Sunday, February 17, 2013

Ron Paul Dot Com 2.1

This is version 2.1 because it is not a completely new version, but only a clarification of one aspect of my previous post.

I ended my last post on this topic as follows:

I am certain there are many details of the regulatory procedures that I have not captured….I am open to further understanding on this issue.

In reviewing my previous article and some of the links, I found a glaring instance of just such a miss.  It was right under my nose, in an LRC blog post….

ICANN has four approved arbitration organizations.

In that light, I offer the following from ICANN:

Complaints under the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy may be submitted to any approved dispute-resolution service provider listed below. Each provider follows the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy as well as its own supplemental rules.

There are four listed dispute-resolution service providers, one of which is WIPO – the provider housed within the UN.  This is counter to what I had previously written:

ICANN has chosen WIPO to adjudicate such disputes.

There is something else from the above-mentioned LRC post:

Because the guys registered Ron's name in Australia, the international arbitration option must be used.

In my quick review of the four providers, one seems to be US-based, one in Europe, and one in Asia.  The fourth is WIPO. 

Still, this leaves some room for conflict with the language at the ICANN site, which states that claims may be submitted to any provider on the list.  Is it possible that the language at the ICANN site is a general statement, with many devils in the many details?  After all, lawyers and regulators rarely write so clearly and succinctly. Is it possible that it is ICANN and not the claimant that selects the provider, based on factors of the specific claim?  As indicated at LRC, could geography determine?  The statement could be read this way:

Complaints under the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy may be submitted [by ICANN] to any approved dispute-resolution service provider listed below.

Or this way:

Complaints under the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy may be submitted [by Claimant] to any approved dispute-resolution service provider listed below.

I have no idea, but this could explain and therefore eliminate the seeming conflict.  It would take someone familiar with such proceedings to clarify this language.  That isn’t me.

As I have mentioned before and will do so again: I have no opinion one way or another about which party will prevail in this issue, nor does it make any difference to me.  I know little about the details of the dispute, and virtually nothing about the law.  I have no desire to get in Ron Paul’s head and figure out why he did this.  My intent has been to answer and remains in answering the following:

1)      What is the process?
2)      Is there some violation of libertarian principle / NAP in Ron Paul’s action?

I am working on a follow-up post.  In this upcoming post, I will summarize some of the discussion that my earlier post generated, including further developing some of my replies.  I will also address some statements made in a Huffington Post article on this subject.  Finally, I will further develop my views regarding UN involvement in this matter.


  1. A government sponsored monopoly and it's procedures have absolutely no bearing on what the outcome should be using the NAP and libertarian principle.

    Ron must FIRST demonstrate his claim to the domain using libertarian principle. Then and ONLY THEN does it make any sense to analyze whether it is alright for him to use an arm of the state to regain what is rightfully his.

    1. Derrick, when a government sponsored monopoly is the only game in town for an otherwise legitimate purpose, what do you do?

      First class mail? Do you send your letters via FedEx in order to maintain purity? Public transportation? Do you only take a taxi?

      Be real. Read Murray Rothbard. It will do you some good.

      As to Ron must FIRST demonstrate his claim...blah, blah, blah. The claim will succeed or fail based on the terms of the agreement. This is as libertarian as it gets.

      Understand the meaning of contracts and agreements in libertarian philosophy. But stop making the same points over and over without this understanding.

  2. You have lost the argument.

    It is very disturbing to hear from someone who has apparently "read rothbard" that being able to demonstrate his claim to the domain using libertarian principle is "blah blah blah."

    This would seem to me to be the first issue. How is it not? Many things are allowable by law, but what does that have to do with whether it's moral or not? How is it "blah blah blah" to discuss the issue using basic libertarian philosophy such as NAP?

    To act at all times as if the law is moral is a dangerous assumption.

    1. Derrick

      You haven't read Rothbard, else you cannot make this statement: "To act at all times as if the law is moral is a dangerous assumption."

      I do not and have not.

      I will paraphrase: there are activities performed by government that would also be performed in a libertarian society. It is not a violation of libertarian principle to avail oneself or in some other way make use of such activities.

      The idea of teaching at a university is raised. Certainly, in a libertarian society, there would be university professors. Yet in this world, the state has virtually taken over all of higher education – directly or indirectly. This should not preclude one who enjoys teaching from pursuing his calling.

