You may not like your face, but it belongs to you. You have an inherent, living, right to use your face as your face. You don’t need a Copyright or a Trademark on your face. You only need to wear your face and own it — warts, wrinkles, warps, and all!

This is the story of my face being stolen — for use in a ridiculous Star Trek revenge meme — and the right ending of someone on the internet who stepped forward to not just be a help to me, but to become a new friend as well.

It’s always slightly sickening to get a notification that someone you don’t know has either stolen your writing — or is using your ugly face as their ugly face — online.

Enter my new best friend Dave Heagney Jr who sent my Facebook page a message this afternoon that a troll was using my face on a Facebook page, and on a WordPress.com blog. I’ll show you image proof of what happened, but I’m not dignifying the thefts with hotlinks.

Here’s the Facebook massacre.

This is the WordPress.com blog.

I immediately went into action to get DMCA takedown notices active on both WordPress.com and on Facebook and I’ll win because I’m right and I will not give up until I win.

I will update this article with the results of my DMCA takedown requests — all based on the Copyright fact that I own the face originating on this page, and on Twitter, and on lots of other social media, and entertainment portals.

When I asked my new friend Dave Heagney Jr how he was able to connect my face with those illegal entities, he shared this:

This has to do with something entirely unrelated to you. There is a Star Trek fan film called Axanar, which was in the news a bit last year when CBS & Paramount sued them. While the case itself was settled, there is a split in opinion with some Trek fans (including myself) on whether Axanar deserved to be sued in the first place. In the last couple days, a new profile on FB started requesting to join some groups that some friends of mine and I admin. That would be “Tim Bell”. His profile had a link to the WordPress blog, so I checked it out. If someone knows the story behind Axanar, it is fairly easy to see that the blog was meant as a parody of the Executive Producer of Axanar’s blog. How I proved it was a fakery was I used Google Image Search to find out where the pictures on this blog came from, and that’s how I came to find that the perpetrator of this appropriated your pictures to use as his likeness.

What’s great about all of this is that not only did Dave Heagney Jr do due diligence in sussing out what was really going on — but he also took the time, and energy, to contact me to let me know what was happening to my pretty face behind my back — and for that, I am forever grateful!

Now — is it time for you to go do a Google Image Search on your own beautiful face to find out how, and where, you’re being used and abused elsewhere online? Or is it sometimes better not to know?

I know I’m tempting the Streisand Effect by even writing about this madness — but what other choice is there? When you have information in hand, you have to act on it to preserve, and protect, what’s left of you online because, if you do not — and if you let the lie lay — you’ll be bitten, and bored down into the bytes of you, with nothing left but whispers and warts.

UPDATE 3-24-17: Twelve hours after my DMCA notice, WordPress.com had my image removed and replaced; while Facebook emailed me — twice! — to tell me that someone other than me, using my image as their image, “was not a violation of community standards.” Checking later, the entire Facebook profile was deleted.

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