Ron Paul filed a cybersquatting UDRP complaint at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The complaint was filed for two domain names: RonPaul.com and RonPaul.org.
RonPaul.com was set up by Ron Paul’s grassroots supporters during Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign and quickly grew into one of the largest and most comprehensive sources of information about Ron Paul and his ideas. The webpage has 103.760 likes at Facebook and a mailing list with 170,000 subscribers.
The complaint asks the WIPO to transfer away the two domain names from his supporters without compensation and hand them over to Ron Paul.
The UDRP (Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy) complaint with case number D2013-0278 was sent on the 8th of February 2013 to the owners of the domains and has not yet commenced as it is pending compliance review at WIPO. Usually the decision is published within one to two months after a case is commenced.
The domains RonPaul.com and RonPaul.org were registered in 2000 and 1999 respectively. The owners of these 2 domains own several other “Ron Paul” domain names like ronpaul.net, ronpaul.info, RonPaul2008.com, RonPaul2010.com and others.
Whois information shows that the domain name RonPaul.org is owned by a company called DN Capital Inc. based in Panama. The domain RonPaul.org was owned by Ron Paul himself for many years until he let it expire and the current owner bought it.
The domain RonPaul.com was owned by Pop Art LLC up until 2008. In 2008 the domain was transferred to another Panama company called WKF Corp. The domain RonPaul.com has been behind whois privacy since 2009. At some point in 2008 while owned by WKF Corp. the domain whois showed that the domain was leased: “Domain leased to N. Larson”.
Here is a brief history of the complaint so far:
On May 1st, 2008 a grassroots website at RonPaul.com was launched by Ron Paul’s supporters that became one of the most popular resources dedicated exclusively to Ron Paul and his ideas. The owners said that “like thousands of fellow Ron Paul supporters, they put their lives on hold and invested 5 years of hard work into Ron Paul, RonPaul.com and Ron Paul 2012.”
The domain names resolve to a webpage and the disclaimer at the bottom of the webpages say:
This website is maintained by independent grassroots supporters. It is not paid for, approved or endorsed by Ron Paul.
Last month, after Ron Paul expressed regret on the Alex Jones show over not owning RonPaul.com (in an interview titled “Ron Paul: The Internet Is Our Last Chance to Awaken America“), dozens of supporters urged the owners of the websites to contact Ron Paul to work out a deal. They sent Ron Paul an offer, explaining that they’d prefer to keep RonPaul.com due to reasons explained in the letter.
At the same time they offered him RonPaul.org as a free gift so they could keep using RonPaul.com and he wouldn’t have to use something like RonPaulsHomePage.com. Ron Paul’s lawyers are trying to use this FREE offer of RonPaul.org against the supporters in an attempt to demonstrate “bad faith” on their part. The offer went on to explain that in case Ron Paul insisted on obtaining RonPaul.com, they would prepare a complete liberty package consisting of RonPaul.com and their 170k mailing list.
The value they put on the deal was $250k; they are getting their mailing list appraised right now but the owners are confident it is easily worth more than $250k all by itself. The owners say that “claims that they tried to sell Ron Paul “his name” for $250k or even $800k are completely untrue, and there is little doubt that the mailing list would have enabled Ron Paul to raise several million dollars for the liberty movement this year. It would have been a win/win/win situation for everyone involved.”
Instead of responding to their offer, making a counter offer, or even accepting our FREE gift of RonPaul.org, Ron Paul went to the WIPO that is a United Nations division and is trying to use its legal process related to domain name disputes to actively take the domain names without compensation.
Here is a copy of Ron Paul’s complaint with annexes and the original offer to Ron Paul. The owners have 20 days to prepare a response and they are tentatively looking for a lawyer to represent us in this case.
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