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Ron Paul vs. RonPaul.com

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John James Posted: Sat, Feb 9 2013 11:02 AM

Hey, Ron, Want Your Own Name?

The other day, the nice young couple who registered LibertyPaul.com offered to give it to Ron. On the other hand, those who registered RonPaul.com are no longer asking more than $800,000. They've cut their price to $250,000. For his own name

 

How Dare Ron Paul Want His Own Name?

Those who took it want a fortune in return. But now that Ron is a private citizen again (yea!), the normal internet rules against cybersquatting apply to him, too. (Thanks to Travis Holte)

 

Ron Paul wants sites using his name back; site owners demand compensation

 

 

Ron Paul files complaint with UN to confiscate domains RonPaul.com and RonPaul.org

 

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Hmm.  Would it be too presumptuous to think Bob Wenzel checks out the Mises Forum?  Probably.

The Battle Over RonPaul.com

 

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Malachi replied on Sat, Feb 9 2013 12:31 PM

this is awesome. morally its the same as public roads, but for public impact its hilariously inappropriate. its almost like crazy old ron paul has decided to remain public and this combined with the earlier tweet are part of a public information campaign to be the crazy uncle of america so he can keep the platform. he needs to do weekly webcasts. show off his coin collection. still, why didnt you take a pension lol? I wouldnt have given money back either, I would have hired my friends. duh.

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This is pretty funny.  I heard Ron Paul say he was going to go with RonPaulshomepage.xxx becauase other people had ronpaul.xxx.

I'm kind of bummed that he is trying to sue them through...what a sister agency to the WTO?  But, at the same time those people who want huge amounts of money for the domains (five grand might be reasonable) are revealing to us that they are making bank off of those sites and expect to be compensated along those lines...

This is a tough one.

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Aristophanes:
I heard Ron Paul say he was going to go with RonPaulshomepage.xxx becauase other people had ronpaul.xxx.

That would be incredibly weird.  I can't see the good doctor using any website with an adult-themed TLD. 

Plus they're way more expensive.

 

I'm kind of bummed that he is trying to sue them through

He is?  Source?

 

those people who want huge amounts of money for the domains (five grand might be reasonable) are revealing to us that they are making bank off of those sites and expect to be compensated along those lines...

This is a tough one.

Here's Kinsella and Tucker.

 

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From I've read, the offer for RonPaul was always for $250,000. PLUS, they offered him RonPaul.org for free.

It's not the case that they are making a lot of money - they have a lot of info that could be useful to RP on there, like email addresses.

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Wheylous:
From I've read, the offer for RonPaul was always for $250,000.

Source?

 

PLUS, they offered him RonPaul.org for free.

So?

 

It's not the case that they are making a lot of money

Really.

 

- they have a lot of info that could be useful to RP on there, like email addresses.

A domain ≠ database.  No one is even talking about a database.  All Paul wants is the ability to control where "ronpaul.com" points to.

 

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Wheylous:
From (what) I've read, the offer for RonPaul was always for $250,000. PLUS, they offered him RonPaul.org for free.

According to the documents filed with the UDRP, there was a prior email exchange in which the proprietor asked for $848,000.  I noticed that the site admin at RonPaul.com avoided calling that prior offer a lie this time around.

Wheylous:
It's not the case that they are making a lot of money - they have a lot of info that could be useful to RP on there, like email addresses.

The filing makes pretty clear that he doesn't care about all of that extra information, he just wants the domains.  That's why I found Jeffrey Tucker's comment on it pretty absurd:

$250,000 is not unreasonable for the domain. How do we know? Because that's the market price. It is a scarce good and the market for domain names is entirely authentic -- no different from any other private property market.

I was amazed that no one in that comment thread thought that was a pretty ignorant thing to say, given that that price was never just for the domain alone.

 

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Aristophanes:
I heard Ron Paul say he was going to go with RonPaulshomepage.xxx becauase other people had ronpaul.xxx.

That would be incredibly weird.  I can't see the good doctor using any website with an adult-themed TLD. 

Plus they're way more expensive.

hahah, I meant on ALex Jones Ron Paul himself said he would use ronpaulshomepage.___.  I just used "xxx" as placeholders for com/net/org, etc.  But, i think you knew that.

I'm kind of bummed that he is trying to sue them through

He is?  Source?

