Former Rep. Ron Paul, a strident libertarian with a large fan following, is embroiled in a domain ownership controversy with owners of ronpaul.com.
Last month, Ron Paul expressed regret on the Alex Jones show at not owning ronpaul.com. As a result, the site’s owners decided to make him a couple of offers. One choice was to let them continue using the site, and take a free gift of ronpaul.org. Alternatively, they offered to sell the site and their 170,000 strong mailing list for $250,000.
Ron Paul’s response to this offer was to file a UDRP complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to gain control of both domains. Under normal circumstances, this would be an appropriate response.
However, the circumstances here are somewhat different. For starters, the fan site is dedicated to Ron Paul and has not been misused for other purposes that tarnish the brand. On the contrary, the site owners claim they have helped Ron Paul raise millions of dollars for his Presidential campaign and other activities.
Secondly, Ron Paul has been one of the leading critics of the UN. His fans are a bit put off that he went to WIPO, a UN agency, for arbitration.
The original post where the site owners went public about the complaint is no longer available on ronpaul.com. There have also been changes made to the ronpaul.org registration, indicating that some kind of settlement is in the works.
If they cannot agree on a solution, Ron Paul is likely to win the UDRP and get the domains transferred to his name. However, that would involve an implicit acceptance of the UN’s jurisdiction. Ron Paul has said previously that the choice is between following the UN constitution or submitting to “UN global governance.”