the anonymous defendant isn't required file a motion to dismiss.

          So, just because "you think" someone falsely trashed your reputation, you need to prove illegality before unmasking them, which is as it should be.

           

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

      •  
        identicon
        kj, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 1:05pm

        Re: Re: Please

        SUPERFICIAL REASON? This was during the NH primary and Ron Paul was going up and Huntsman was going down in polls. When this came out and Huntsman and his family were all over media saying it was a Ron Paul supporter (which the facts clearly show it was not) Paul's climb stopped and HUNTSMAN started going up to the point where many thought Huntsman would pass Paul in the primary, and Paul no longer had the chance of passing Romney.

        That isn't unimportant.

         

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 1:17pm

          Re: Re: Re: Please

          "SUPERFICIAL REASONS"

          Superficial as in the act of unmasking an unknown, for the sake of a low priority action(i.e Creating a video for the purpose of slandering), i sure as hell dont condone it, but if this is the line that needs to be crossed before the courts can be used, how many other things will be allowed to be brought to the to courts

          Saying that

          If what you say is true, (ive not reasearched yet), then my blood boils just as much as yours my friend

           

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

      •  
        identicon
        shawnboy, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 4:32pm

        Re: Re: Please

        If I post a video claiming that you are a child molester, and you don't get a certain job because of that, has that slander (assuming you are in fact NOT a child molester) caused you any harm financially? I believe it is unlawful, at least from a Civil law persepctive, to financially harm another's well being with intentionally false accusations....

         

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

        •  
          identicon
          Psychic Octopus, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 9:39pm

          Re: Re: Re: Please

          A better analogy would be you posting a video on someone else's name, that says you are the child molester - for the purpose of getting you sympathies from the public.

          Yes, it's as convoluted as that.

           

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

  •  
    identicon
    Just a Man, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:51am

    mass confusion

    The principle Ron is standing for is still part of his core beliefs.. it has to do with slander .. and more importantly deceptive manipulation. He thinks that if your going to pull the strings you should put your name on it .. not his .. seems like the same line of thinking that his principles stand for. reread the article .. the add was FOR Ron Paul. yet in the defense of the defendant of the lawsuit they claim "use of litigation to oppress his critics" ..they try to steal the noble claim in subtle use of verbatim .. HA HA .. fools. the one true striking note of the article was the note that news is 100% entertainment and not about informing the public and that's just sad. the undertone being *the media lies all the time your supposed to bend over and take it*

     

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

    •  
      icon
      ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 12:13pm

      Re: mass confusion

      He thinks that if your going to pull the strings you should put your name on it

      So, he was against the Founding Fathers publishing under pseudonyms? Because that seems pretty reactionary coming from him.

       

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

      •  
        icon
        Jeff Rowberg (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 12:49pm

        Re: Re: mass confusion

        The criteria "if you're going to pull the strings you should put your name on it" needs a clear definition for "pull the strings" before I'd be willing to agree--that's a fair point. But there is a real difference between publishing under a pseudonym and publishing under someone else's name while pretending to be them.

        If I say something--anything at all, positive, neutral, or negative--under a false name or no name, that's anonymity. But if I say the same thing while intentionally representing myself as a different, real entity whom I am clearly not, that's fraud.

         

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

  •  
    identicon
    Wado, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 12:10pm

    To all you who can't fathom a conspiracy ....

    ... IF it was revealed that the Romney Super PAC, or the campaign of another candidate were behind this would it not be worth knowing? A valid investigation? Paul is not looking to witch hunt some 17 year old out of his Moms basement, he is simply (as always) trying to shed light on what totall a55holes these other candidates are. I am not willing to sacrifice my liberty for false security, but I will sacrifice a little privacy for the truth!!! Pull your heads out and quick bashing the only man with integrity in the race.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Chris Rhodes (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 12:12pm

    Some Perspective

    Yes, this a disappointing mistake for the Paul campaign, but what I really don't understand are some of the responses to it here.

    "Sure, he's been consistent in his positions to end the ruinous war on drugs, stop murdering people overseas, and keep the government from detaining you indefinitely, but . . . he filed a questionable lawsuit to unmask someone who was putting out vile and defamatory content in his name. I guess that means he's now an establishment candidate and devoid of any principles."

    To that I have to ask: Wat?

    The Paul campaign screwed up. It happens. We should definitely speak out and make sure they know that they screwed up, and at no time should we turn a blind eye to these things merely because we like the rest of what they do. But let's keep some perspective, here. If you expect any person to refrain from making any mistakes, ever, in order for them to win your approval, then you're going to spend most of your life without friends of any kind.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    David Rairigh, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 12:15pm

    let's see

    The video was released. it was tweeted and retweeted. The MSM picked up on it and instantly attributed it to Paul's campaign, thereby giving the impression that Paul had approved of the video. Sounds like either one-off libel or slander to me, depending on the direction you come from. Seems to me the Paul has the right to attempt to protect his good name. Why his lawyers chose to make it a commercial issue is beyond my knowledge. The sad part is that evidence points right back to Huntsman's campaign.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Vicky, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 12:18pm

    Ron Paul's lawsuit

    I think the only point of the lawsuit was to prove the video was not made by him or his staff...he seems pretty confident tht the trail does not lead back to him...and now that seems to be the general consensus...he's won...he can move on now...

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    angpetru, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 12:24pm

    Really...?

    Ron Paul understands that this suit had no chance of being pursued, but considering that the media likes to paint him as a racist-by-association (i.e. newsletters and minuscule campaign contributions) he probably felt it necessary to quash any notions that he endorsed these videos. BUT the most telling part of this article is the quote below:

    "'What continues to amaze me, though, is how Paul is getting a free pass for this assault on free speech. Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum haven't filed lawsuits over identical videos that use their names in attacking Huntsman; why is Ron Paul the only candidate who filed such a suit?' "

    The point is correct; identical videos were put out like the one in question that replace Ron Paul with 'Rick Santorum' and 'Mitt Romney'. News articles were not written about Mitt Romney's or Rick Santorum's campaigns making these videos, but wouldn't you know that the media DID write articles expressing the belief that the version of this video with Ron Paul's name on it was released by his 'supporters'. Does it strike no one as odd that this video was attributed to Ron Paul's supporters at face value but not to Romney's or Santorums's supporters? Want to ask again why Paul's campaign felt it necessary to publicize that they were trying to find out who made it even if the case had no chance?

     

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

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

    Quick defend Ron Paul, and attack Huntsman. Ignore, of course, the fact the "Only Honest Man in American Politics" Has got morals just as flexible as the rest of the bastards. I don't care where the video came from, or even care enough to look at the thing, all that I care about is that Ron Paul is not quite the honest man everyone seems to think he is..


    (Now to sit back and watch the Paulites go up in flames)

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Chris Rhodes (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 12:31pm

      Re:

      If you say so.

      One small misstep isn't enough to get me to change my opinion of him. My worldview remains firmly intact. Now, if he were to come out in support of invading Iran like the rest of the warmongering chicken-hawks the GOP has put up so far, I'd be gone in a split second.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 12:32pm

      Re:

      Yes, because the status quo should never be chalenged........ever.......

      i support the messeage, not the man

       

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

    •  
      icon
      weneedhelp (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 2:39pm

      Re:

      "I don't care where the video came from, or even care enough to look at the thing" Then STFU Simple.

      "all that I care about is that Ron Paul is not quite the honest man everyone seems to think he is.." Cuz for no good reason, you hate him. Thanks for clearing that up for us.

      Right, wrong, no matter. Just as long as your sour view of him was met.

      RP is... GASP... is human and makes mistakes. Ohhhh Nooooosss we cant vote for him.

      Lets put another Bush/Obama in there. They were such beacons of integrity. /s

      Troll:
      (Now to sit back and watch the Paulites go up in flames)
      So you said it because you believe it or just another troll trying to incite the RP crowd? I believe the latter.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 9:55pm

        Re: Re:

        No I am not saying I hate him, or at least not in particular. What I am saying is that his morals are as flexible as everyone elses.

        The movement is sort of dead in the water when the Figurehead is just as bad as the rest of them..

        As I said in the first comment, I don't care what's in it. Does not matter. I am not interested in Huntsman, and I sure as hell as am not interested in Stormfront. Or anything else. This isn't about the video.. It might be libellous crap, it may be 100% accurate, I don't know, don't care..

