Blog Post

Ron Paul Campaign Sues To Stop Unauthorized Web Videos

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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23 Responses to “Ron Paul Campaign Sues To Stop Unauthorized Web Videos”

  1. Hope the Paul campaign can find out who did this. I bet it was someone from the Huntsman campaign. What they did is slanderous and wrong. Ron Paul has every right to find out who did this. It wouldnt have mattered if the media hadn’t used the video to slander him and his supporters. I mean the video was uploaded the day before the Huntsman family was doing a media blitzkrieg. The media knew it was irresponsible to use an anonymous web video against Ron Paul but they did it anyway. Disgusting.

  2. He’s not creating new law but relying on current law to confront the person(s) who infringed on his liberty. A perfect example of how libertarian regulation would work. One on one and close to the source. In this case would be judged by a jury of peers. Damages will be paid to the plaintif if the verdict is in his favor.

  3. Tomasmart1

    The fact that Ron Paul is filing a lawsuit demonstrates his innocence. Once they find out who made the video, Ron Paul wins. That’s all the public needs to know. If someone else in the Republican party was the initiator of this video, Ron Paul wins big time. Individual rights are one thing, but to do something that is harmful or libelous is not an “individual right.”

  4. NadePaulKuciGravMcKi

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

  5. john_hogan

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. O D Irony

    “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.

  8. TheKittenJuggler

    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

  9. 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.

    • Jeff Roberts

      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.

      • Joe Brenner

        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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

      • “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.