I thought that the filing of the complaint was equivalent to suing.  Instead of going to a court he is going to a transnational bureaucracy which is going to play the arbiting role of the court, right?  Plus, the domain holder said they were going to get lawyers.

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myhumangetsme:
that price was never just for the domain alone.

It wasn't?  Source?

 

Aristophanes:
I thought that the filing of the complaint was equivalent to suing.  Instead of going to a court he is going to a transnational bureaucracy which is going to play the arbiting role of the court, right?  Plus, the domain holder said they were going to get lawyers.

I think there are some issues to be taken with stretching the language like that, but I suppose as long as one understands this isn't exactly a "lawsuit" (i.e. civil action) brought in a court of law, it could suffice for simplicity sake.

 

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Why doesn't he just buy it from them?

http://thephoenixsaga.com/
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Why doesn't he just buy it from them?

Because it is a shit ton of money.

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John James:
It wasn't?  Source?


It's right in the Letter to Ron Paul or their latest screed:

If you do insist on obtaining RonPaul.com (it is the best Ron Paul related domain name), we could relocate our grassroots site elsewhere and sell you the domain name at its current market price of $250,000. That would include a copy of our 170,000 strong RonPaul.com email list; these supporters proactively signed up for our email updates, they expect and welcome frequent communications, and they are completely "untapped" in terms of donations. This means that you (and/or Campaign for Liberty) could easily make back the purchase price in a matter of days. Only you can put this list to its best possible use, which is why we'd include it as a free bonus with RonPaul.com.

. . .

Our offer went on to explain that in case Ron Paul insisted on obtaining RonPaul.com, we would prepare a complete liberty package consisting of RonPaul.com and our 170k mailing list.

The value we put on the deal was $250k; we are getting our mailing list appraised right now but we are confident it is easily worth more than $250k all by itself.


Notice that in the first item they said the value of the domain is $250K and the mailing list was a free bonus; now they're talking about a "liberty package" and how the value of the mailing list justifies their asking price.  So which is it?  Is the mailing list free or isn't it?

Some other interesting posts on Facebook about this situation:

This is standard operating procedure in the web development, marketing and branding industry. Our company holds several trademarks, and if someone violates our trademark, we will go after them too. Ron Paul spent a lot more money and a lot more time than these guys building his name. He also legally holds the trademark for his name.

http://www.icann.org/en/help/dndr/udrp/policy

When they registered their domain name as a .COM, they agreed to the UDRP policy, particularly section 4:

a. Applicable Disputes. You are required to submit to a mandatory administrative proceeding in the event that a third party (a “complainant”) asserts to the applicable Provider, in compliance with the Rules of Procedure, that

(i) your domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and

(ii) you have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and

(iii) your domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.


In the administrative proceeding, the complainant must prove that each of these three elements are present.

 

Section 4b(iv) is also applicable

 

(iv) by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your web site or location or of a product or service on your web site or location.

. . .

 

When ronpaul.com was purchased it came under law governed by ICANN. There is no way avoiding this FACT even if one was in ignorance of the law at the time of the domain purchase.

Read the complaint. Tim Martin is seeking undue enrichment, clearly, from the use of Ron Paul’s name. It really is that simple.

When you register a domain, in accordance with ICANN policies, you warrant that you’re not infringing on the rights of a third party and also agree to arbitration if a third party submits a claim. This arbitration process is outlined in what’s called the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy, or UDRP, and includes certain criteria such as trademark infringement and “bad faith”, both of which RP seems to be focusing on in his UDRP complaint. The WIPO, a UN agency, is one of several organizations authorized by ICANN to offer this arbitration service for a fee.

Ron Paul is the owner of RON PAUL U.S. trademark. Ron Paul has acquired rights in the mark by virtue of it’s use within the United States, including a large volume of sales of Dr. Paul’s books. The RON PAUL mark has achieved a secondary meaning associated with Ron Paul sufficient to establish common law trademark rights. RON PAUL has long been associated with Dr. Paul’s books, articles, public appearances, and political commentary.”

On the 7th page of Ron Paul’s complaint. The fun part begins on the 7th page:

http://www.ronpaul.com/images/Complaint.pdf

Obvious future result is obvious…

If you are claiming to have bought the domain only to keep the “enemy” from buying it, and then turn around and try to squeeze $250,000.00 (down from $840,000) from Ron Paul for it you get what you deserve…"

. . .