        This is about the hero of the libertarians, and how his principles only last until the become inconvenient to him.

        The as I said the "Only honest man in American Politics" He only sticks to his principles while they are convenient. He is just the same as the rest of bastards.

        What annoys me, isn't Ron Paul, I don't care about him (oh I'm not an american btw...) What annoys me is the blind belief that he is engenders is his followers..

        I don't care about him, you (and people like you who will not hear a bad thing said about there hero) are what annoys me..

        I don't like fanatics of any sort. I put them all in the same grouping. Be it "Born again Zealots", some idiot terrorist, an out of control rogue soldier, or a Paulite..

        I'm not saying people are perfect, I know damn well they are not. But the Ron Paul fans need to realise that only honest man in US politics, isn't.. And that is the end of that..

         

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

        •  
          identicon
          Greg Worrel, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 7:16am

          Re: Re: Re:

          To say that Ron Paul is not an honest man because he has his lawyers try to hold someone else accountable for their fraudulent malicious dishonesty is ridiculous on its face. There is nothing un-principled or un-libertarian to use the courts to address a grievance.

          The central principle of libertarians is non-aggression. One is free to do anything as long as no one else is harmed. Ron Paul was harmed and has every right to defend himself. He is not a pacifist. Freedom is not without responsibility and consequences. Find some other reason to malign Ron Paul. This one doesn't fly.

           

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

          •  
            icon
            The Infamous Joe (profile), Mar 13th, 2012 @ 7:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            So, you believe that RP has a valid trademark claim? That's the harm he is suing about. Trademark.

            The problem is, the trademark claim is obviously invalid and is just something he is using, via his lawyers, to find out who made these videos. No one should be allowed to misuse the legal system, which is what it appears RP is doing..

            A valid response to lies is the truth, not a bogus lawsuit.

             

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

            •  
              identicon
              Greg Worrel, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 8:42am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I made no comment on the legal strategy his lawyers employed. The precise legal arguments used are irrelevant to my point. Ron Paul is not a lawyer and neither am I. I am sure he relied on his lawyers to make the case in the manner they best saw fit.

              That he was harmed is incontrovertible. His supporters were also harmed by this smear attempt that an independent analysis determined was likely initiated by someone close to the Huntsman campaign. Ron Paul was absolutely right to seek to expose this kind of despicable tactic.

              How can one mis-use the legal system? A poor or invalid claim merely loses. Maybe Ron Paul's lawyers could have chosen a better argument but that does not invalidate the attempt to uncover the truth.

               

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

              •  
                icon
                The Infamous Joe (profile), Mar 13th, 2012 @ 10:06am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                The precise legal arguments may not be relevant to your point, but it is relevant to mine. If he feels he was slandered, he would have brought a slander suit. He didn't, he brought a trademark suit.

                I really don't believe he was harmed by this video, that I hadn't heard of until he sued about it, nearby as much as his attempt to use trademark law to attempt to remove someone's right to anonymous free speech.

                He's still got my vote, but I'm not going to pretend he is perfect. I'll call out his mistakes, just like anyone else.

                 

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

                •  
                  identicon
                  Greg Worrel, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 12:57pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  There were articles showing up in google news at the time even attributing the video to the Ron Paul campaign. At least one of them was taken down after a few people like myself complained to the editor. Other stories attributed the video to just another typical example of the crazy Ron Paul supporters. So I believe that he was harmed.

                  I don't believe anyone has a right to fraudulent misrepresentation.

                   

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

                  •  
                    icon
                    The Infamous Joe (profile), Mar 13th, 2012 @ 2:12pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    This is exactly my point! I would have no problem with RP contacting the media and saying that he had nothing to do with the video. If there were such a law as "fraudulent misrepresentation", I would have no issues with RP suing for it. If there were libel or slander, I would have no beef if he sued that.. THE *entire* point is that he, and via his lawyers, attempted to reveal the identity of someone who simply said something he didn't like, by using TRADEMARK law.

                    How do I know it's simply speech he doesn't like? Because if it were actually illegal, you bet your ass he would have sued under slander laws. He didn't. His lawyers used trademark law because they knew that the speech was legal. This is the entire point.

                    ... and one other thing. If you don't think RP has more than his fair share of "crazy" supporters, you're willfully ignorant. I'm a RP supporter, and even I can admit that. Someone in this post said he would shoot Mike in the head! For stating facts! Ron Paul supporters do the most harm to Ron Paul.

                     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Wado, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 6:47pm

      Re:

      (Now to sit back and watch the Paulites go up in flames)

      Maybe you're just trolling for attention because youre not respected enough at work... But where do you compare Luap with Obama, Newt, Mittens, or Santorum? In what category? Obama has a list of lies from his campaign in '08 that is just painful to recollect. Newts a corrupt "born again" politician, who's repented since he was ousted from the speakership (so he says), Mittens has his magic underwear violated every time Wall Street comes looking for him. Santorum is the REALLY scary one because he believes what he's saying about Muslims, defending Isreal because the bible says so, and bring Gov' and the Church closer together ...

      So really, you put Paul in the same boat with these guys?! Please give some proof of his disgusting, hypocritical, bigoted, corrupt lies and evil deeds?

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Psychic Octopus, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 9:43pm

      Re:

      So, all you care about is that you can't be bothered to do the research yourself. Good to know.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Psychic Octopus, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 12:28pm

    Misrepresentation

    I have no idea if (or how much) this could be charged in the case of a political campaign rather than a more common life instance. But the people who produced the video had a clear intention to misrepresent the Paul campaign. Now, how different is that from "Santorum wants to stone the gays and have the women barefoot and pregnant"? How different from "we jews eat christian fetuses" produced and posted by a nazi? Hmm... On the one hand, misrepresenting opponents views is not just lying but goes against the essence of what campaigns should be about. On the other, the media does all the time, and has done it to Paul too, so singling out amateurs rather than the lamestream ? They probably did it more to prevent copycats in other states than to win the lawsuit, but it's hypocritical when just at the same time the lamestream media was all over the (non) story of the "racist newsletters". In the end the facts spoke for themselves: the circumstances of the video were consistent with an intentional misrepresentation, not a real supporter and right away it lost credibility. Besides, opponents of Paul are opposed because they like deficits, bankers corruption and wars at home and abroad, not because of any Paul campaign or supporter video.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    A Guy, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 12:39pm

    contradicted yourself

    Mike Masnick,

    Your assertion that the videos being released by the Huntsman campaign as a smear would be "improbable or downright stupid" are clearly contradicted later in your article.

    When you mention that Romney, Santorum, and Paul all had IDENTICAL Huntsman attack ads released in their names, you make it seem a lot less improbable or downright stupid to claim that Huntsman was behind the videos.

    That every trackback and every origin of those videos was from the Huntsman staff, or the Huntsman official website, makes me think it is actually ALL TOO PROBABLE.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      illuminaut (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 1:24pm

      Re: contradicted yourself

      The last time this was mentioned here I hadn't actually heard about the incident so I caught up on the story and read what was out there. To call the evidence improbable or downright stupid and painting Ron Paul supporters as conspiracy theorists is lazy, opinionated drivel. There's plenty of evidence out there pointing to the Huntsman campaign. It's not certain, but even Ron Paul was sure enough that he decided to launch a lawsuit to reveal who's behind it.

      Was he using a loophole? Yeah. Abusing the trademark law? Probably. Would the result have justified the means? I think it might have. I certainly would have liked to know if the Huntsman campaign actively smeared a candidate using a false flag attack. But the one thing I'm sure about is that Mike never bothered looking into the case, or he's so biased that he doesn't care about the facts. I'm not even a Ron Paul supporter and that much is obvious to me.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Psychic Octopus, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 9:46pm

        Re: Re: contradicted yourself

        I am not sure the means are justified; on the other hand, I can't really find any other way that they can prove they didn't post it than to out whoever DID post it.

         

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

  •  
    identicon
    A Guy, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 12:43pm

    I will conceded however...

    When he filed this lawsuit and attacked SOPA in the same breath a month ago I am a huge Ron Paul supporter and yes I noticed the Irony.

