The RonPaul.com Copyright Scandal

Betrayal is all too common within the Carousel of Carnivores. The gatekeepers of the formerly alternative (really, Internet) media are more than happy to throw fellow travelers or even their own adherents under the bus whenever it suits their special interests. Unlike Mark Dice who sold out to Alex Jones (by singing his praises and deleting his videos documenting Mr. Jones’ malfeasance), sometimes the good guys actually do win.

 

 

Former congresscritter Ron Paul tried to sue the pants off some of his grassroots supporters, particularly those who run an admittedly fan run website called RonPaul.com; however, you would think that Dr. Paul, as an avowed constitutionalist, would file in a state or (more likely than not) federal court. But no, he decided to lodge a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which is considered a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN). What a minute…wasn’t Dr. Paul fundamentally opposed to the very existence of the UN itself, as embodied in the common phrase, “Get the US out of the UN, and the UN out of the US?” If so, why did he lodge a copyright suit against his own supporters with an adjudicating entity he rhetorically claims is his mortal enemy (besides the Federal Reserve)?

An “administrative panel decision” was reached by a three member board (composed of Christopher Gibson, Jeffrey Samuels, and Frederick Abbot) in the WIPO case of The Honorable Ron Paul v. Whois Privacy Services Pty Ltd / JNR Corp, case #D2013-0278. The background of this matter is that a bunch of Ron Paul supporters started a website in May of 2008 with the domain name, RonPaul.com, in order to support Dr. Paul’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns (please keep in mind that as I provide direct quotes from the WIPO’s own administrative panel decision, the “Complaintant” is Ron Paul, and the “Respondent” are his grassroots, perhaps former, supporters). Some of the findings of the WIPO panel are quite enlightening, such as the fact that the:

 

“Respondent has put significant investments of labor, time and money into the site associated with the Domain Name. Nonetheless, Respondent offered the Domain Name to Complainant for almost USD 600,000 less than the prior owner’s offer. In a classic bait-and-switch, after Complainant’s associates asked Respondent to offer to sell the Domain Name, the Complaintant construes the offer as evidence of bad faith. Respondent has made repeated good faith efforts to facilitate or negotiate an agreement to transfer the Domain Name to Complainant. No contrary evidence suggests that Respondent has attempted to prevent Complainant from reflecting his alleged mark in a domain name.” [emphasis added]

 

Think about that for a moment, the WIPO panel just admitted that Dr. Paul was being disingenuous while still negotiating for some out-of-court settlement. Further details continue:

 

“In May 2011, Respondent exercised its option to purchase the Domain Name from WKF. Nearly two years later and five years after Respondent began operating the Domain Name, Complainant stated in a radio interview on January 9, 2013, ‘Unfortunately, I didn’t have RonPaul.com, so I’m going to have to have RonPaulsHomepage.com.’ Soon after, several supporters and agents of Complainant emailed Respondent to urge some sort of sale or transfer of the Domain Name. Between January 9 and 12, 2013, several of Complainant’s associates asked Respondent to make an offer to sell. Respondent offered to sell the Domain Name, plus a mailing list of 170,000 names, to Complainant for USD 250,000. Alternatively, Respondent offered to give Complainant another domain name, <ronpaul.org>, for free. Complainant’s only counteroffer was this proceeding, in which he depicts Respondent’s solicited, genuine offer as evidence of bad faith.”

 

I would love to find who interviewed Dr. Paul on Janurary 9th of 2013, so I can listen to that interview, just to see if anything else pertinent was mentioned. Regardless of whether you think the RonPaul.com folks were scummy about selling the domain to Dr. Paul, the point of contention for me here is Dr. Paul’s own behavior against his own supporters (hence the term, Ron Paul Refugees). The WIPO case continues with:

 

“Complainant asserts the ‘domain name is being leased to a third party who is in competition with Complainants.’ Respondent and Complainant are not competitors; Complainant supplies no evidence that he sells anything but books, while Respondent’s store offers accessories and apparel. All evidence suggests that Respondent acquired the Domain Name primarily to aid, not disrupt, Complainant’s campaign and causes. Complainant’s misperception that he is competing with Respondent is not evidence of bad faith.” [emphasis added]

 

Ah, isn’t that interesting? Now, I wonder, would the conspiracists at this point accuse the WIPO of balkanizing Ron Paul with his own electoral base? If that were true, then why did the WIPO find the RonPaul.com folks as aiding, not disrupting, Dr. Paul’s crusade? I have no doubt the Carousel would invent any phony conspiracy to prop up the aging doctor, probably insinuating that the RonPaul.com folks weren’t really Ron Paul supporters at all, despite all the evidence to the contrary. The panel found that:

 

“Redirecting traffic to an unendorsed site does not show bad faith. In fact, the evidence indicates that Complainant did endorse Respondent’s website. At least twice, Complanant’s confederates sent Respondent accolades for his contribution to the campaign. UDRP panels generally consider this as strong evidence against a finding of bad faith. The evidence against bad faith is especially strong when Complainant acquiesced in Respondent’s use of the Domain Name for five years.” [emphasis added]