 

Voluntary agreement to a contract is the main tenet of the free market. By agreeing to ICANN's policies, RonPaul.com falls under UDPR and is subject to the requirements. Many may think Paul may be wrong headed in filing a complaint, but under Ronpaul.com's contract it is legit and the process is required.

 

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myhumangetsme:
Notice that in the first item they said the value of the domain is $250K and the mailing list was a free bonus; now they're talking about a "liberty package" and how the value of the mailing list justifies their asking price.  So which is it?  Is the mailing list free or isn't it?

Bingo.  That shows they're full of shit.  "Liberty package"?  Who the fuck do they think they are?  QVC?

Keep in mind, I think the whole thing is ridiculous because Paul's complaint is based in trademark law.  While that is an interesting argument about the registrant agreeing to the terms of the UDRP, I think in terms of a libertarian outlook, it's a moot point.  The last comment you quote talks about "main tenet of the free market"...sure, contract is...but de jure monopoly and "intellectual property" aren't.  Those things are both unlibertarian.

Essentially to own a domain you have to agree to this UDRP.

Obviously there's two things wrong with this.

1) The relevant grounds in this case (as the commenter outlined) are: "When you register a domain, in accordance with ICANN policies, you warrant that you’re not infringing on the rights of a third party"...and as far as I can tell, the only "rights" they're talking about are faux "intellectual property" rights.  So the issue falls on its face there, as far as the libertarian is concerned.  If the only complaint that you can file is that your "intellectual property rights" are being infringed, then you have no (libertarian) case.

2) The argument that "these respondants argeed to the terms of the 'contract' when they registered the domain" isn't strong either, as it is essentially a monopolistic set of terms which are the only way one may come to own a domain.  In other words, there would be no such mandatory agreement in a free society.

So not only are the premises of the agreement at odds with libertarian principles, but the nature of the agreement itself is as well.

As Kinsella said:

Put it this way: in a free society, there would be no reputation rights, no IP law, no trademark, no copyright, no right of publicity, so I doubt the private companies running the internet infrastructure woudl ever have a quasi-IP-based domain name dispute policy in the first place.

 

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Torsten replied on Sun, Feb 10 2013 4:17 AM

John James wrote the following post at Sat, Feb 9 2013 7:02 PM:

Hey, Ron, Want Your Own Name?

The other day, the nice young couple who registered LibertyPaul.com offered to give it to Ron. On the other hand, those who registered RonPaul.com are no longer asking more than $800,000. They've cut their price to $250,000. For his own name

RonPaul.org or RonPaul.com are not his own name. Not more then Torsten.com would be my name. 

 

 

 

How Dare Ron Paul Want His Own Name?

Those who took it want a fortune in return. But now that Ron is a private citizen again (yea!), the normal internet rules against cybersquatting apply to him, too. (Thanks to Travis Holte)

Ron Paul isn't a trade mark. There are no exclusive rights to that name. If I cal my dog RonPaul that doesn't mean that Ron Paul can now demand it for free.  

 

 

Ron Paul wants sites using his name back; site owners demand compensation

 

And rightfully so. What is more disturbing is that he's crying for Courts and some UN-organisation to do the forced expropriation for him. Was his libertarian stance just a publicity stunt?

 

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Clayton replied on Sun, Feb 10 2013 4:46 AM

a) The root source of the possibility of this conflict - and there are zillions of such conflicts every year - is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. To be more precise, it is the nature of the Top-Level Domain structure dating back to the days of ARPANet, whereby names were simply assigned on a non-economic basis. As always, government is inevitably involved wherever there is mischief.

b) There are long-run technical solutions to this problem which may, one day, be adopted if we are ever lucky enough to see the expansion of freedom and liberty around the globe. The problem is precisely analogous to that of assigned leaders, versus natural leaders whose leadership is recognized rather than imposed. An attributive network would simply function on the basis of recognition... ronpaul.com directs to the Ron Paul because that's what routers and users want... what Ron Paul wants or what pretenders to a ronpaul.com domain want is immaterial. Sure, it's Utopia, but all the technical problems have been solved (certain components of Bitcoin, for example, already employ this kind of technology).