    This to me is like the "flying planes on taxpayer dime" argument though. We aren't Ron Paul supporters because we demagogue little things like that, we want to see enormous change. Little things like this lawsuit pale in comparison to getting our troops out of Afghanistan before they feel compelled to go door to door murdering women and children again.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Rachel, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 12:43pm

    Hypocrites

    What a bunch of hypocrites. Liberals sit around on their duffs while President Obama guts the Bills of Rights, assassinating Americans, torturing American soldiers, outlawing political protests, and god knows what else, but they scream their heads off when someone wants to clear their good name from being smeared by a political hack? Well, just don't expect much sympathy when the tables get turned, because they usually do every four or eight years, and you'll soon be the ones getting hacked, tortured or bombed. Paul is your ONLY friend, and like Zuckerberg, you can't wait to stab him in the back.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 1:05pm

      Re: Hypocrites

      Alot of people here feel strongly that a MAJOR change is needed, Ron Pauls message is what i support, and i hope Ron Paul is the man to finally bring about the change, i commend the man for what he has already done and he's consitancy is definatly commendable, but thats what i thought of obama, i supported him, thought him to be a man of conviction, even during the elections i can remember having doubts, but pushed them aside, because i thought, this is the guy..........this is the guy whos gonna do it.........!!You cant blame us for being on edge........i support the man with the message, i will continue to support the man with the message, until he gives me reason otherwise.......this story, gives me the same feeling of doubts i had with obama, and look what hes done

      Ill continue to support the message, and hope hes the man to deliver it

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 1:17pm

        Re: Re: Hypocrites

        You do realize that the cult-like hero-worship is why people don't care about Paul, don't you?

         

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 2:01pm

          Re: Re: Re: Hypocrites

          Im not sure if thats intentional propaganda or blisfull ignorance

          I "worship" the message not the man, if the worship rubs of on the man then so be it, if in time it is proven that he deserves it......so be it, anyone who can bring about real change deserves some awe, as they are few and far between, ill tell you this for nothing........there is NOTHING about the other candidates that makes me think they'll try and change the bigger problems that need addressing, as long as Ron Paul is not playing us, i think him to be that man.......if he does'nt stand behind his supposed convictions then he'll lose all that support, just like obama

           

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

    •  
      icon
      weneedhelp (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 2:48pm

      Re: Hypocrites - Must be a Republican

      President Obama guts the Bills of Rights. Wait...what....Obama...no Bush Jr... Or Bush Sr....
      Rachel... dear... All of the things you cite began wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy before Barry. I am no Barry Sorento fan, but all of that cant be dropped on him. C'mon now.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 5:54pm

        Re: Re: Hypocrites - Must be a Republican

        no president made me feel that they were the real deal, the feeling that change is in the air and not the usuall drivel, obama trully made me feel that way with his speeches, but then turned out to be just another politician

        Yes, not all the blame can be put at he's door, but no other president has dissapointed me more

         

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

  •  
    identicon
    John Burnes, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 1:19pm

    You idiot

    The video was made by Huntsman's daughters you stupid fuck! They actually admitted it you stupid asshole and they admitted it twice.

    Plus the user released the same video with different names and one was for Romney, but of course idiots in the media like you focused on the Paul video because it was first.

    So then Ron Paul was forced to sue the idiot Huntsman daughters, which of course at the time didn't know they did it because the video was hurting his campaign and fund raising efforts.

    But you stupid idiot is too idiotic to know about this, you stupid piece of shit excuse for a journalist.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Chris Rhodes (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 1:28pm

      Re: You idiot

      Given the tone of your comment, can I assume that you are a member of the Huntsman campaign, here to impugn the character of Ron Paul supporters through your profanity-laced diatribe?

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 2:26pm

        Re: Re: You idiot

        Wow, seriously, calm the fuck down, i for one would rather vote for none of them except Ron, but your a little narrow minded. I think alot of us here can see what Ron Paul can bring about, as his views on the constitution touches on alot of things we here have major issues on i.e. internet privacy, tracking, and with this story, some of us will start to question his stance on the internet

        Dont get me wrong, what he stands for right now, is more then enough for my support, but im starting to realise, there are a whole lot of issues out there we dont know he's stance on..........will he be consistant throughtout the board?

        Please dont get angry my friend, the moment we stop questioning is thhe moment we get complacent

         

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

      •  
        identicon
        Psychic Octopus, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 9:48pm

        Re: Re: You idiot

        The thing is that he is not signing with the implication of being endorsed by the Paul campaign. Capisce?

         

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

  •  
    identicon
    Disappointed Anon, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 1:26pm

    I don't think he really wanted to find out who was behind it or unmask anyone, he just wanted to show it wasn't his campaign doing it. C'mon, he's one of the biggest proponents of internet freedom in the country, how could you let some stupid media spin bullshit convince you otherwise when he has literally years of public record policy to back up that he's pro-civil liberties and free speech?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Colin, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 1:30pm

    Odd Ron Paul behavior

    As one of his supporters, I found it pretty strange myself that Paul tried to file suit over this. It just seems silly and unnecessary.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Psychic Octopus, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 9:51pm

      Re: Odd Ron Paul behavior

      I half agree. However I sincerely can't think of another way to prove you didn't do it than by outing whoever DID do it. And the only way YT was going to do it was by a court order, so they went for it.

      If someone can think of another route, legally and technically, please post it. I'm being sincere here, please post it.

       

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

      •  
        icon
        Chris Rhodes (profile), Mar 13th, 2012 @ 8:13am

        Re: Re: Odd Ron Paul behavior

        There might not be another route. And if not, that still doesn't justify using the court system for something that is not a violation of anyone's rights.

         

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

        •  
          identicon
          Psychic Octopus, Mar 15th, 2012 @ 4:19pm

          Re: Re: Re: Odd Ron Paul behavior

          It is a violation of someone's rights. During a political campaign, the public has a right to accurately know the candidates because that knowledge is (at least in theory) the way they decide their vote. An ad that misrepresents a candidate (Paul or anyone else) infringes on this right. Of course, Paul sued and Huntsman didn't because although the right infringed was on both of their constituencies, electoral strategy made the suit favorable to Paul and unfavorable to Huntsman. No question there, and even most Paul supporters would concede the point.

           

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 1:39pm

    I would say that this judgement will likely get overturned in the long run. The commercial nature of the websites involved should be considered, because it explain the nature of the action. The intent is to use the commercial service to put forward an idea and opinion. That YouTube profits from it should be enough to expose the poster - as the poster could in fact be YouTube itself (employee).

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Restore This, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 2:11pm

    FAIL

    Ron Paul's campaign went through the necessary motions to combat the ridiculous video. What else should he have done? Ignore it and let the biased media (see Jon Stewart for examples if you are in denial of the fact that the media is WAY biased against RP) blame it on him? You are a failure of a blogger. How laughable that you actually took the time to write this. lmao @ you

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Restore This, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 2:16pm

    What a collective failure of idiots posting

    lmao @ you failures saying Ron Paul doesn't understand economics. That's probably why he literally predicted, in full detail, the housing bubble and subsequent collapse of the economy in 2005? Kill yourselves for you do not deserve to breathe Earth's oxygen.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Restore This, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 2:22pm

    "how many other candidates do you see filing defamation of character suits when their opposition runs a nasty ad campaign against them? not too many."

    Wow. Are you that stupid? There is a CLEAR difference in the tones of other negative ads and this ad we are talking about. This was a blatantly RACIST video. It must suck really, really bad to wake up each morning and look in the mirror and know in your heart how absolutely dim you are. I feel bad for you : (

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    pirate4paul, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 2:24pm

    protecting your good name

    i remember this. it think it is a case. it involves mal-intent. this video came out about the same time the racial articles appeared. for the record james powell wrote the articles which "may" be considered racist. the third party who cut the video in question has probably built a house with bricks made of s--t that he\she laid while hiding.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Restore This, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 2:32pm

    Dont get me wrong, what he stands for right now, is more then enough for my support, but im starting to realise, there are a whole lot of issues out there we dont know he's stance on..........will he be consistant throughtout the board?

    You are doing it wrong. Ron Paul bases ALL of his political decisions on The Constitution. Therefore, you can answer any of your suspicions yourself. I don't like some of his stances that he bases on The Constitution (see his voting record and explanation for the law against CRUSH videos) but he is damn consistent ALWAYS.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 2:53pm

      Re:

      I'd like to beleive that, trully i would, but im not gonna get Obama'd again, saying that, he'll have my support untill he doesn't, i.e Obama Ver 2.0

      If he delivers the "message" across all boards then, hallelujah praise the lord

      but this story, might seem minor to some, but the precedent it sets sure as hell isn't

      Question is, is Ron Paul someone who can learn to adapt to the views of he's people on a given subject, previously on different sides of the track, such as the right not be tracked via the internet? Without due process?