      Regarding the current situation, every activity in this loop would also exist in a libertarian society:

      Domain Name Registration

      What is immoral about these? Please explain why these would not happen in a libertarian society?

      That some of these activities are done in this case by quasi-governmental entities (or the UN) is irrelevant. Read Rothbard.

      You are looking for libertarian principle, yet you ignore the most libertarian of principles – that of contract.

      Blah, blah, blah….

  3. Derrick,
    Are you confusing what is permissible by law( statist ), by contract, by rule or regulation with what is moral? The two concepts are not the same and cannot be collapsed into each other. I believe, and BM will correct me if I am wrong here, that the post he has here concerning this issue is not whether it is moral but whether under the existing legal system, RP is legally justified in his action. BM does not speak to its ethics. It is no fault of Paul that he finds himself living in a statist society and must operate within those parameters.
    Just as importantly, RP is not and has never been an anarchist, he is and has always been a minarchist, a constitutional libertarian. As such, Paul is not in violation of his principles on this issue since most minarchists believe it is a legitimate function of a limited government to protect property. Paul has always believed in copyright/trademark protection. Sure in a libertarian society, one could other solutions to a problem like this( I mean that of using the force of the state).....alternative solutions would be contract and private law courts. Keep in mind though, a libertarian society does not necessarily mean a more moral society. I believe you are stumbling into thick libertarianism without even knowing it. Please read Bastiat's The Law and then read Rothbard's For A New Liberty....both can be found for free download at

    1. STS: I believe, and BM will correct me if I am wrong here, that the post he has here concerning this issue is not whether it is moral but whether under the existing legal system, RP is legally justified in his action. BM does not speak to its ethics.

      BM: You are correct; I say nothing about the morality or ethics of the claim. I say nothing about the actual claim itself, other than to say the facts of his claim, when weighed against the terms of the agreements, will determine the validity of the claim. This is voluntary contract. It is libertarian.

      I am saying something more than “under the existing legal system.” I am saying that every function in this chain – the legal agreements, contracts, license agreements, arbitration, ownership of property, AND the force of a decision that comes from such an arbitration would ALL exist in a libertarian society and a fully free market system.

      In a libertarian society, as long as someone other than the registrant owns the internet infrastructure in its entirety, the owners of that infrastructure will make rules for its use. That is the case here with

      In a libertarian society, say an arbitration panel decides Ron Paul is right. The panel would tell the registrar (the libertarian ICANN) to change the licensee of the name domain name That is the case here in this arbitration.

      It is legitimate in a libertarian society; therefore there is nothing wrong with following such a process in the mess of a system we live in today.

    2. @Stop the State

      Point out where what I am saying is at odd's with Bastiat's "The Law." I will wait. It's quite the quick read and I've read it too many times to count.

      The amazing arrogance on this site to assume no one is read if they disagree with you. Not to mention that you should be able to argue without appeals to authority.

      I will admit that I use the term "moral" loosely. When I say moral, I only mean that it doesn't violate NAP. That's what it means to me, but I should be more careful with the word as it means something different to everyone.

      I am basically saying that just because Ron gets his way via ICANN, it doesn't mean he hasn't violated the NAP. No one seems to care about that. Especially on this blog.

    3. @Derrick
      What is at "odds" is that you are conflating what is moral with what is lawful( permissible by law). Bastiat gives a very good account on how to distinguish between the two. You as much admit to doing this in your third paragraph. Sloppy. You should also revisit your logical fallacies; it is not an appeal to authority to suggest to read something. And yes, while I might have my own ideas about this issue that differ somewhat from BM, I do not believe RP has violate the NAP. He is abiding by the terms and conditions as laid out by the registrar.
      I think it might be an over generalization on your part to accuse everyone visiting/writing on this blog to be careless of the NAP. Sloppy.

    4. @BM:
      Allow me to clarify my earlier comment: "under the existing legal system..."
      In all instances adherence to libertarian principles would include abiding by the rules set forth by any agreement with other parties so long as the participants were not forced into the agreement in the first place( of course forceful participation then is not a contractual agreement) and parties do not commit aggression. This is the case, the parties in question on this issue are to abide by the terms of agreement as set forth by the registrar. In qualifying my statement by using the term "under the existing legal system", I only meant to imply that in an An-Cap society there might very likely be multiple alternatives to the initial agreement. That is to say there may be multiple "Internets" in an An-Cap world.
      BTW, thanks for these series of posts as you have helped me clarify my own thinking on this issue.