c) That said, we don't live in Utopia. If you stole $1,000 from Ron Paul, he'd have to file a police complaint with the government (dun dun DUNNN) just like anybody else. And not all the rules are fair. But it's unfair to ask libertarians to never use the unfair rules in their own favor... after all, we are all victimized by the same unfairness. A friend of mine commenting on the disbarring of a lawyer for fundamentally unjust reasons - even though everything was "by the books" - was that the lawyer in question knew what the (admittedly, fundamentally unfair) rules were that he chose to break and he voluntarily chose to bear the consequences of this when 1) he got to the bar and 2) broke the rules.

d) Thus, it is not necessarily unfair to be called to account for breaking unfair rules that everybody else has to abide by. Yes, it's distorted but this is, in fact, the way that all of us live day-to-day, dealing with absurd traffic tickets and unfair tax laws and economic regulations of all kinds. We "pass the buck" of civilly-accepted-unfairness on to the next guy, so to speak.

The question here is whether Ron Paul is or is not entitled to the domain under the rules as they are, not as we imagine they ought to be in Utopia. Paul has filed with this commission and I think that the appropriate course of action is for the owners of the domain to disengage from a PR battle and, instead, make a better offer to Dr. Paul. If they're sure he's wrong according to the rules-as-they-are, then it looks like it will be Dr. Paul who will need to make a better offer.

I fully sympathize with the frustration of the domain owners. They were "the first to use" this domain. I would be upset if I was in their shoes. But, at the same time, they walked into it knowing these are the rules. It is silly for them to expect special treatment from Ron Paul on the basis of imagined Utopian ideals and it is downright childish for them to go into this PR attack. If they have a good case, they should make that case in the appointed forum, regardless of the fundamental unfairness and stupidity of the TLD system run by ICANN, which is irrelevant to the dispute at hand. I wish them luck and I think if they play their chips right they may actually be able to secure a reasonable purchase price for the domain-name... but I think they shot themselves in the foot in this regard by opening a PR battle.

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Marko replied on Sun, Feb 10 2013 7:47 AM

I was amazed that no one in that comment thread thought that was a pretty ignorant thing to say, given that that price was never just for the domain alone.


You are wrong.

They are trying to sell him something he doesn't want from them.

Who cares if they want to give him their database along with the domain, that is not what he wants from them. It is obvious they are using this database thing to justify (to the public) the price of what he does want from them.

Since the domain is all Paul wants from them, and 250,000 is what he must pay to get it, then that is indeed the price of what he wants.

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Marko replied on Sun, Feb 10 2013 7:58 AM

Keep in mind, I think the whole thing is ridiculous because Paul's complaint is based in trademark law.  While that is an interesting argument about the registrant agreeing to the terms of the UDRP, I think in terms of a libertarian outlook, it's a moot point.  The last comment you quote talks about "main tenet of the free market"...sure, contract is...but de jure monopoly and "intellectual property" aren't.  Those things are both unlibertarian.


Agreed.

I'm relieved to learn the UN thing is a complaint rather than a lawsuit, but if the complaint is being made on grounds of trademark rules then that's stil problematic. I can't condone that.

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Wheylous replied on Sun, Feb 10 2013 12:15 PM

I don't think it would be Ron Paul who would have standing to sue, but rather anyone who gets tricked by the Ron Paul website in believing it's actually affiliated with Ron Paul. And as far as I know, it's common knowledge that the website is not officially affiliated with Ron Paul.

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Wheylous:
And as far as I know, it's common knowledge that the website is not officially affiliated with Ron Paul.

...Or one would at least hope people would be able to figure it out:

 

"This site is run by independent grassroots supporters of Ron Paul."

 

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What are Ron Paul's views on IP?  I seem to recall the topic was conspicuously absent from his Liberty Defined.  Is he a Kinsellian on this issue?

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Thanks.  Do you know anywhere that Ron speaks/writes about it?

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Graham Wright:
Thanks.  Do you know anywhere that Ron speaks/writes about it?

Daily Paul - Patents and Copyrights: Why they matter.

Technology Voters' Guide: Ron Paul

voted against the PRO-IP Act

 

Basically he seems to see the unlibertarianness of it in some respects, but not all.  He sees how copyright and patent can stifle innovation and be abusive, but he still thinks they have a place.  Essentially my personal guess is (a) he just hasn't looked much into it  (b) this is one of those things that even libertarians can have a hard time wrapping their head around and letting go of.

Just look at Tom Woods.

