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Summary:

In an unusual move, the campaign team for Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul has filed a trademark and defamation lawsuit against fo…

Ron Paul

In an unusual move, the campaign team for Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul has filed a trademark and defamation lawsuit against for-now anonymous individuals who uploaded unauthorized attack videos.

The videos in question bear the name “NHLiberty4Paul” and malign former candidate Jon Huntsman’s religion and ties to China. The Paul campaign has disavowed the videos.

“This is a classic case of dirty politics resulting from the unlawful use in commerce of an underhanded and deceptive advertisement designed to tarnish plaintiff’s reputation,” reads the complaint (posted below) which was filed yesterday in San Francisco federal court.

The lawsuit is a “John Doe” suit in which a plaintiff initiates legal proceedings and then later adds the defendants real names once their identities are obtained (usually by means of a subpoena on an internet service provider).

The lawsuit is unusual from both a legal and political perspective. Ron Paul is a libertarian whose signature issue is individual liberties and freedom from government — the use of a John Doe lawsuit is potentially incongruous with these values.

The defamation claims are also a surprise because under First Amendment laws it is nearly impossible for a high profile politician to file a successful libel suit. The campaign may have similar difficulties with its trademark claim.

Ron Paul Trademark and Defamation claim
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  1. Actually it’s not hypocritical at all. They’re suing because they used Ron Paul’s name in that message as an official endorsement. That’s libel. If they didn’t use his name like that then it would be considered free speech.

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    1. To ensure free speech is not chilled, US defamation law sets a very high bar when it comes to public officials. You will be hard pressed to find an example of a national political figure winning a libel claim.

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      1. he wins when he subpenas the name and ip of the person associated. Paul has hired pros to track the history of the video files as it existed on the internets in real time. He knows it came from huntsmans network. He will prove it and win himself a pr coup.

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      2. He doesn’t need to win the lawsuit. All he wants to do is show that someone from the Huntsman team uploaded the video. Which they obviously did. It was a dirty political trick and the media was more than happy to participate.

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    2. Exactly.  He is sueing for the defamation, association with a bigoted attack ad under false pretences since clearly the video wasn’t by a real Ron Paul supporter or the first tweet of it wouldn’t have been to the Huntsmans on the brand new account for which this was the first ever video.

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      1. “clearly the video wasn’t by a real Ron Paul supporter”
        Do a search for Jon Huntsman on the Stormfront website. Purely by coincidence Ron Paul supporters were vetting Huntsman concerning his adopted daughters 1 day before the video surfaced.

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  2. I wonder if it will turn out to be the Huntsman daughters who made the video. It will be interesting to find out who the “John Doe” turns out to be.

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    1. I’m soooo hoping that too.

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    2. Maybe it’s Mark Levin !!!

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  3. TheKittenJuggler Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    The supoena will enable Ron Paul to identify the person that created the video. How else can he prove who made the video and satisfy the media. Seems to be damned if you do, damned if you don’t

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  4. “The lawsuit is unusual from both a legal and political perspective. Ron Paul is a libertarian whose signature issue is individual liberties and freedom from government—the use of a John Doe lawsuit is potentially incongruous with these values.”
     
    How, exactly, is it ‘potentially incongruous with these values’? Individual liberty does not extend to lies and slander.

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    1. Defamation laws are derived from the constitution. I think. Ron Paul isn’t a pure libertarian.

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  5. I think the main point of his lawsuit is to get the media to quit saying that he or his supporters put this out. They hired a 3rd party company to investigate this, and that company’s findings suggest that it could have come from a Huntsman supporter or even from the Huntsman camp due to the way the video was linked.

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  6. I would think it would be more appropriate to sue the people who publicly lied, saying that the Ron Paul campaign was associated with this video.

    Any idiot can say anything they want, but the press picked up this video-poster’s public declarations and asserted, repeatedly and with zero evidence, that Ron Paul or his campaign was somehow involved or somehow endorsed the content…That’s where the crime took place.

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  7. Yeah, the phony videos created under the guise of Dr. Paul’s campaign need to stop.  Let’s stick to the issues that effect most Americans.

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  8. Libel/Slander isn’t a right, as shouting fire in a Movie house isn’t. 

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  9. I wonder if this has anything to do with huntsman dropping out. I thought third in NH was a “ticket to ride” haha.

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  10. NadePaulKuciGravMcKi Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    Do you now understand, why Huntsman dropped out
    right after the largest newspaper in SC endorsed him
                                                                                       

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