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 2:37pm

    Ron Paul needs to open a dialogue to the internet, like live streaming or something discussing with the public his views on issues, and statements on current affairs, like this slander apparently being blamed at his door, but also, apparantly at huntsman daughters doors.
    He needs the internet as a medium for unbiased news, if it is unbiased, i can not fathom why he's people have not set something like this up

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 2:41pm

    Is this a good place to suggest that you all vote for the Socialist Party this year?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    anonymous support, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 2:59pm

    According to YouTube's stats for the video, before any real viewer activity, the video was nearly simultaneously referred from Twitter (presumably the tweet from NHLiberty4Paul), viewed on a mobile device, referred from a YouTube search, and referred from Jon2012.com. The very next day, January 5th, at 8:05am, Jon Huntsman appeared on CNN with Solidad O'Brien and states "Tell Dr. Paul that I owe him a tweet in return and he should be expecting one sometime soon." There could certainly be other explanations, however, based on the evidence above and the coincidental timing of the release and subsequent events, it seems likely that a party close to the Huntsman campaign posted and distributed this video impersonating a Ron Paul supporter in order to cast Ron Paul and his campaign in a negative light.

    so ron paul needs to put out some fake videos of his opponets taking cheap shots at him so he can be one the same playing field? And its legal?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    anonymous support, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 3:10pm

    According to YouTube's stats for the video, before any real viewer activity, the video was nearly simultaneously referred from Twitter (presumably the tweet from NHLiberty4Paul), viewed on a mobile device, referred from a YouTube search, and referred from Jon2012.com. The very next day, January 5th, at 8:05am, Jon Huntsman appeared on CNN with Solidad O'Brien and states "Tell Dr. Paul that I owe him a tweet in return and he should be expecting one sometime soon." There could certainly be other explanations, however, based on the evidence above and the coincidental timing of the release and subsequent events, it seems likely that a party close to the Huntsman campaign posted and distributed this video impersonating a Ron Paul supporter in order to cast Ron Paul and his campaign in a negative light.

    so ron paul needs to put out some fake videos of his opponets taking cheap shots at him so he can be one the same playing field? And its legal?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Bob, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 3:18pm

    What TD is missing

    The author of the video in question should be revealed not because he said something someone didn't like, but because it is a deliberate and malicious fraud upon the public.

    Also since all signs point to it coming from the Huntsman campaign itself, if they are innocent they deserve to know who did it too, in order to exonerate themselves.

    Free speech can be absolutely respected and still does not protect fraud.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Chris Rhodes (profile), Mar 13th, 2012 @ 8:08am

      Re: What TD is missing

      What fraud? That the video creators claimed to be Ron Paul supporters?

       

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

    •  
      icon
      Gwiz (profile), Mar 13th, 2012 @ 9:14am

      Re: What TD is missing

      The author of the video in question should be revealed not because he said something someone didn't like, but because it is a deliberate and malicious fraud upon the public.

      It's great that you think that Bob, but, the correct procedure in such a situation is to prove in a court of law that something illegal happened before unmasking the anonymous defendant. The Supreme Court recognizes anonymity as a part of our First Amendment rights and shouldn't be revoked just because *you think* it's fraud.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Terence, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 3:26pm

    Dirty Politics

    Of course this video was dirty politics.

    Wouldn't you like to know by who?

    Remember Huntsman's daughters on CNN the next day saying how horrified they were at this video attack? Insinuating that Ron Paul is a racist?

    Why would you protect such dirty politics?

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Gwiz (profile), Mar 13th, 2012 @ 9:21am

      Re: Dirty Politics

      Why would you protect such dirty politics?

      Not sure I have seen anyone trying to protect that.

      The problem lies with invoking a invalid lawsuit just to unmask the video creators. Anonymity is a right recognized by the Supreme Court as part of our First Amendment rights.

      With Paul being such a staunch supporter of the Constitution, this seems like completely hypocritical move.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Alex, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 3:38pm

    niiiice....

    You try to make it seem that Ron Paul himself has anything to do with this aside from saying "yes" when asked by his campaign committee if he wanted them to look into the matter of who was behind the video.

    Using his name instead of "his committee" or anything like that even once.

    You put it in your own damn article "Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Campaign Committee".

    He rarely remembers the details of all of the upcoming events being scheduled and planed by his committee... why would this be any different?

    A really pathetic and sad excuse for a hit piece.

    The entire thing is one big fallacy made up of smaller ones.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Chris Rhodes (profile), Mar 13th, 2012 @ 8:11am

      Re: niiiice....

      I'm willing to bet that if Romney's campaign had put out a hit piece, you wouldn't be here defending Romney with statement like "But it wasn't Romney, it was his campaign manager!"

      We either assume that the man in charge is responsible for those under him, or we don't. We don't get to have it both ways depending on how it suits our narrative.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    James Tran, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 4:13pm

    Ron Paul sucks and his supporters suck HURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. That's all you can really get from this wonderful article

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 4:14pm

    old news....get a job...

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    @justinnovative, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 4:30pm

    Another Thought

    The only surprised I am here is it was Ron Paul and not Jon Huntsman who filed this suit. But all the same, do you remember how the media spun the incident? ... "Oh, well, even if the campaign or a SuperPAC didn't create and/or post the video, which the username may have suggested it was, then it just goes to show you how perverse the Paul supporters really are." ... and desperate to find anything to beat up on Paul following his Iowa finish, and decent polling in NH, the story stuck around for a cycle or two. If I was with the campaign, hell yeah I'd be pissed. I know the campaign officially requested that the video be taken down, and perhaps if it was we would not be here but that is more of a first amendment matter than the revealing of an anonymous individual.

    The first amendment is not the fourth. I believe that Ron Paul does personally value and would as president uphold the first amendment more-so than many other politicians either running for office, or are currently in positions of legislative or executive power. And as he said in a debate last fall "The first amendment doesn't exist to talk about the weather. It's to say controversial things."

    If you then want to argue the fourth amendment... (and if you do, then what did YOU do in response to the patriot act back in 2003???) Then I propose this is a political matter more than it is a legal one. In one scenario it could be more to prove that they had absolutely nothing to do with the ad. More likely, or interestingly, I think it was an attempt to tie another campaign to the video, perhaps one that is still in contention, and damage their public opinion. If you were considering voting for Romney, Gingrich, or **yuck** Santorum, what would you think about them if they were behind such a viral personal attack??
    The game is the game.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 5:43pm

    Fairly amazed...

    ... at how many Paul supporters are attacking me (even threatening physical harm). Anyone who actually reads this site would know that I support many of the same things that Paul supports, and the idea that I would single him out because of some will vendetta against Ron Paul clearly has no clue what I write about.

    My post was about disappointment that he wouldn't live up to his principles here.

    For those of you insisting that he *has* to abuse trademark law to uncover who made those videos... you really ought to learn a little about the law.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Psychic Octopus, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 9:57pm

      Re: Fairly amazed...

      I don't think trademark would be the answer; and it seems to me the ruling is not bad.

      I still can't see any other avenue to clear his name than revealing the uploader; and I can't see how to do that without a court order, which implies suing (even if trademark is the wrong suit to file).

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    nick, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 5:44pm

    Paul is right

    If the desire for the truth is a sin, Paul is guilty. His campaign was maligned by Huntsman and he wanted to clear his name. If this kind of article is all you have to sling dirt at Paul, It makes me that much happier to be supporting Paul.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 12:42am

      Re: Paul is right

      i support Ron Paul, Mike has claimed to support Ron Paul, hell, who else we got if not Ron Paul...........but what mike brings up with this story is a valid fucking point that should not be fucking ignored...... stop bashing your fellow supporters, you'll just give more fuel for opposiition when they start to bash Ron Paul supporters..........because thats who'll they'll be going for now

      Content providers (candidates)
      bash internet companies such as google(ron paul),
      because they wont do everything that is demanded...
      ..users (supporters) speak up,
      now all who speak up, are deemed a bunch of filthy stinking pirates (paraphase)

       

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

    •  
      icon
      Chris Rhodes (profile), Mar 13th, 2012 @ 8:05am

      Re: Paul is right

      Pointing out that the Ron Paul campaign made a hypocritical mistake is not "slinging mud". People who make mistakes should be called out on them, regardless of whether or not you agree with everything else they do.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    David Rairigh, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 5:53pm

    Let me see if I understand

    So let's say that I make a video or write something that I try very hard to make seem to come from Mr. Masnick. A future potential employer of Mr. Masnick's decides, based upon the content of what I wrote (again, apparently as Mr. Masnick), not to offer him the 200k/yr job. Should I be held accountable?