 

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dude6935 replied on Mon, Feb 11 2013 3:17 PM

But it's unfair to ask libertarians to never use the unfair rules in their own favor... after all, we are all victimized by the same unfairness.

[...]

Thus, it is not necessarily unfair to be called to account for breaking unfair rules that everybody else has to abide by.

I don't agree. Morality is independent of societal rules. Theft is always immoral, be it legal or illegal. If it were legal to murder, it might be "fair" to commit murder, but it would not be moral. Ron Paul is wrong here (assuming that the contact was coercive in nature).

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Clayton replied on Mon, Feb 11 2013 4:33 PM

@dude: That's noble and everything... I sure you hope you don't live in the US or anywhere in the Western world, which is an empire fueled by fiat money and enriched by global war, the benefits of which infuse the entire economy. If you work at a grocery store, do you know that none of the customers (who ultimately write your paycheck) are employed by Lockheed-Martin, Goldman Sachs or the government itself?

Some people, on the basis of conscience, do move to far off places to escape it all. This is an honorable and noble choice but it is not right for everyone. I have two children to support and raise... I can't just leave. In fact, this is precisely how a lot of people are nailed down despite their conscience... family entanglements are very conscientiously exploited by the ruling Elites. I do not hold myself to blame for stepping into a trap set by someone with sinister motives, a situation in which many liberty-lovers find themselves.

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dude6935 replied on Mon, Feb 11 2013 5:39 PM

Luckily, we not morally responsible for the positive eternities that we might enjoy, even if those externalities are the result of immoral acts. As long as we do not cause those immoral acts, we are guiltless.

When we use the state system to our advantage, we are using warfare. This is only legitimate in self defense. Is Ron Paul defending himself or his property? I don't think so.

I agree; I would like to move (to NH perhaps). And familial entanglements are the major obstacle. But this desire to move is for purely selfish reasons (as all desires are). I want to better protect my property.

 

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Clayton replied on Mon, Feb 11 2013 7:47 PM

Luckily, we not morally responsible for the positive eternities that we might enjoy, even if those externalities are the result of immoral acts. As long as we do not cause those immoral acts, we are guiltless.

 

But that's just it... a law which benefits you is just there... that law itself is a positive externality. The very value of the property you own, for example, is intimately connected with the positive externalities created by unfair laws. For example, public transportation and utilities are a boon to downtown businesses. These businesses cause such externalities to be produce by virtue of complying with the tax-and-regulate system. They are not the sole cause, but they are a contributing cause.

And this applies directly to Ron Paul's situation - it is only by virtue of the very laws that the owners of ronpaul.com are now protesting that they were able to ask for $800+k and now $250k. It is contradictory for them to first appeal to these unfair laws in setting an asking price and then balk when Ron Paul utilizes those very same laws to challenge their very high asking price. If Ron Paul is assuming the legitimacy of IP in challenging the owners of ronpaul.com, they are assuming it no less.

When we use the state system to our advantage, we are using warfare. This is only legitimate in self defense. Is Ron Paul defending himself or his property? I don't think so.

Well, that's a matter of opinion - libertarians are widely split on the legitimacy of IP, so it's no open-and-shut case. But to address the issue of using the state system to our advantage, I'm afraid I have to disagree. I think it should be circumscribed by conscience but there is a certain extent to which you have to use your own elbows a little here and there in a crowd of people who are all using their elbows... or spikes or knives or swords or guns. Of course, we don't elbow the weak and the infirm, the fatherless and widows, we don't get out the spikes, knives, swords and guns and join the Mafia... but when you're next door neighbor is elbowing the crap out of you, there's a point where you have to elbow a bit, too.

For example, I heartily reject IP law as aggressive and immoral. Yet my paycheck is written almost entirely on the basis of IP law. I work as an engineer for one of the largest tech companies in the world. They derive their immense profits almost entirely on the basis of their battalion of IP lawyers making sure nobody can "copy" "their" work - more specifically, anyone who wants to use their interface has to pay them royalties. And so on. I'm a tiny piece of the puzzle, a tiny cog in the giant machine... but there I am, a part of that machine, contributing my part to making it go. And this is how I earn my living. I think it's absurd and I wish to God there was a way to get out of it but for the time being, I'm trapped in it. So, there's an element of "it is what it is" in life... a corrupt society makes individual incorruption impossible. Which is why it is so very important that we work to correct the corruption in our societies.

