That darling of American populists, former Texas Congressman and perennial presidential candidate Ron Paul, has found that inalterable principles are one thing, but getting your panties in a wad is quite another.
In 2008, a group of his supporters cobbled together RonPaul.com and worked on it for years, continuing to maintain the site even after Paul’s failed 2012 presidential run.
Now, Paul has demanded that no less an authority than the United Nations intervene to give him control of the Web property that bears his name.
Last Friday, Paul filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization, a department within the United Nations (an organization he has repeatedly condemned) demanding they confiscate RonPaul.com and RonPaul.org from their current owners and reassign the URLs to him, without requiring he compensate those who registered them and built the website out over the past five years.
After complaining on a radio show that he had not claimed the URLs for himself when he could, the owners of the site sent Paul a letter requesting he allow them to keep it with his support and continue their work on his behalf. When he refused, they explained that they believed it was worth $250,000.00 and they would hand it over to him for that amount.
“Instead of responding to our offer,” they wrote, “making a counter offer, or even accepting our FREE gift of RonPaul.org, Ron Paul went to the United Nations and is trying to use its legal process related to domain name disputes to actively deport us from our domain names without compensation.”
Paul’s apparent change of heart is clearly distressing to his supporters.
“That’s not cool!” they wrote. “We want our old pre-retirement Ron Paul back!”
The owners of the site have 20 days to respond to Paul’s complaint.
Photo by KAZ Vorpal/Flickr