Marc Randazza Popehats on Trump’s Bush Squatting

by Jay Marshall Wolman

Though I have my own feelings about how to blog here now that Marco Blanco f/k/a Marc Randazza (what I think his Popehat name should be) has taken up with the competition, I should probably be supportive.

His first post there was uncharacteristically Second Amendment focused.  But, he has now seen fit to return to his roots.  Marc just posted an interesting piece on the Trump campaign’s ownership of JebBush.com .

Marc does a good overview of the cybersquatting law and how it has been used.  Something to consider, though:  Jeb is not Gov. Bush’s first name.  He’s an ATM Machine, a PIN number.  He’s really, as you probably know, John Ellis Bush, and JEB is just his monogram.  So, is that his name for purposes of the act?  Or would it only be implicated if it were JohnBush.com?

Also, Marc suggests that a RickRoll would be protected First Amendment use of the domain even if it otherwise ran afoul of the law.  But, wouldn’t political speech, one of the key First Amendment concerns, such as, say, a presidential campaign, trump a rickroll?

That said, Mr. Randazza may well be right in his ultimate conclusions.  Just ask Glenn Beck.

2 Responses to Marc Randazza Popehats on Trump’s Bush Squatting

  1. marklyon says:

    Is it clear that Trump or his campaign is involved in this? Anyone can register a name and point it to anything they wish. If someone, unaffiliated with the campaign, were to register the name and point it to another campaign, one could argue that’s protected political speech.

    • Jay Wolman says:

      I had a similar thought. Makes me wonder if this is an in-kind contribution, since it directly forwards to the campaign, or an independent expenditure, under FEC rules. And, if in-kind, is it the cost of the domain at the time of purchase or the present value (since the asset has likely appreciated). Notably, the domain was initially created on November 19, 1997. It doesn’t look like there’s ever been a UDRP proceeding. In 2008, it redirected to jeb-bush.blogspot.com . The history of that blog was one of political commentary. The domain was more recently tranferred, likely to someone who either just hates Gov. Bush or loves Trump. I doubt it was directly to the campaign.

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