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DrewNull replied on Mon, Feb 11 2013 8:48 PM

If I were the registrant of ronpaul.com, I would have happily handed it over to him for free.  That is, before the whole threaten to use the coercive power of government to extort it from me thing.  I think IP is a great litmus test for anyone who claims to be libertarian.  Sad to RP on the wrong side of this one.  

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dude6935 replied on Tue, Feb 12 2013 11:52 AM

But that's just it... a law which benefits you is just there... that law itself is a positive externality.

So what? I am not morally responsible for externalities. Not because the law says so, but because my morality says so. List all the externalities you want, regardless of how fundamental they are, it doesn't matter. Because they will never be more fundamental than my natural rights.

And this applies directly to Ron Paul's situation - it is only by virtue of the very laws that the owners of ronpaul.com are now protesting that they were able to ask for $800+k and now $250k.

What? Did your account get hacked? The right to exchange is natural. It is not the result of laws.

But to address the issue of using the state system to our advantage, I'm afraid I have to disagree. I think it should be circumscribed by conscience but there is a certain extent to which you have to use your own elbows a little here and there in a crowd of people who are all using their elbows... or spikes or knives or swords or guns. Of course, we don't elbow the weak and the infirm, the fatherless and widows, we don't get out the spikes, knives, swords and guns and join the Mafia... but when you're next door neighbor is elbowing the crap out of you, there's a point where you have to elbow a bit, too.

Yes, but only in self defense. We don't have the right to steal with the aide of the state. We do have the right to have legitimate contracts enforced and to be protected from harm. That is the difference. Your wage is not immoral because you don't do harm. You contract your labor. The harm is done by others. Your benefit is an externality and you have a right to use the state to enforce your payment. It doesn't matter if your neighbors are using the state to their benefit or not. It doesn't matter how your employer choose to fund your wage (so long as you don't ask it to do harm on your behalf). Using the state in pure self defense is always moral.

Ron Paul's use of state enforcement (if that is indeed what he is doing) is only legitimate if he is acting in self defense. He must be either enforcing a legitimate contract or preventing harm to his property. It is not legitimate for him to ask the state to enforce a coerced, monopolistic contract on a third party. That itself is harm. He has every right to register RonPaul.com, but he cannot ask that it be stolen. Again, this assumes that ICANN is a coercive, monopoly.

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Clayton replied on Tue, Feb 12 2013 12:24 PM

Yes, but only in self defense. We don't have the right to steal with the aide of the state. We do have the right to have legitimate contracts enforced and to be protected from harm. That is the difference.

But you're being glib. Let's say Alice steals $10,000 from Bob. Bob calls the police. He explains that Alice stole the money and shows them the footage. They believe this is a crime. Now, the police go to Alice's house. She says it's a private matter between her and Bob, that she wants Bob to call her and she'll take care of settling it with Bob. But now it's too late. The coercive gears of teh State have been set in motion. Alice does not have the option to call Bob up and settle the matter. Unless she complies to the nth degree with the police's every command to be cuffed & stuffed, her life is in grave danger - and even if she does comply, she's still in danger. Bob has set in motion an inherently coercive system, in the name of "self-defense" or recovering stolen property.

The fact is that, in a corrupted society, it is impossible to be free of corruption. Bob surely does need his $10,000 back - that's a lot of money. And he may have no other possible recourse than to call the police to recoup the cash. But in doing so, he may be setting in motion an inevitable series of aggressive actions. The police don't actually function for the purpose of recovering stolen property - that's a purely ancillary function in their own view. Rather, they exist to punish and enforce. So, the peaceful citizen is faced with a painful dilemma: he can either eat the losses of theft, or he can unleash the aggressive wolves of the State on his aggressor.

In fact, this is the very danger of much of family law - there is so little room for the victim's discretion. Consider the now highly politicized domestic violence. Should you be the victim of domestic violence and you believe that your attacker needs to be warned but not go to prison or something, then you might make the mistake of calling the police. But the thing is that the law requires the police to arrest no matter what - if DV has occurred, statutory law eliminates all exercise of human judgment whether on the part of the victim or the police. The net effect is that probably less DV gets reported than ought to be reported as victims make the painful choice of just "eating it" rather than seeing their spouse - who they love and need to not be in jail - jailed and then likely convicted and destroyed by the criminal justice system in perpetuity. One can argue whether police are the proper venue for intervention in these cases, but the point is that even asking third-parties - such as family, friends, church, etc. - for intervention is legally risky... should anyone who becomes aware of the situation choose to report it to the police, the same outcome will occur. So, paradoxically, I believe DV laws can actually increase DV in these situations where what the victim wants to happen is for an outsider to intervene and simply shame and warn the abuser, rather than spring them immediately into the criminal justice system.