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 8:45pm

      Re: Let me see if I understand

      So let's say that I make a video or write something that I try very hard to make seem to come from Mr. Masnick. A future potential employer of Mr. Masnick's decides, based upon the content of what I wrote (again, apparently as Mr. Masnick), not to offer him the 200k/yr job. Should I be held accountable?

      Just a heads up: you're making yourself look stupid.

      I have no problem with people being held accountable *if they broke the law*. There's where we run into a problem.

      In this case, if you had a defamation claim, then you'd go after them on defamation charges. Problem, the first, there is no defamation here. Defamation has a high bar for public figures. There's no defamation claim here.

      Instead, Paul tried to file a federal trademark lawsuit. There IS NO trademark claim. First of all, the use was not "in commerce" as is required. Second, there's no likelihood of confusion. Trademark claim, dead in the water.

      Third point: the right to anonymous speech is widely recognized as protected under the first amendment. This DOES NOT mean that you don't get held accountable, but it means you don't identify willy nilly unless you FIRST prove they broke the law.

      And there's the problem. There's no evidence these people broke the law.

      Did they do something scummy? Sure. But just because YOU don't like it, doesn't mean YOU get to ignore the law. That's the point we're making.

       

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

  •  
    icon
    ManinNH (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 6:07pm

    I think that the majority of the posters here may be simply missing the fact that the video was atrocious and demeaning to Huntsman (and to Paul for being connected to it even if just by mention) and that's also defamation of character. There is some injury there and usually you can make a claim against an injury. Paul was trying to clear his name as well as Huntsmans' to show that he didn't create or authorize the video. At least that would be my take on it.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 8:49pm

      Re:

      I think that the majority of the posters here may be simply missing the fact that the video was atrocious and demeaning to Huntsman (and to Paul for being connected to it even if just by mention) and that's also defamation of character.

      Demeaning and atrocious are not the standards for defamation.

      There is no defamation claim here. Learn what defamation is before you make a fool out of yourself.

      There is some injury there and usually you can make a claim against an injury.

      Learn the law. Seriously. He filed a TRADEMARK lawsuit. There is no trademark claim here.

      Paul was trying to clear his name as well as Huntsmans' to show that he didn't create or authorize the video. At least that would be my take on it.

      That's great. But don't ABUSE the law and violate the first amendment in an attempt to "clear your name." There are plenty of other ways to do so.

       

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

      •  
        icon
        ManinNH (profile), Mar 13th, 2012 @ 4:47am

        Re: Re:

        I never stated that Dr. Paul should have hired better lawyers although I believe that is a fact. Injury with words is difficult to prove in any case but whomever was the creator of this video had bad intentions. Trying to clear your name without being able to show who the culprit is multiples the difficulty. What's your solution?

         

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

        •  
          icon
          Chris Rhodes (profile), Mar 13th, 2012 @ 8:04am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Why would he have to clear his name? The video creators pretended to be Ron Paul supporters. That's not defamation, that's not a trademark violation, and in the broader, libertarian sense, that's not a violation of anyone's rights.

          What you do is tell the truth: you didn't create the video and all signs point towards the Huntsman campaign.

           

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

  •  
    identicon
    Dan Rather, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 6:11pm

    Mission Accomplished

    "Team Paul" didn't produce that ridiculous anti-Huntsman video.

    Win.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    RonLawl, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 6:33pm

    So why hasn't Ron Paul sued anyone else for defamation?

    The same month the Huntsman video went out, Ron Paul's former newsletter secretary told the Washington Post that Ron Paul personally proofed every article that went out in his newsletter. If Ron Paul was willing to sue Youtube for defamation because someone claimed to be a Ron Paul supporter, then why hasn't he sued his secretary for defamation for telling the press that he proofed the newsletter? If the secretary was actually lying, then he would have a much stronger case, and it would be much easier to prove. All he would have to do is name the people who actually did proof the newsletter, and explain how the newsletter was run and who was in charge of what.

    You can praise Ron Paul for suing youtube, and you can make excuses for the fact that he didn't sue his secretary. But you can't do both. If his secretary didn't warrant a lawsuit, then neither did youtube. If youtube deserves to be sued, then so does his secretary. If you honestly believe that Ron Paul didn't write those newsletters, if you praise him for suing youtube, then you should demand that Ron Paul sue his secretary.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Tony, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 6:47pm

    Is this the best you could come up with on Paul? Oh you make me laugh, try again buddy.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 8:46pm

      Re:

      Is this the best you could come up with on Paul? Oh you make me laugh, try again buddy.


      I'm not trying to "come up" with stuff on Paul. I'm expressing *DISAPPOINTMENT* in a candidate whose views I mostly (but not fully) agree with appears to have not lived up to his own principles.

      You're not my buddy.

      Grow up, learn to read, and stop being such a fanboy that your brain shuts off.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 9:53pm

        Re: Re:

        "Grow up, learn to read, and stop being such a fanboy that your brain shuts off."

        So classy with the name calling. I bet you wrote that under a crystal chandelier :)

         

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 10:42pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          That was the worst retort I've ever read, did you come up with that all by yourself?

           

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

        •  
          icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:41pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So classy with the name calling.

          Heh. I've been called all sorts of names in this thread, and literally had my life threatened all by a bunch of people who don't even bother to understand the rather basic details.

          Telling someone to grow up is not name calling. It's an instruction.

           

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

  •  
    identicon
    Tim, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 7:09pm

    @ RonLawl this is the best comment I've read so far! Great work!

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 8:06pm

    Tired of war. Voting for RP.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Voltara, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 10:30pm

    Anonymity is not guaranteed

    Ron Paul is not a hypocrite. Saying something anonymously is not a right. if you say something slanderous the other party has a right of response or to seek compensation. Neither can be done effectively if you don't know who you're talking to.


    Nobody has the right to misrepresent somebody else and then demand anonymity. That's got nothing to do with freedom of speech.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:44pm

      Re: Anonymity is not guaranteed

      Saying something anonymously is not a right.

      And this is why it helps if you know something about what you're talking about before opening your mouth. From the Supreme Court:


      Protections for anonymous speech are vital to democratic discourse. Allowing dissenters to shield their identities frees them to express critical minority views . . . Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. . . . It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation . . . at the hand of an intolerant society.

      I accept your apology.

      if you say something slanderous the other party has a right of response or to seek compensation. Neither can be done effectively if you don't know who you're talking to.

      And there are clear rules on how you do that -- including having to first show the other party broke the law. That's what Paul failed to do here, because he made a totally ridiculous claim (trademark law) that has nothing to do with anything -- and then sought expedited discovery, totally against those protections on anonymous speech you incorrectly insist don't exist.

      Nobody has the right to misrepresent somebody else and then demand anonymity. That's got nothing to do with freedom of speech.

      Look, you don't know the law. Don't pretend you do.

       

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

    •  
      icon
      Chris Rhodes (profile), Mar 13th, 2012 @ 7:51am

      Re: Anonymity is not guaranteed

      I agree that anonymity is not a right, but neither do you have a property right to your reputation.

      If you can get a third party (such as Youtube) to willingly release information about the video creator, then you have done nothing that violates libertarian principles. If you file a lawsuit seeking to use force to compel someone to answer, then that is un-libertarian.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    RonLawl, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:46pm

    Such a silly lawsuit

    For clarification: The people who made the video never claimed to speak on behalf of Ron Paul. They simply claimed to be Ron Paul supporters. Newsflash: It is not illegal to claim to support a candidate, even if it isn't true (Which would be incredibly difficult to prove in court). And it is not implied that political candidates personally endorse or authorized every supportive video on the internet. This is one of the dumbest arguments in the history of youtube, and that's saying a lot, and it shows just how clueless Paul supporters are when it comes to the real world. Jon Huntsman never accused Ron Paul of making the video directly, he simply asked Ron Paul to denounce.

