Ron Paul Doesn't Win RonPaul.com And Is Guilty Of Reverse Domain Hijacking

from the total-failure dept

We found it odd back in February to see Ron Paul try to use the domain dispute process to take over RonPaul.com, a domain that was held by some of his biggest supporters. The folks who had the domain had even offered Paul the RonPaul.org domain for free, since they didn't want to disrupt their existing community, and Ron Paul (or his lawyers) tried to spin that into something to use against them, pretending that it showed malicious intent.

It appears that the whole thing has backfired badly on Ron Paul. He failed in his attempt to seize both domain names and was also found guilty of reverse domain hijacking on the .org account, for filing the demand for it after it had already been offered to him for free.

On the use of the .com, the panel found the following:
As Respondent puts it, expressing support and devotion to Ron Paul’s political ideals is a legitimate interest that does not require Complainant’s authorization or approval. Moreover, Respondent’s legitimate interest in the Domain Name is strong because the site provides a place for political speech, which is at the heart of what the United States Constitution’s First Amendment is designed to protect. In this way, the Panel is persuaded by Respondent’s arguments and evidence that Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Domain Name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish any trademark at issue. Moreover, Respondent has submitted evidence that there are multiple, very clear disclaimers on the website to which the Domain Name links, indicating that the site is not Complainant’s official site. In regards to Complainant’s arguments that the website is actually a “pretext for commercial advantage”, the Panel finds the website linked to the Domain Name is primarily a noncommercial service, while the products advertised and sold are ancillary to the site’s primary purpose as a source of news and information about Ron Paul, and serving as political forum. Moreover, Respondent’s use meets the criteria for a nominative fair use, as stated in a number of UDRP cases.
Yeah. Ron Paul loses out because the First Amendment is even stronger than he believes it to be. How about that?

The fact that the owners offered the .org for free plays heavily into the decision:
Finally, related to Respondent’s second main point, there is no evidence that Respondent has attempted to corner the market of domain names to prevent Complainant from reflecting his alleged RON PAUL mark in a domain name. To the contrary, the evidence indicates that in 2013 Respondent offered to give Complainant the Domain Name for free.
And it's this point that leads to the panel saying that Paul was engaged in reverse domain hijacking.
Respondent has requested, based on the evidence presented, that the Panel make a finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking. In view of the unique facts of this case, in which the evidence demonstrates that Respondent offered to give the Domain Name to Complainant for no charge, with no strings attached, the Panel is inclined to agree. Instead of accepting the Domain Name, Complainant brought this proceeding. A finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking seems to this Panel to be appropriate in the circumstances.
While this may just make Ron Paul hate the UN even more, perhaps it'll drive home the point that his initial attack on the fan site was ridiculous.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, May 24th, 2013 @ 5:52am

    Just another politician.

    Geez, people, get over the notion that "libertarians" are some alternative to the ongoing neo-con fascist takeover. Yeah, Ron Paul has a few notions that sound good on the surfce, BUT he helped foster the "privatizing" of gov't, took restraints off bankers, voted to lower taxes on millionaires on the notion that riches "trickle down" instead of are "stolen up" from labor, and "paid" for those tax cuts by saddling the poor with endless phony debts. His further loony ideas would privatize the commons that the public owns: water, roads, and so on, until your every action outside of (maybe) your house, is effectively taxed and controlled by corporations. -- At best, Ron Paul was in Congress for 30 years and didn't change anything useful.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2013 @ 6:04am

      Re: Just another politician.

      Ohai, Blue 2. Finally, something we agree on.

       

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    •  
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      Chris Rhodes (profile), May 24th, 2013 @ 6:13am

      Re: Just another politician.

      You do realize that Ron Paul:

      (A) Is for lower taxes for everyone, not just the rich. In fact, he believes the income tax rate should be 0%.
      (B) Believes the federal government should be shrunk down to it's original size and enumerated powers (which would fix the debt problem).
      (C) Is the person speaking out the most about the fact that a private cartel of banks manipulates our currency for the benefit of the wealthy, politically-connected class.

      You might still disagree with the above (and I'm sure you do), but at least be honest about the positions he holds.

       

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        Niall (profile), May 24th, 2013 @ 8:02am

        Re: Re: Just another politician.

        Which is why he might be considered an excessive loon. :)

        I really don't see how A) will lead to B(ii) - in fact I don't see how B(i) would lead to B(ii). Cutting spending and/or increasing tax, and reducing waste (including insane military spending and corporate boondoggles) would be much simpler.

        If C) is true (I'm British so can't tell so well) then kudos to him - but one 'sane' idea in many 'insane' ones does not a desirable make.

         

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          silverscarcat (profile), May 24th, 2013 @ 9:15am

          Re: Re: Re: Just another politician.

          Ron Paul's been consistent with most of his positions over the years.

          Which is, despite his ideas at times, the biggest draw to him.