 

Wow, so even Dr. Paul’s own staff people recognized the positive contributions that the RonPaul.com folks have made. Then why lodge a complaint with the WIPO in the first place? Did the not-so-good doctor experience senility and confuse the RonPaul.com folks as being subversives to his own phony libertarian constitutionalism? My favorite passage of the entire decision was when:

 

“Complainant concluded his argument saying, ‘[I]t would be difficult to imagine a more compelling example of cybersquatting as that represented by Respondent’s conduct here.’ However, Respondent is not a cybersquatter, but a spurned supporter. In this UDRP proceeding, Ron Paul has acted much like the people he routinely condemns in political speeches and interviews. He launched an unprovoked, unilateral action against his supporters instead of engaging in diplomacy and free-market negotiations. He availed himself of WIPO, a United Nations agency, after condemning, opposing, and working against the international body throughout his career. He misappropriated and misrepresented Respondent’s confidential letter, instead of respecting the sanctity of private communications and encouraging voluntary interaction between individuals. The Panel should reject Complainant’s misuse of the Policy.” [emphasis added]

 

In other words, Ron Paul is a hypocrite. Well, duh; what else do you expect from someone who confidence tricked whole batches of dissidents into donating for his presidential campaign (which might as well be his own personal kiddie fund)? Additionally, if an UN organization cares more about personal privacy than you do, you are probably no advocate of Liberty:

 

“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.” [emphasis added]

 

A UN organization actually respecting the US Constitution, much more so than an alleged “constitutionalist” with a sensationalized fan base who still believe in voting? Banish the thought!

The case concludes that:

 

“On the whole, the Panel views Respondent’s website as a legitimate fan site that does not seek to take unfair advantage of Complainant. The Panel thus determines that Respondent has, in the present circumstances, established that it is engaged in legitimate noncommercial or fair use of Complainant’s personal name in the Domain Name. While there is evidence that Respondent may have earned income on sale of apparel and accessories promoting Ron Paul, the Panel does not believe this is sufficient commercial activity to change the balance of interests already addressed. For all the foregoing reasons, the Complaint is denied.”

 

Oorah! That means that the RonPaul.com people won, but the fun doesn’t end there. Another complaint was filed by Ron Paul with the WIPO at about the same time, entitled The Honorable Ron Paul v. DN Capital, Inc., Martha Roberts, case #D2013-0371. Much of it seems to me to be nearly exact to the earlier one, alother there is one unique time that bears examination:
 

“Respondent requests, based on the evidence presented, that the Panel make a finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking. Complainant was offered the Domain Name for no charge, with no strings attached, as shown in a letter annexed to its Complaint. Instead of accepting graciously, Complainant brought this proceeding in bad faith. A finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking is appropriate to redress this abuse of the administrative proceeding.”

 

Now, keep in mind that this case has to deal with RonPaul.org (even though it simply reroutes you to RonPaul.com), but I found this “administrative panel decision” (headed by the exact same three individuals adjudicating the earlier case) regarding the issue of reverse domain name hijacking too good to pass up, for the simple reason of what they found:

 

“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 <ronpaul.org> 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.”

 

Oh, snap! That means the Almighty Ron Paul was found guilty by an UN organization he voluntarily lodged a complaint with as being malicious against the contending party. In other words, not only did the WIPO reject his complaint (considering it as frivolous, or at least, without basis), but they found him committing malfeasance against his own supporters! I betcha that damn congresscritter didn’t expect that one, did he?

So, what does this all mean? I think it is indicative of the Carousel itself; that given just such an self-serving opportunity, they will attempt to eat their own and not think twice about it. That is the legacy of the “Ron Paul Revolution” – backstab your own followers using whatever means possible, no matter how hypocritical or cruel (and this was the guy who was touted as being full of integrity and consistency, if you remember the campaign rhetoric). Ron Paul caused the internal balkanization here, not his supporters, and even a goddamn UN meat-puppet found that to be the case. Next thing you know, Rand Paul will be asking the Chairman of the Federal Reserve to (pretty please) rule on the viability of the gold standard (the so-called “freedom [or liberty] movement,” what a crock of shit it is; if things like this are the best that they can do, I am not impressed).

It is exactly because of unexpected fall-out like this that I earnestly urge everyone, especially dissidents, to completely avoid voting, because if you continue to do so, you will (more likely than not) experience that “Linda Smith moment” where you suddenly and horridly realize that all that time and effort you poured into an electoral campaign expecting the possibility of a win to eventually “set you free” will do anything but that; if anything, it will only feed the beast you intend to destroy. My goal here is to lower your opportunity costs by documenting the malfeasance of these carnivores that now inhabit the alternative media, so you can explore your real options for securing your Liberty elsewhere.

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