    5. @STS

      My entire point this whole time has been that what is allowable by law is not necessarily moral. You have misread my original point. Reread it and show me where I say anywhere, or confuse anywhere, the law with morality.

      This has been the basis of my argument the whole time. Lew Rockwell and this guy have been avoiding the moral (whether it is against NAP) issue over and over. They are only concerned with what is allowable by law.

      I posit they don't want to talk about anything but what is allowed by law and that they should be called on it. So far, BM has offered nothing but reasoning of why Ron can do it lawfully.

      Seriously, work on reading comprehension. My last sentence in the post you are talking about is even "To act at all times as if the law is moral is a dangerous assumption."

      How much more in accordance with Bastiat can you get?

    6. "I only meant to imply that in an An-Cap society there might very likely be multiple alternatives to the initial agreement. That is to say there may be multiple "Internets" in an An-Cap world."

      Fair enough, that makes sense.

  4. I have read Rothbard. Over and over. You are the one misrepresenting his work. Of course what you say is true. I understand that certain state functions can be considered legitimate.

    THE PROBLEM IS (which you continually ignore) that you have not demonstrated to anyone whether the state function you plan to use is legitimate or not. You have not proven, or attempted to prove, whether or not Ron has a claim to the domain in the first place. You have all just sided with Ron and swept the issue under the rug.

    The reason you won't address this issue is because it's a lot harder to show that Ron has a claim to the site using anything BUT the laws of the state.

    You are illogical. Your whole Rothbard thing is an appeal to authority which in it of itself proves nothing. However, doesn't make sense even if you take Rothbard's word as100% correct.

    Rothbard says there can be legitimate functions of a state. Yes.

    ICANN performs a function within the state. We have no alternative. Yes.

    It does not follow that Rothbard would agree that the use of the force of ICANN is a legitimate use of force. This should be obvious, otherwise you could use Rothbard to justify practically any function being performed by the state as long as their were no alternatives.

    All in all, you just keep avoiding the real issue with a bunch of mumbo jumbo and purposeful misrepresentations of great works. Or, maybe you just never understood it in the first place.

    One last thing, you are so wrong all over the place it's hard to keep up. This case is not comparable to going to school or getting your license as only one person can have and use You don't directly hurt anyone else or transfer property by getting a license.

  5. I would be interested in someone fleshing out the idea that "force" or "government force" will somehow be involved in this situation. Perhaps this idea is too basic, but I try to take the situation to its logical conclusion and it is difficult for me to see where force comes in exactly. For example, we know that police with guns and badges will not be visiting anyone's home or business. I'm not arguing (emphatically) that there is no force being applied. However, every time I hear that force is to be used I begin to daydream about when and where and how that force is to be manifested.

    I'm currently thinking about it this way... For better or worse, some government-infected body owns the DNS registration process. Dr. Paul, through his actions has demonstrated that he feels/thinks that he has a rightful claim to the DNS registration of Whether he is correct or incorrect he has placed a claim for dispute resolution. The resolution will take a decision on this matter, and again, they could be 'correct' or 'incorrect'.

    Should they decide in Dr. Paul's favor, there will be no physical force applied. The DNS entries will be pointed to an IP address of Dr. Paul's choosing.

    The current registrant of the DNS registration basically had to 'petition' the registering agency to receive the registration. Ron Paul is essentially petitioning the registering agency that he should receive the registration. A decision will be made, and some internet pointers will be redirected (should Paul win).

    Where is the 'force' or 'aggression' in this process? Is it possible that the 'force' is more closely correlated with the registering agency being government-infected and not open to private management? Is the force inherent in claiming the monopoly on registrations?

    I am interested in hearing those (and there are many) who are making the case that force is being used, that aggression is being used, to flesh out and put their finger on exactly what force is being applied, to whom, and in what part of the process.

    I am trying not to be predisposed on this issue. I haven't seen the case fully articulated.

    1. Yea...and income taxes are "voluntary." Just ask Harry Reid.

      This is equivalent to you saying that people pay seat belt tickets without the use of force. It's the threat of force. They will eventually kill you if you sufficiently resist paying your ticket.