          There's some hypocrisy, but we're human, we're all hypocrites, but at the same time, he was always against wars like Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, the bombings that Clinton did in in the late 90s, he was against the sanctions of Iraq, stating that something bad would happen to the US (back in 1998 he called that). He warned against the Housing Bubble Collapse in 2003/2004, he wanted to get rid of paper money and replace it with coined money (as it's harder to manipulate), even if I disagree with his position on it needing to be gold or silver, at least he's always been consistent about it.

          Paul wanted to pull troops home from around the world and turn the money that the US was spending on foreign entanglements towards our infrastructure...

          So, yeah, his ideas might not always be the best ones, but looking at his record, he was the best candidate that never became President.

          Also, he never voted for raising pay for members of Congress.

           

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          Chris Rhodes (profile), May 24th, 2013 @ 12:14pm

          Re: Re: Re: Just another politician.

          My point was that whether one agrees or disagrees with him, they should at least present his opinions truthfully and correctly before criticizing.

          "I really don't see how A) will lead to B(ii)

          The income tax wasn't created until 1913, and even then it only applied to "the rich". The federal government received revenue through other means prior to that.

          reducing waste (including insane military spending and corporate boondoggles) would be much simpler

          That's included in "original size and enumerated powers". (And I actually disagree with him on that point; one has to eradicate a cancer to save the host, not simply shrink it.)

           

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        jjmsan (profile), May 24th, 2013 @ 11:11am

        Re: Re: Just another politician.

        Exactly how would that fix the debt problem? What would this federal government use for money?

         

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          silverscarcat (profile), May 24th, 2013 @ 12:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: Just another politician.

          The problem is with the debt problem, the government doesn't make the paper money, the banks do. (Fractional Reserve Lending)

          In order to fix the debt problem, the banks can't be allowed to do FRL anymore and the government has to set how much money gets made every year with strict guidelines.

          Of course, there's more to it, but that's the basic gist of it.

           

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      out_of_the_blue, May 24th, 2013 @ 6:32am

      Re: Just another politician.

      But, but, bu, b, b, but it's for the children.

       

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      ds, May 24th, 2013 @ 6:58am

      Re: Just another politician.

      Is this a fake blue? Ran Paul is just as slimy as the people that his supporters consider slimy.

       

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      gorehound (profile), May 24th, 2013 @ 7:22am

      Re: Just another politician.

      In my search to Vote for another Party I looked close at him and saw that Libertarian means a Wolf in Sheep Clothing.
      There is very little good in that Party and a World of Badness for the Common Man and most of all for the Nation as a whole.
      Ron Paul is a sham.So is his son Rand Paul who Supports those Tax Loopholes like that ole Double Irish stuff, ETC.

      Ron Paul even screws his own fans over.............LOL
      At one time he wrote Bigot Anti-Semitic Stuff.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2013 @ 8:31am

      Re: Just another politician.

      It's almost frightening how every and then you actually make sense.

      This is one of those times. Ron Paul is an idiot. Oh, every now and then he stumbles over something that accidentally happens to be a good idea, but that's not a reflection of his innate intelligence: it's just plain dumb luck. And yet there are zillions of other idiots out there -- people with inferior minds and subpar educations -- who actually think this clown is onto something.

       

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        Chris Rhodes (profile), May 24th, 2013 @ 12:23pm

        Re: Re: Just another politician.

        Clearly, from the lack of any reasoned arguments offered and the presence of several ad hominems, you have a superior mind and education, not to mention a desire to engage in open, honest debate.

         

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        Mason Wheeler (profile), May 28th, 2013 @ 11:18am

        Re: Re: Just another politician.

        Oh, every now and then he stumbles over something that accidentally happens to be a good idea, but that's not a reflection of his innate intelligence: it's just plain dumb luck.


        I think it's not quite that simple. He really has done an admirable job of bringing some very real, very serious problems to people's attention. The problem is that he then goes and proposes a bunch of horrible, insane "solutions" that would make things worse... and people listen. A lot of people don't seem to understand that being able to correctly diagnose a problem is much, much easier than being able to correctly figure out what to do about it.

        Before going into politics, Ron Paul used to be a doctor, but apparently he was in the wrong sub-field of medicine. If he'd been an oncologist, he would understand this principle.

         

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    Jardinero1, May 24th, 2013 @ 5:57am

    It's a for profit site

    You can poke fun if you want to but the domain was not "held by some of his biggest supporters". The site was established not to support Ron Paul but merely to profit from his movement. Nothing wrong with that either but keep the facts straight.

     

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      Niall (profile), May 24th, 2013 @ 8:04am

      Re: It's a for profit site

      Which as a Libertarian he should wholeheartedly support. Profit to the strongest, not the most deserving! (Although the objectivist mantra of the strongest are the most deserving might apply here...)

       

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      Togashi (profile), May 24th, 2013 @ 10:03am

      Re: It's a for profit site

      Ummm... didn't the WIPO panel just explicitly say otherwise?
      The forum is primarily a noncommercial service and the products advertised and sold are ancillary to the website's primary purpose as a political forum.

