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Paul Angers Fans by Turning to Arbitration to Get Domain Names

Ron Paul has asked a United Nations agency to help him take control of a self-titled domain owned by some of his supporters, infuriating several of his libertarian fans.

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Updated, Tuesday, 9:34 a.m.: 

In an email statement Tuesday, Ron Paul's lawyers said the action between and the former Texas representative involve "a private arbitration proceeding, not a UN proceeding," arguing that the World Intellectual Property Organization, a subsidiary of the United Nations, is "serving here merely as an approved dispute-resolution service provider." 

Original story: 

Ron Paul wants a pair of domain names back from his fans, but he doesn’t want to pay for them.

The former presidential candidate and congressman filed a complaint Friday with the World Intellectual Property Organization, a United Nations agency, against the owners of and so he could gain control of the domains, according to a blog post published on the site. 

Shocked and angered supporters cited Paul’s move as a betrayal of the libertarian principles he has espoused. The website owners reportedly offered to sell the domain name,, and the 170,000-person mailing list for $250,000 — kicking in for free — saying that was the free market solution to settle the dispute. 

But Paul, an ardent critic of the U.N., went to the international agency instead, requesting that it confiscate the domain names from his supporters.

Paul supporters expressed their disappointment in a response on their website: “Back in 2007 we put our lives on hold for you, Ron, and we invested close to 10,000 hours of tears, sweat and hard work into this site at great personal sacrifice,” the blog post said. “Now that your campaigns are over and you no longer need us, you want to take it all away — and send us off to a UN tribunal?” 

The website owners also said they were seeking legal counsel in the matter. 

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