Plaque on the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
These guys wanting a quarter million means that the web site means a lot of money for anybody who owns it, BUT I DO think they know that they can never get the use of it, nor get the liberty-message mileage, AND their demand for a quarter million speaks volumes to the FACT that they are VERY MUCH into getting something just for being the first to take advantage of a GOVERNMENT-CREATED monopoly on DNS names and the DNS system for the entire world.
ICANN independent you say, not government? No more than the Federal Reserve, right?
The assumption that somehow Ron Paul is using government force to rob something from somebody that they “homesteaded”. NOT SO!
The DNS system and the government-protected monopoly mandate ICANN has to control the names, is a government “virtual” reality.
That’s why I think eventually Stephen Kinsella may even change his mind about this issue, because I agree with his view that a government-created “virtual” property is a speech-suppressing fiction and distortion on the free market. It’s not a telecommunications monopoly like AT&T was before their breakup, BUT it is a “virtual” monopoly.
He said in one interview that if not for trademark law, Ron Paul would have no basis for a claim.
My answer to that is that without a government protection for the ICANN monopoly, and its de facto control over the names by virtue of an Internet that grew as a government creation instead of “organically” like it was before ARPA “took them over” –whether by intention or by accident. It is also a government so bloated out of proportion to the “free” economy, such as it was, that the thing was warped from the beginning by government presence, because by then it was the biggest thing going in the economy.
When you go to visit somebody in the physical world, you look for what the address is. There is no easy such system for the Internet, and when you “lease” the “rights” to the name before somebody else from this government-created committee, you also implicitly are forced to agree that the same ones who granted this monopoly on the name in the DNS servers across the country, have the right to abide by their own rules, or at least make judgments based on those rules, to give it to somebody else.
In other words, all Internet named addresses have to go to the government-created name clearinghouse before you could get to your address, and they tell your computer where to go.
I’ve seen the mentions of other famous people who could not get sites with their names, BUT the examples I’ve seen are NOT examples that equate AT ALL. billclintonsucks.com is NOT billclinton.com.
Truth is, for awhile there were maverick companies making a bit of money by setting up other primary domains. One of them was dot-info, before the ICANN “approved” it. At the time, anybody with a DNS server on the Internet who wanted to was able to direct traffic that ended in that suffix to that DNS server, or download its name-to-address tables.
So get with it people. I once went to ronpaul-dot-com expecting it to be the good doctor’s own web site, and as soon as I realized it wasn’t I lost interest in it. That’s just me but it is worth something.
But the arguments against Ron Paul getting his name back from the government monopoly on virtual names, well, that’s just fair.
And these guys have apparently done okay by the message, while building a business. But when they say they’re barely “breaking even”, get skeptical, or, if they are barely “breaking even”, then why do they think the name is worth a quarter-million?
I recommend also reading Lew Rockwell’s article on this “controversy”, as he also adds a few facts that were ignored when the story broke. Like for example, the name-grabbers and present “owners” saying Ron Paul was going to the United Nations for this. Somebody picked up on this to go to the utterly ridiculous headlines. It’s a fictitious “ownership” because ICANN ultimately controls the naming anyway, and you have to keep handing them the recognition of the ownership fee annually or it “lapses” to someone else.
So there you go, you think about that.
* Ron Paul and ronpaul.com: The argument I haven’t seen out there (trutherator.wordpress.com)