       

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      jjmsan (profile), May 24th, 2013 @ 11:14am

      Re: It's a for profit site

      Which you know how? The evidence Ron Paul submitted apparently submitted did not seem to persuade the domain commission.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2013 @ 1:08pm

      Re: It's a for profit site

      Source for your allegation?
      And just because his name, doesn't make it his.
      What about all the other people named Ron Paul? DO they get a piece of the pie?

       

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    Chris Rhodes (profile), May 24th, 2013 @ 6:05am

    Ruh Roh

    (Inb4 the frothing Paulbots show up and go nuts)

    Listen, I like Ron Paul a lot (I voted for him twice!), but really, this was a completely ridiculous lawsuit, and I'm glad to see it got slapped down like it deserved. What was he thinking?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2013 @ 6:14am

    what is he ever thinking?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2013 @ 6:42am

    I hope this is just lawyers being lawyers, because if not I am disappointed.

     

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    RyanNerd (profile), May 24th, 2013 @ 6:49am

    Ron Paul - I hope it was a stupid lawyer mistake

    I am a HUGE supporter of Ron Paul. If this nonsense came from him directly I am very disappointed.

    If this was a case of over enthusiastic lawyers then this is a tiny bit better, but still disappointing.

    Glad this stupidity got slapped down.

     

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      That One Guy (profile), May 24th, 2013 @ 7:09am

      Re: Ron Paul - I hope it was a stupid lawyer mistake

      Even if it was simply a case of lawyers slipping the leash and going nuts, I find it rather hard to believe that during the entire proceedings not one person tried to tell him that his lawyers were going nuts and doing huge damage to his image and reputation.

       

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    RONPAULDOOFUS, May 24th, 2013 @ 7:09am

    Oh just another political creep

    Please take him out of the office and send him to spend his remaining time in luxury somewhere in the carribeans.
    Ricky D

     

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      RyanNerd (profile), May 24th, 2013 @ 7:27am

      Re: Oh just another political creep

      For many years I've been following the career of both Ron and Rand Paul.

      I have to say that yes, they have both made some mistakes, but they are one of the few in politics that have a decent track record of actually representing the interests of the PEOPLE instead of special interest groups.

      To characterize them as lazy men of leisure is a gross mischaracterization.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2013 @ 7:43am

    Whatever else you might say about Ron Paul (and I hold no candle for him), he does actually believe in certain individual rights, such as freedom of speech. One can hope that by bringing and losing this case, he has set a precedent for future cases involving small guys against much more powerful parties than his own. A kind of Archimedes lever effect. Therefore, you could say he's put himself on the line for a good cause.

    It is similar to the situation of a soldier, who knows that he must do evil to do his job, and that the evil is not fully cancelled by the higher purpose of the war, even though that purpose greatly outweighs the evil that he does. He takes the guilt on himself and this is his service.

    I don't think Ron Paul meant it this way, though.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2013 @ 7:55am

    So, if these are really just supporters, then why do they want to hold on to the domain name after being treated so badly? Surely they don't love the man so much that they'll endure continual lawsuits from him just to own his name. I suspect there is more to this story than has been reported here.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2013 @ 8:13am

    goes to show that politicians, in the main, think that they are more important than anything, including the public, his own fans and in particular what should (but sometimes isn't) the most important document of the USA, The Constitution and Amendments. what is it with almost everyone in the USA at the moment who is in a position of importance in one form or another? they think there is nothing as important as what they want and, in fact, no one as important as them?

     

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    Jeremy Lyman (profile), May 24th, 2013 @ 8:19am

    I'm either over or under thinking this.

    I'm still trying to wrap my brain around "Reverse Hijacking". Is that where you pull your car over next to a pedestrian and make him take your car?

     

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      Lurker Keith, May 24th, 2013 @ 11:25am

      Re: I'm either over or under thinking this.

      I do think Reverse Domain Hijacking is a new concept, but I think I understand it.

      A normal domain hijacking takes place before a legitimate owner can take control of a domain.

      Here, the domain was being used legitimately, & they even offered up one they had, but didn't need, for free. But Ron was trying to hijack both anyway.

      The problem comes in that we normally think of hijacking the way Reverse Domain Hijacking appears to work: taking from a legitimate owner.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2013 @ 8:43am

    Whether you like Ron Paul or not, one great thing came out of this case, it set a new precedent in support of 1st amendment rights. While he was on the wrong end of the court case, by bringing it, he has strengthened our rights.

     

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    jhon, May 24th, 2013 @ 9:37am

    The real truth on what happened in domain name dispute

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2013 @ 10:53am

    Let this be a lesson to anyone who doesn't want to look like a huge asshole and a hypocrite: Keep your lawyers on a leash. Because like attack dogs, they are dumb, angry, smelly, and prone to violent outbursts at passerbys no matter how good their intentions may be.

     

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