    For instance, Stormfront is a lot more racist than that Jon Huntsman video. So is David Duke, and the Neo-Nazi movement. All of these groups are strong Ron Paul supporters. Why does Ron Paul sue youtube, but not these other groups? Is that because Ron Paul thinks embraces Stormfront support as a good thing? Remember, Ron Paul refused to donate Stormfront's donations to charity, because he was happy to accept their support. So why is he suing youtube? That makes no sense.

    Unless Ron Paul is breaking the law, every ad created by the Ron Paul Super PAC is produced without his consent or authorization. Can we safely conclude that Ron Paul will sue his own Super PAC, for creating ads that support him without his consent? Again, this is a very stupid lawsuit. You can't sue your own supporters for claiming to support you, even if they're being idiots, even if you think they're fake. For instance, suppose the Ron Paul Super PAC ran a racist ad. Would Ron Paul sue them, or not?

    According to Ron Paul's defenders, I guess we can safely conclude that Ron Paul is pro-Nazi, anti-Youtube.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    RonLawl, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:52pm

    Irony

    Mike, isn't it ironic how the people who harp the most on freedom and constitution seem to know the least about it? Ron Paul uses the word "constitution" the same way that 9/11 conspiracy theorist will use the word "truth."

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 12:52am

      Re: Irony

      Thats why im finding myself for the first time doubting Ron Paul or at least Ron Paul supporters

       

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

      •  
        icon
        Chris Rhodes (profile), Mar 13th, 2012 @ 8:00am

        Re: Re: Irony

        Seriously. I think Ron Paul is pretty much the last hope for this country, but apparently if you even hint that he might have a made a mistake a some point, the crazies will pour out of the wood work.

        Very disappointing.

         

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

  •  
    identicon
    evan rogers, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 5:09am

    Huntsman

    It's funny because everyone paying attention already knows that Huntsman's daughters did it.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Wags, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 5:36am

    Huntsman video

    I think the Huntsman campaign created that video. There was an identical version done replacing Paul with Santorum. It was sent to redstate.com and then aired on all the major media outlets. The Santorum version didn't get any play for some reason.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Nicholson, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 6:36am

    Idiots. Listen up.

    Free Speech does not mean one can't sue another in court.

    Free Speech means the GOVERNMENT can't silence you.

    See the difference?

    This whole article is useless...

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Chris Rhodes (profile), Mar 13th, 2012 @ 7:57am

      Re:

      Listen up. This is about hypocrisy.

      The court system is government force, and for someone who claims to be a libertarian, it should only be used in response to force. (NAP ring a bell?) Explain what force was used on Ron Paul by the video creators or Youtube. If there was none, then suing Youtube to make them act like you want is not a libertarian action.

      I love Ron Paul, but these stupid posts defending a stupid action by his campaign make us look like cultists, rather than reasoned champions of liberty.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    RonLawl, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 9:10am

    Paul Supporters are Such Hypocrites

    @ManinNH Well, let's see. When Stormfront praised Ron Paul up and down and sent gobs and gobs of dirty money to his campaign, Ron Paul refused to disavow them or donate the dirty money to charity. Paul supporters defended this, because Ron Paul can't be in held responsible for what his supporters do. So why would the Huntsman video be any different? The proper response is, "Look, I denounce that video, but I can't freedom of speech for people who claim to support me." That's literally all he had to do.

    @Greg So you're claiming Ron Paul was harmed because an idiot claimed to support him? Because that pretty much describes 90% of the people who vote for him. Dude, there are leaders in the Neo-Nazi movement like Jamie Kelso who have been in charge of rallies for Ron Paul, or Bill Johnson who hosted a $2000/plate dinner for Ron Paul at his house. Did Ron Paul sue these guys for making him look bad? No? Someone claiming to support you is not grounds for a lawsuit, period.

    Greg, why didn't Ron Paul sue the person who wrote the newsletter for damaging his name, assuming a ghostwriter actually existed? Why didn't he sue the guy in charge of running the newsletter, assuming the guy who ran the newsletter dropped the ball and published articles without Paul's consent? Why is Paul concerned with naming the author of an anonymous youtube video, when he established absolutely zero concern with investigating the name of the author when he has specifically been asked to name the author repeatedly for years and years? Why hasn't Ron Paul sued his secretary, who contradicted his claims and told the press that Ron Paul actually did proof the racist articles before they went out, despite his denials?

    The hypocrisy is astounding.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Hugo Longbone, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 9:15am

    Since when did the First Amendment protect people from libel against public persons that was made with malice or reckless disregard to its truth?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    RonLawl, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 9:25am

    So Paul supporters are okay with Nazis, but against youtube?

    @Greg Do a search for A3P and Ron Paul. Leaders within A3P like Jamie Kelso claim to have high ranking influence in the Ron Paul campaign, even being involved in conference calls with Ron Paul directly. Does being associated with Neo-Nazi's and know that Neo-Nazi's help to run Ron Paul's campaign hurt Ron Paul and his supporters? If so, then why hasn't Ron Paul sued Jamie Kelso?

    If you can acknowledge that Neo-Nazis support Ron Paul, then why is it so hard to believe that someone who is racist against the Chinese would support Ron Paul?

    @Hugo: Please explain the exact grounds for a libel suit. How exactly does "Vote for Ron Paul" qualify as libel? Should we sue everyone on the internet who has a "Vote for Ron Paul" sign, or do we only sue people with a "Vote for Ron Paul" sign if he's also an idiot, which is most of the time?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    RonLawl, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 9:31am

    Why don't Ron Paul's lawyers understand the constitution?

    I love how people are trying to make excuses for Ron Paul's attempt to violate the first amendment. "Well, he lost, so the system prevailed and it's a dead issue." By that logic, we shouldn't be mad at any lawmaker who proposed SOPA, since SOPA failed to pass and the system prevailed. We also shouldn't give Ron Paul for doing anything ever, since Ron Paul tends to lose at everything in general when it comes to primary states and passing legislations. Intentions are completely meaningless!

    Another defense from people like Greg is, "He got advice from bad lawyers" or "It wasn't him, it was his staffer." Question: Why in the world is Ron Paul hiring lawyers and staffers who don't understand the first amendment? If you're a lawyer who intends to sue on defamation and trademark, shouldn't a basic understanding of the first amendment be pretty standard?

    And how exactly can Ron Paul claim that he will defend the constitution, when not only does he not understand the constitution, but apparently the legal experts he chooses to hire don't understand it either? That doesn't make any sense. Stop making excuses, guys.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    RonLawl, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 9:54am

    Just realized something

    I just realized an odd consistency among diehard Paul supporters that explains why they seem to be reacting to this video in a way that's completely different from how anyone else would react to this video. Most people who watch that video will say, "Yeah, that video was clearly offensive and idiotic, but that's just the nature of the internet." They might denounce the creators as idiots, but they're not going to get worked up over it, because it's not that big of a deal.

    Why are Paul supporters different? Because Paul supporters treat youtube like the church treats biblical text. In their eyes, if something is on youtube, it must be true, which is why they prefer to present all their arguments in Youtube form even though 10 minutes of Youtube can often be summed up in a few paragraphs of text. For instance, their entire defense against the newsletter accusations is a youtube interview where Ron Paul said he didn't write it... and that's it. He doesn't provide any explanation, he doesn't address any of the accusations specifically. But he said he didn't write them, on video, so it must be true. The same thing goes with most of their economic arguments. "Hey, here's a guy on youtube talking about economic theory, it must be legit!"

    So for most people, the Huntsman video is just people on the internet being dumb. But for Paul supporters, it qualifies as sacrilege. "How DARE someone violate the institution of Youtube!" It's the equivalent of someone who is delusional enough to believe that soap operas are real, and then sues ABC when he realizes that all of the characters are played by actors. And then he goes around trying to shout to everyone, "OMG, these characters aren't real, this is an outrage!" And everyone else is just standing there confused.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Jason, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 11:23am

    Uhh... is Ron Paul a Lawyer?

    If not, he probably didn't write this lawsuit. That would be a lawyer who did that. I doubt someone as busy as Ron Paul was looking over this lawyer's shoulder the whole time to make sure he pursued it in a strict libertarian manner.

    So, really, techdirt? More smears on the good doctor? c'mon.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      The Infamous Joe (profile), Mar 13th, 2012 @ 11:32am

      Re: Uhh... is Ron Paul a Lawyer?

      Remember that when a candidate you don't like is blamed for something someone does under their employment.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    LordRhynn, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 11:45am

    LOL

    "The sign of a truly principled person is when you're willing to retain those principles in the face of a situation where standing firm hurts you."