Your wage is not immoral because you don't do harm. You contract your labor. The harm is done by others.

The armorer for the abusive and aggressive police department can argue the same, no?

Your benefit is an externality and you have a right to use the state to enforce your payment. It doesn't matter if your neighbors are using the state to their benefit or not. It doesn't matter how your employer choose to fund your wage (so long as you don't ask it to do harm on your behalf). Using the state in pure self defense is always moral.

 

See above ... I think it's virtually impossible to "use the state in pure self defense" and I think it shows a general lack of familiarity with how the police and courts actually operate that you think this is possible.

Ron Paul's use of state enforcement (if that is indeed what he is doing) is only legitimate if he is acting in self defense. He must be either enforcing a legitimate contract or preventing harm to his property. It is not legitimate for him to ask the state to enforce a coerced, monopolistic contract on a third party. That itself is harm. He has every right to register RonPaul.com, but he cannot ask that it be stolen. Again, this assumes that ICANN is a coercive, monopoly.

ICANN is a coercive monopoly and the whole concept of "registering it first" is ridiculous. Since when does ICANN or the US Government have the right to create a universal namespace and then charge people to register names in that space on a paid, first-come-first-serve basis, giving rise to a secondary speculative market in... literally nothing?? Now, I'm not going to say there's any easy solutions to this problem but what I will say is that Ron Paul's property claim - as far as you and I can tell from here - is as good as theirs, according to the very rules of ICANN which made ronpaul.com "their property" in the first place! And further, Paul's filing to have the matter settled is not aggressive action... that's like saying that suing someone - and turning out to have been wrong - is aggression. What nonsense. He's asking for the opportunity to tell his side of the story in a forum which has been established for this purpose. Sheesh.

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dude6935 replied on Tue, Feb 12 2013 2:09 PM

Damn. The web ate my reply.

Bob has set in motion an inherently coercive system, in the name of "self-defense" or recovering stolen property.

So what? Alice has placed herself in danger by committing theft. Bob has every right to use force against Alice in order to repossess his property. Can he torture her in order to learn the location of his money? I don't see why not. So he can have the police use force on his behalf.

He can take her to civil court. He has the choice not to press criminal charges once his money is recovered. If he chooses to press charges and place her in prison, that might be aggression, but he does not have to do that. Even if the police could convict her without Bob's consent, that is an externality and it is not Bob's moral responsibly. 

ICANN is a coercive monopoly and the whole concept of "registering it first" is ridiculous. Since when does ICANN or the US Government have the right to create a universal namespace and then charge people to register names in that space on a paid, first-come-first-serve basis, giving rise to a secondary speculative market in... literally nothing?? Now, I'm not going to say there's any easy solutions to this problem but what I will say is that Ron Paul's property claim - as far as you and I can tell from here - is as good as theirs, according to the very rules of ICANN which made ronpaul.com "their property" in the first place! 

How can Ron Paul's property claim be good if it is based on rules which ICANN has no right to create and impose? That strikes me as a contradiction.

And further, Paul's filing to have the matter settled is not aggressive action... that's like saying that suing someone - and turning out to have been wrong - is aggression. What nonsense. He's asking for the opportunity to tell his side of the story in a forum which has been established for this purpose. Sheesh.

If Ron Paul wins in this kangaroo court, he will be using the coercive power of the state to recover his property. And that is fine in itself, but not if the property is not justly acquired. You seem to think that Ron Paul has a right to a domain that has already been both homesteaded and purchased by a third party. What gives him that right? His name? His fame? Utter nonsense. Only homesteading and exchange can make legitimate property. It certainly cannot be by stateist rules, essentially fiat and decree. What in libertarianism is more clear than that?

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Marko replied on Tue, Feb 12 2013 2:11 PM

Basically he seems to see the unlibertarianness of it in some respects, but not all.  He sees how copyright and patent can stifle innovation and be abusive, but he still thinks they have a place.  Essentially my personal guess is (a) he just hasn't looked much into it  (b) this is one of those things that even libertarians can have a hard time wrapping their head around and letting go of.

