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- Member Since: November 1, 2003
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Jesus guys, this sounds like a stock-standard UDRP claim against cybersquatters.
If you can prove that a website was registered and used in bad faith (such as them trying to scam money off people with legitimate interests in having that website), then you can take the website from them. Anyone can do this. It happens all the time.
As far as I'm aware, all .com and .org cases are handled by WIPO's Arbitration and Mediation Centre, as mandated by ICANN (the guys who manage domain name registries). They're technically part of the United Nations, but there's no other alternatives here - these guys run domain name cases by convention.
He's not making a personal appeal to the United Nations to intervene on his behalf, or anything of the sort.
Nobody registered the sites or used them in bad faith. The two sites were registered by Ron Paul supporters who used the site in a grassroots effort to generate more support for Ron Paul. Support he was happy to have until now.'Bad faith' can include a number of different things, there's no bright-lines test for it. Their attempts to sell the website to him for hundreds of thousands of dollars certainly doesn't look like it is hugely in good faith. Perhaps that was their intention all along, and the rest of it was just a front? I mean, at the very least, it seems bizarre that genuine supporters of Ron Paul would be trying to fleece him like that. They also seem to be running their own store. That could be seen as an attempt to make a commercial gain on the confusion of users coming to the site (them thinking that the site and its products were endorsed by Ron Paul), which would clearly be in bad faith if true. In any case, that's for the WIPO panel to decide.
It's not so much that they're attempting to sell the websites to him (remember, they offered to hand the .org site to him for free), but rather their mailing list. Well, the site has been praised by Paul and his staff before, so that's something of an endorsement. And at any rate if Paul's such a believer in the free market then why is he attempting to get a governmental agency to usurp these sites and hand them over to him, rather than giving these folks proper compensation for their work? They spent years building the sites and their mailing list, years building support for Ron Paul, years further his cause. Now that he's retired and no longer needs their support he's basically saying to them "f*ck you".