I suppose you think just because you have a face on the front of your head that you think you own it.

Ownership may be a contentious issue.

I mean you didn't buy your face did you?

I bet you haven't got a receipt for it and knowing your high principles I am sure you didn't nick it, half inch it, borrow it from a (now) faceless bureaucrat, extricate it from a rubbish skip, discover that it had fallen from the back of a lorry, get a snip down the market or find it under a bush.

"A gift!" you say, (no comment).

So, who gave you the gift?

Answers of a religious nature on a postcard please to anyone but me.

OK, hands up, I've got one too and I call it mine.

Whether we like it or not we've all got one
(some people have two).

We do things with it like poke it where it's not wanted, put it to music when there's trouble, turn it about, put stuff on it to (supposedly) make it more attractive, hide it, contort it, pull funny ones, make another one, put on a brave one, admire it, or not, in the mirror, also, in the right place - hope it fits, and be chuffed to bits to see a flattering photo of it.

Now there's an issue: If someone takes a photo of it, with or without permission, who owns the copyright?
The photographer, or you?

Well, without delving deep into the pedantics and philosophy behind copyright law, your face, because it is more often than not on view to anyone who happens to look your way, is actually public domain.

That means that you don't really own your face at all, it belongs to everyone and anybody.

So, for the sake of anybody and everyone who owns yours - have a smile on it.


Tony Dickins
July 2004