Just look at Tom Woods.

So Ron Paul is a bit confused (uninformed) on this and can not fully grasp he is actually in the wrong here. However what is Lew Rockwell doing supporting him ("cybersquatting")?

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Clayton replied on Tue, Feb 12 2013 2:24 PM

Can he torture her in order to learn the location of his money? I don't see why not.

We hold so little in common, I see no point in further discussion. Your view is indistinguishable to me from the views held by, say, Torquemada.

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hashem replied on Tue, Feb 12 2013 2:26 PM

Ron Paul's a flawless angel. He would never do this.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect. —Mark Twain
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Clayton replied on Tue, Feb 12 2013 4:35 PM

How can Ron Paul's ronpaul.com's property claim be good if it is based on rules which ICANN has no right to create and impose?

FTFY

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dude6935 replied on Tue, Feb 12 2013 4:37 PM

We hold so little in common, I see no point in further discussion. 

Yah its like you would never say this:

I think our key remaining disagreement is whether use of deadly force is justified for reasons other than defense of person. I think the correct answer to this is "no" - it's not justified... I think you have to first exhaust all legal recourse until the individual has placed himself outside the purview of law itself... has become an outcast, an outlaw. At that point, you may be justified in taking direct action... simply killing the offender.

My emphasis. 

I guess killing is more legitimate than torture. And deadly force is cool, but only after the criminal evades the cops.

And... cop out. Issues just seem to disappear form your responses as soon as I feel the point is proven. Maybe this is coincidence, or maybe not. I feel my point has been proven here as well, and your latest retort makes me wonder if pride prevents you from acknowledging your errors.

Your view is indistinguishable to me from the views held by, say, Torquemada.

And what a MASSIVE ad hominem! I will not even directly address such a baseless personal attack. My being compared to a Spanish Inquisitor is laughable.

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dude6935 replied on Tue, Feb 12 2013 4:50 PM

How can Ron Paul's ronpaul.com's property claim be good if it is based on rules which ICANN has no right to create and impose?

Duh. It is not based on ICANN rules.......... Homesteading man...

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gotlucky replied on Tue, Feb 12 2013 5:29 PM

dude6935,

1) Are you familiar with libertarian thought on proportionality? There are various takes on it, but it's pretty standard for libertarians to find torture not in proportion to theft.

2) Are you familiar with ICANN and with standard libertarian thought on homesteading? Firstly, ICANN was created in order to delegate US government power to ICANN instead. Secondly, you register a domain name with the organization. Apparently ICANN somehow owns all domain names without using them first. There is no homesteading of domain names anywhere in this system. Thirdly, before ICANN somehow owned all these domain names, the US government did.

Now, you might say that ICANN doesn't actually own the domain names, that they just register them. But that is not how libertarian homesteading works. You don't register your land in order to own it. You use it first. Registering your property with someone is a formality that helps you with claims and disputes, but it is irrelevant as far as homesteading is concerned. 

3) I'm sure there is a way to deal with domain names in a decentralized system. Ron Paul is playing by the rules of the centralized system. I disagree with him for doing this, but it's not my dispute. Both parties are going to fight it out in a centralized court system. 

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Marko replied on Tue, Feb 12 2013 5:38 PM

Now, you might say that ICANN doesn't actually own the domain names, that they just register them. But that is not how libertarian homesteading works. You don't register your land in order to own it. You use it first. Registering your property with someone is a formality that helps you with claims and disputes, but it is irrelevant as far as homesteading is concerned.

It is a moot point. The people who registered ronpaul.com didn't just put a placeholder site there and waited for when around RP is going to come around so they can have a payday. They registered it in good faith and used it to build a vibrant pro-RP grassroots site around it. They did real homesteading after registering.

You could as well be saying a settler who built a cabin in Colonial-era West Virginia didn't really own the land underneath it because he had first purchased it from the Virginia Company which had never owned it.

Registering with ICANN is a hurdle imposed by the state on would-be homesteaders of domains. But people shouldn't be penalized for having to jump this hurdle and their whole homestead being proclaimed illegitimate, because a state-enabled monopolist shook them down for some money before they could exercise their natural right to homestead vaccant domains.

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