There have been some initial reactions to this move by Dr. Paul and they should be examined. However, I believe that the action by Dr. Paul requires a deeper analysis than the initial reactions, but let's first look at these early reactions.
The current owners of the web site criticize Dr. Paul for going to a United Nations organization to force them to turnover the web addresses. They even quote the negative things Dr. Paul has said about the United Nations while he was in office. But what Dr. Paul said about the United Nations and his current actions are not necessarily contradictory. He may not believe that the UN should exist or be an enforcing body, but if they are, that is the body he must appeal to. What is his alternative, to call the local sheriff in the county he lives in?
Second, the current owners write:
Back in 2007 we put our lives on hold for you, Ron, and we invested 5 years (close to 10,000 hours) of tears, sweat and hard work into this site at great personal sacrifice. We helped raise millions of dollars for you, we spread your message of liberty as far and wide as we possibly could, and we went out of our way to defend you against the unjustified attacks by your opponents. Now that your campaigns are over and you no longer need us, you want to take it all away?But just because someone worked long and hard for Ron Paul doesn't mean he can take Dr. Paul's car, his house, his clothes or anything else he owns. In other words, the claim that the owners of the site worked hard for RP doesn't advance their right to control the web sites RonPaul.com and RonPaul.org. They may have worked hard, with Ron Paul even allowing them to use his car during the campaign, but that doesn't mean after the campaign is over they get to keep his car.
So none of the above initial arguments solve the real problem of who has the "right" to the web addresses RonPaul.com and RonPaul.org.
But does Ron Paul have more of a claim on the addresses just because his name is Ron Paul? No. According to WhitePages.com, there are 46 people in the United States named Ron Paul. Thus, the problem with awarding a web address to a person based just on his name is severely complicated by the fact that many people may have the same name.
For the most part, WIPO appears to allow web address registration on a first come basis, except in situations where intentional confusion may occur. For example, the web address, Macys.com belongs to the retailer Macy's. If it was owned by someone else who sold Macy's type goods and who just started the business, then WIPO would likely step in and turn the Macy's address over to the world famous retailer. These are the rules of the road, so to speak. They are not "natural rights." They are designed rights, as I believe all "rights" are. You can argue about who should design rights, how they should be designed, but they are nevertheless designed rights.
So how does this apply to web addresses? For the most part it would seem that first come should apply in most cases, if we are thinking along the lines of a private property society. However, we must ask, can registration of addresses ever be considered improper in a private property society? Suppose I register the address, RedCross.org and put nothing on the web site other than the words "Please help" and a donation box. Would this be improper? If I am not in the emergency care business, I would certainly be knowingly misleading people. I would strongly be implying through my web site that I am THE Red Cross.
Some cases of misleading are more obvious than others. If I called up a concert auditorium and told them I represented Lady GaGa and was willing to book her in the auditorium for $1 million, got paid and showed up with a fat old lady that didn't know how to sing, but that I had renamed Lady GaGa, I would at least be sued and probably arrested. The auditorium owners and those who bought tickets would think they were misled.
The same goes, to a degree, with the web site RonPaul.com. If a plumber with the name Ron Paul owns the site, than Dr. Paul would have no claim against him. The plumber wouldn't be trying to mislead. He would have just beaten Dr. Paul to the web address, without attempting to mislead and would be promoting his Ron Paul plumbing business. If two brothers named Ron and Paul use the site to detail their adventures, then Dr. Paul would have no claim to the site against them. Indeed, if a person not named Ron Paul, registered the web site because he had developed a line of clothing called "Ron Paul" long before Dr. Paul became famous, he would not be attempting to mislead. However, if the site is owned by someone that created the site after Ron Paul became famous and is selling Dr. Paul memorabilia and has images of Dr. Paul on the site, then we have a different story.
A google search for "Ron Paul" results in the web address ronpaul.com showing up on the first page of search results. With the site not being owned by Dr. Paul, it is very misleading. It is as if there was a famous steakhouse in a town named Abe's Steakhouse, and I named a steakhouse in the same town Abe's Steakhouse and it appeared on all the maps, instead of the Abe's Steakhouse that everyone really wants to go to. I might even put a sign on the entry way "replica" but still people are going to end up at my location because of the misleading name. That's what the current owners of RonPaul.com are doing. They are not named Ron and Paul. They are not selling their own products that are not associated with Dr. Paul. They are selling Ron Paul memorabilia to people who are most likely searching the name Ron Paul to learn about liberty. It is very misleading.
Thus, since I believe all "rights" are designed rather than natural, I could see a Private Property Society emerging where web addresses are acknowledged on a first to register basis unless it is outright misleading registration, without the registrar having any other reason to hold the address other than to mislead.
I would have no problem living in such a society---and current web registration law appears to be generally along these lines and thus I see no reason why Dr. Paul shouldn't attempt to gain the web addresses for his own use.