    Most up front admission of not knowing anything about Ron Paul that I've ever read. Thanks for saving me tons of time trying to figure out where you're coming from.

    By the way. Libel, slander, and defamation have been here in various forms for thousands of years. They were never actions for which there were no consequences. Whether or not those consequences were visited upon someone was and still is the choice of the victim. Nothing about the first amendment has changed that.

    You (author) are merely another one of millions in this country who assumes freedom from accountability is a rider to freedom of speech. Stupid assumption - if not dangerously so. And that's how it should be. Because one has, and will always be, only as good is one's word.

    The irony in your article is that you're attempting to call Paul out for abandoning his word while defending the right of those he's suing to shirk any accountability for theirs. Please tell me your association with Techdirt is naught but an internship. I'd hate to think they're paying for such oversights.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    RonLawl, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 12:04pm

    LordRhynn, please answer

    @Jason: So Ron Paul, defender of the constitution, choses to hire lawyers who don't actually understand how it works. Vote Ron Paul!

    @LordRhynn: No one has actually explained how "Vote for Ron Paul" qualifies as libel, slander, or defamation. The definition of "defamation" isn't simply "Someone said something I didn't like." You can't really lecture us on the law when you demonstrate absolutely no understanding of how the law works. "It's okay to violate the constitution, as long as we go after people we disagree with!" Sorry, Paulbots, that's not how the constitution works.

    It's not enough to say "slander is bad!" You have to establish that saying "Vote for Ron Paul!" qualifies as slander. Because if it does, then Ron Paul has a lot of other youtube videos he needs to sue.

    Also, LordRhynn, please answer my question earlier: Why hasn't Ron Paul gone after the supposed ghostwriter for writing racist newsletter articles under his name? Why has Ron Paul told reporters that he has absolutely NO INTEREST in even INVESTIGATING this matter, when he claims that he was taken advantage of? Why hasn't Ron Paul sued the person in charge of the newsletter? And why didn't Ron Paul file a lawsuit against former employees who went to the press saying that he personally proofed every article, despite the claims to the contrary? Please explain this double standard for everyone to hear.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      LordRhynn, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 1:39pm

      Re: LordRhynn, please answer

      "Paulbot"? When you've got nothing else, appeal to ridicule huh? LOL. The irony of those belonging to a base of any sort or buying into the continued existence of a bipartisan system while plugging their ears at the slightest hint of anything not status quo referring to others as "bot". Gets me every time.

      With that said, Paul's right to bring his case is not predicated in any way on whether or not it will end up winnable. Surprised I had to tell you that; you with all your vast legal knowledge.

      And that should just about conclude the discussion on demonstrated understanding of how the law works. Now let's discuss the comedy gold that makes up your previous post.

      Therein lies another example of your failure to grasp simple concepts concerning personal injury, as outlined in my own previous post. Whether or not a slight is actionable is purely up to the slighted. Now to those who don't resort to false dilemmas and begged questions when considering the sources of Paul's beliefs and character, there is sufficient proof in his voting record, his conduct, the on-record statements of those who have known him his entire career, like former heads of the NAACP and others for whom sheltering/defending a racist would run counter to their vested interests, and finally in the words of the newsletter publishers who are on record disavowing any active participation by Paul, to be able to make up their own minds without a color by numbers rebuttal from Paul on every single point.

      The phrase "I won't even dignify that with a response" is older than Paul. It is used sometimes when the truth of a matter is evident to those who want to see it, in this case because there is enough in the public record of deeds over time to provide clarity on a person's nature.

      The point here is that your decision, and that of others like you, is to cherry pick one item out of 40 years of political existence and then resort to unrepresentative sample and sweeping generalization to make that the entirety of what Paul is about. Your right to pull this does not dictate Paul's response to it.

      I could go into a whole LOT of detail about what a double standard really is, given the sudden rise of the Republican base as Anti-Bigotry Superheroes now that it's time to get rid of Ron Paul while the same group has elevated whining about so-called "race pimps", using "race cards", and trotting out the same tired crime statistics in an attempt to portray blacks as a blight on American society to a fine art.

      Same people who whine every Martin Luther King day about why he gets a holiday while ripping a guy who voted for it as a racist.

      Same people who want to bomb Iran in defense of a foreign regime with its own lobby that plays the race card at every criticism while bashing blacks for nearly the exact same complaints about America under almost the exact same circumstances (except of course for the UN stepping in and creating a sovereign nation out of Compton).

      You'll call those straw men. I'll call that a discussion you really don't want to get into about racial politics in this country, and for that reason the last thing you want to bring up to me is double standards involving action of any type involving racism and the American public and political participants.

      You might at least have made an effort to anticipate the mention of on-record racially questionable speech by at least one other Republican candidate before zeroing in on this topic and Paul. Be sharper than the usual dreck who get into this. No? Okay.

      Back to your post. If you want to be taken seriously, once again. You will have to provide something more than poisoned wells, begged questions and generalizations. You talk as though nothing about the history of American finance was available before Youtube appeared. You'd be wrong there. The Fed was a mistake since inception. Offshoring jobs, destroying the manufacturing base and converting the country to a service only economy was stupid and suicidal long before the computer. So is blowing up the Federal budget by a couple billion per war and lying to the public about why you're doing it.

      For you to be disingenuous and arrogant enough to try and hustle readers into some Candyland of your own creation where people supporting Paul's views have no trough of experience or historical precedent to reach into besides a 7 year old website half devoted to morons? You've got nothing to substantiate this and since you don't, you simply beg the question. It's this way because you say it is. And you do this while ridiculing Paul advocates about the same thing involving Paul's statements. You were discussing double standards, no?

      Gotta move on.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    pirate4paul, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 12:07pm

    distraction and deception

    i see there are a lot of wannabe attorneys commenting here. i dont see speculation of who possibly could have created the vid in question. this is only a guess but i would say that joe newby and\or his buddies fits the cryteria.

    off the subject, staight and foward, i have spent a lot of time researching articles and debates this election season. what i found in my research is shocking, unbelievable, but very true. the course our government has taken for the last 50yrs i say is not and has not been for the interest of the american public.

    im not going to get into details because it would take pages and pages to cover. however if you care to, you may look up at least one of many conspiracies against our freedom and liberty, the U.N. agenda 21. this agenda is about sustainable growth. unfortunately this agenda has nothing to do with growth and has everything to do with elimination.

    the ndaa and the patriot act are tell tales that lead me to believe we are in a s--t storm folks. obama, romney, gingrich and santorum have publicly stated their support for both the patriot act and the ndaa (national defense authority act). as it is and stands today we are incrementally loosing our rights. this is not good at all.

    we have only one choice and that is to replace all senators that support unconstitutional acts. all unconstitutional acts have cost us so much. our blood, our money, our f----n future. i am making a public plea for all to support
    Dr.Paul for president.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    RonLawl, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 12:11pm

    Hypothetical Question

    If David Duke creates a youtube video saying he likes Pizza Hut, does Pizza Hut have a right to sue him for defamation and slander for associating Pizza Hut with David Duke? No, seriously. If David Duke creates a video saying, "Dominos sucks, eat at Pizza Hut!", is that grounds for slander?

    What if David Duke creates a blog entry, telling people to vote for Ron Paul? Does that qualify as slander? Can Ron Paul sue David Duke? Because David Duke actually does support Ron Paul. So would Ron Paul be able to sue him?

    Now, replace "David Duke" with "Anonymous Anti-Huntsman racist." An anonymous Anti-Huntsman racist creates a video, telling people to vote for Ron Paul. Would Ron Paul be able to sue anonymous anti-Huntsman racist for telling people to vote for him?

    Because the last time I checked, it's not a crime to support someone who personally doesn't like you. Pizza Hut might not like David Duke, but that doesn't mean they can sue him for making a pro-Pizza Hut Video. So someone please explain how that's any different from what NHLiberty4Paul did. It doesn't even matter if it turns out that David Duke actually hates Pizza Hut. You can't sue someone for insincere praise. That's not a crime, that doesn't qualify as defamation, and Paulbots make themselves look really foolish by trying to argue otherwise.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    AM, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 1:12pm

    LOL

    Libertarians don't support allowing defamation any more than anyone else. Nice try though.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Chris Rhodes (profile), Mar 13th, 2012 @ 1:37pm

      Re:

      Speak for yourself. You don't have a property right to your reputation, so you don't have the right to use force to prevent someone from saying things about you that you don't like, true or not.

      I would hope most libertarians would recognize that.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    RonLawl, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 1:24pm

    @Greg: That's an example of blogger error, not defamation. Blogger errors happen all the time. For instance, if a blogger misattributes a Bryan Adams song to Ryan Adams, does that mean that Ryan Adams can sue Bryan Adams for defamation of character? Of course not, that would be incredibly stupid. Unless Bryan Adams actually presents himself as Ryan Adams, he can't be held responsible. The only way you could possibly have a valid misrepresentation claim is if the video actually said, "This video was paid for and approved by Ron Paul." And even then, Ron Paul is a public figure, which means they can claim satire, which is why Sarah Palin can't sue Tina Fey.

    Heck, there are examples of newspapers and public figures that accidentally quote the Onion as a factual news source. Does that mean that the the Onion can be sued for defamation?

    @AM: I'm still waiting for the Paulbots to explain how this qualify as libel. Basically, all you guys are saying is "crime is bad," without actually explaining how any crime actually occurred. Typical Ron Paul disregard for facts.

    BTW, I'm still waiting for you guys to answer my questions: 1) Why hasn't Ron Paul sued anyone for defamation over the newsletters? 2) Could Pizza Hut sue the KKK if the KKK made a video encouraging people to eat at Pizza Hut? Can Ron Paul sue David Duke if David Duke supports Ron Paul?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    oaebcr, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 1:33pm

    BS

    The writer would have you believe Paul HIMSELF filed the lawsuit and all it's details. Wow, imagine a man wanting to defend himself legally against defamation. Sounds more like to me that Paul should have legal team members that better understand how to protect someone from slander and defamation using the internet for cover. Actually it is a case that could set precedent. Why doesn't the riter just start with espousing his bias - say something like ' I do not like Ron Paul and I share this so you can take into account any bias that will show up in this article' - wow not be stand-up like that?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    RonLawl, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 2:11pm

    LordRhynn just typed 818 words and answered zero direct questions

    Wow, Paulbots really are kings of evasion.

    You can't explain why Ron Paul would sue youtube and not his newsletter. You can't explain why he would sue youtube and not his former staffers. You can't explain what law was actually broken by youtube, nor can you address any comparable situation where a lawsuit would be justified.

    Instead, you just wrote out an 818 word incoherent rant about how Ron Paul should be considered infallible and beyond question, and therefore all criticism is automatically void. BTW, Ron Paul voted against MLK Day, twice. What he voted yes on was an AMENDMENT to change the proposed date, which was part of a parliamentary procedure to delay the bill from passing. Of course, facts take a back seat to personal belief in Paultopia.

    Why are you avoiding every single question that directly relates to the lawsuit, Rhynn? Oh, that's right, because this is an uncomfortable topic where you haven't gotten your pre-assigned talking points on what to say from the higher ups. So rather than thinking for yourself and risk implying that Ron Paul isn't perfect, you try to evade the topic using every tool to your disposal.

    We're discussing the merits of Ron Paul's lawsuit. That's the entire purpose of the article. If you want to be a grown up and engage in this discussion, then please tell us the exact merits of this lawsuit and demonstrate that a crime actually occurred. Then explain why Ron Paul hasn't taken similar measures in cases that would be much stronger, assuming that Ron Paul is actually telling the truth.

    Or, you can rely on the preschool tactic of "Hey, look over there!" when you find yourself cornered. You can leave telling yourself your dignity is still intact, but your refusal to address basic points will make it so that Ron Paul and his supporters continue to seem like a delusional cult to the very voting base that you're trying to win over.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    RonLawl, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 2:27pm

    Paulbots will cause their own demise

    I love how the attitude of some Paulbots, "Clearly you don't like Ron Paul, so that means that I don't have to address any of your questions or concerns." That strategy might work if Ron Paul was in the lead right now and you were just planning to hold steady. But seeing as how Ron Paul has yet to win a single state and has the highest "not acceptable" rating of anyone in the running, it's not going to bring you the numbers you need for victory. If you want to win, then you have to convince people who don't like Paul already to start liking him. But if you keep insisting that their questions and concerns aren't worth acknowledging, then don't act so surprised when you continue to lose.

    I say all this knowing that people like Joe seem pretty reasonable. But then, Joe seems to know exactly what I'm referring to. For instance, if I'm a liberal and someone accuses liberals of being spineless, I'm not terribly offended by that, because I can acknowledge there's truth to the statement. Guys like Joe can be honest about the flaws in the movement, and thus, has the capacity to improve it. The first step to any addiction recovery problem is admitting you have a problem. But the people who refuse to change and who keep relying on the exact same tactics that got you nowhere in 2008 will insure that the movement will forever be seen as a radical fringe.

    So when I see a particularly delusional Paul supporter spouting all sorts of crazy, I don't get angry, and I don't get worked up. I just laugh and laugh at the fact that your tactics will cause you to lose, and you will never understand why.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    dan t, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 7:10pm

    I'm a vocal Paul supporter and I say he's made a big mistake on this one. however, when you stack his mistakes (including failing to clarify the newsletter thing better) against every other politicians mistakes, he still looks pretty damn good.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    McClarinJ, Mar 13th, 2012 @ 7:33pm

    Stupid video

    Yes, it would be a stupid thing to do. The Huntsman girls are too clever by half and you know what that means. They would indeed do something really stupid. John Huntsman himself suggested his daughters would be coming out with something to get back at Paul. Notice he withdrew from the race shortly afterward. Maybe it dawned on him how totally asinine his daughters had been and how damaging it would be to his campaign if it was ever proved.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    RonLawl, Mar 14th, 2012 @ 12:33am

    Ron Paul is by far the most popular candidate among neo-nazi voters, so why is it so hard to believe that some of his supporters would be racist against the Chinese?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Jay Lim, Mar 14th, 2012 @ 1:36am

    Ron Paul Realtime Geo-Tag Map

    I pride myself in maintaining an objective, logical outlook, but the sum of the minutiae of disadvantageous inconsistencies reported by the mainstream media on Ron Paul's campaign begs a consideration of almost conspiratorial bent. 

    Try to ignore the dissemination of the administration's faulty rhetoric and galvanize your presence on this campaign trail. Tally your support/nonsupport for the Ron Paul phenomenon at ronpaulitic. com - the only worldwide, realtime Ron Paul geo-tag map on the web.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    TC, Mar 14th, 2012 @ 7:41am

    Dr. Paul wins

    Dr. Paul won this issue. Everyone knows who did it. Dr. Paul wanted to give the culprit a chance to clear his/his daughters names. The culprit quite the race the next day, even though he had stated he would push ahead the day before.

    Sometimes we win without going to court.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    SpectreWriter, Mar 17th, 2012 @ 1:31am

    RE: Ron Paul and the 1st Amendment

    You do a very good job of your analysis, with one exception:

    Free speech is protected. Anonymity may be protected. But for it to be the expression of oneself, that "self" cannot be anonymous, because "nobody" (null set) has no rights. Null set does not exist.

    I agree with you overall, and everything else written, but in that one aspect neither party looks particularly impressive.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2012 @ 8:16am

      Re: RE: Ron Paul and the 1st Amendment

      "But for it to be the expression of oneself, that "self" cannot be anonymous, because "nobody" (null set) has no rights. Null set does not exist."

      Though couched in mathematical-sounding terms, the above argument is facetious. By the way, not just that, the "null set" exists just as an empty cup exists ! Every null set is equal to any other null set and set operations with it (union, intersection, complement) are well defined. For the mathematically inclined: Axiom of empty set (Wikipedia). If the null set didn't exist, set theory itself would not exist !

      Now to deal with the the core argument. The very existence of the expression implies the existence of somebody who expressed it. That the actor is nameless (anonymous) whether by choice or by other limitations, does not deny the expression or action nor its authorship. That *you* are unable to (or, that you have been denied the ability to) attribute that authorship, make that connection, does not take away from the expression a wee bit. You are simply unable to traverse from the expression to its author, the author remains veiled, and you can't reach out and touch (or by extension hit, trample, or silence) him or her. And the reason for protecting anonymity in cases where whistle-blowing is involved is exactly to deny that traversibility ! (To be doubly sure, let me clarify that I am not at all implying that this is a case of whistle-blowing).

       

      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