Fan Pages

Ok, so wow, I have fan pages on Facebook. Talk about things I never thought would happen in a million years and THAT is one of them.

I’m writing this to explain my actions on Facebook recently where I asked a bunch of supporters to  help me take down some of these fan pages. Some people don’t understand why, and I’m sure the fans themselves probably don’t understand why, so I thought it needed clarification.

Without making this a fifteen page blog post, here are the main reasons:

1) Not everyone out there is smart enough to know these aren’t really me. Yes, I’ve actually had people “friend” me there and then ask me in real-life why I never responded to them about something, only to find out it wasn’t me they were talking to anyway.

2) I don’t have time to constantly troll myself, jumping from page to page, to figure out what ones are good and what ones are bad. That would require me going back to each one every few days/weeks to be sure nothing inappropriate has been written. (See Example later)

3) Most of them are pretnding to actually BE me. There’s a fine line between a “Fan page” and “Identity theft”.

4) The safety of my family.

The best reason: My family’s Safety

Reasons one through three, when combined together, lead to reason number four. I’ll give you a couple real-world examples to show you what I mean from my standpoint.

Both of the above examples are from a “fan” page. This is the kind of stuff I don’t have the time to deal with. Ninety percent of the fan pages out there probably don’t do this kind of stuff, but the more of them that exist, the easier it is for ones like this to get lost in the mix.

Having people saying things like this and having other people thinking it’s me saying it, puts me in a fairly dangerous predicament.

I’m not super-famous, but I’m widely-known enough that it seems people will forever recognize my face when I go places. That’s really cool most of the time. Most of the people are nice and shake my hand or my daughter’s hand. Those people we really enjoy meeting. But let’s take that previous scenario and think about what it opens us up to.

All it takes is for one person to “think” that’s me and then see me later in a grocery store or out on the street somewhere. Some guy remembers seeing that post proclaiming that I punched a man, and then cursed about his kid. The next thing you know this guy is going out of his way to pick a fight with me in public, best case. Worst case he waits until I’m not looking and cracks me over the  head with something. What if my kids are with me? What if my eight year old son is around? These are the things YOU guys don’t have to worry about, but I do.

Another Real Life Scenario (contains language I’d normally never use)

An individual opened up a chat room on a fairly popular chat server, and said they were doing a live interview, pretending to be me. “Tommy Jordan gives parenting advice” or something along those lines was the topic of discussion. This actually happened a lot but one of these had me looking out my windows all night with a pistol in my hand and my wife sleeping on the couch with a gun.

People start coming into the chat room to hang out, talk with “me” and get my take on their parenting issues. During a chat session it comes out in the conversation that the parent talking to “me” is a black lady. The next thing you know this guy is saying “Oh, that’s the problem right there. You can’t make them nigger kids behave. You gotta just beat the hell out of ’em.”

Thinks about what that person just said for a moment. First, it’s incredibly mean and an incredibly hate-filled remark. They could have chosen to pick on ANY particular group of people, and in my opinion that’s what they were planning to do. (Thankfully a moderator shut it down and got in touch with me about it quickly.) They probably planned on insulting black people, mexicans, illegal immigrants, the unemployed, homosexuals, democrats, short people, and every other dynamic of people they could, just to incite rage.

But what’s not at all cool to me is what could happen as a result of ONE statement like that. We live in a world where violence is easy to incite and the flames of rage are very easy to fan. It takes only a spark. A few of those statements against any particular group of people could quite literally have people stalking my family and throwing molotov cocktails through the windows of my house.

I could be seen in public six months later by someone who was in that chat room and the next thing you know I’m in a fight with someone I’ve never met, trying to stop them from killing me without killing them at the same time. I could be arrested for assault, or God forbid something worse. Someone could think my kids are being brought up that way. They’d see my child one day and beat them half to death while they are riding their bikes somewhere and I’d never know. This is what flashes through the mind of a parent when things like this happen. I’m not safe. My wife isn’t safe. My kids aren’t safe. I have to end this.

In short, I called my attorneys to figure out  the easiest and quickest way to prevent this. In short, the less pages about me that exist that aren’t directly controlled by me, the easier it is to know when something like this happens.

I love the fact that people consider themselves fans. It’s a feeling everyone should experience, though I’d certainly choose to have a better reason for fan-hood if I had the choice. But more important that having fans, is having my family safe and my reputation protected, both for personal and work-related reasons. I just absolutely can’t afford the risk of people saying something they think I’d endorse, pretending to be me, or pretending to speak on my behalf. It’s not safe and it’s not doing me any favors. So, I’m sorry to anyone who’s feelings get hurt, but I can’t let it continue.

Staying in Touch With People

If you are a “fan” then I’m honored beyond words, though I don’t think I’ve done anything to deserve your accolades, really. I’m just a normal dude who got his face plastered all over television one day. And sometimes it comes with more negatives than it does positives, ya know?

Anyway, if you’d like to stay in touch with me, you can do it a number of ways. I’m incredibly easy to find on Facebook, Twitter, or here on the 8minutesoffame.com web site. Those are about the best ways to reach me. You can email me if you’d like, though responding to emails sometimes is harder than on Facebook or Twitter. My email is tommy@8minutesoffame.com.

Reporting Pages, Web Sites, or Other Identity Infringements

If you know of a web site that needs to be taken down, or a Facebook page that needs to come down, the easiest way to let me know is to send an email to abuse@8minutesoffame.com. I’ll get it pretty quick and get started on addressing the problem.

If it’s a Facebook page you can always use the “Report” feature on the page as well.

A final word on Identity Theft and Copyright

Thanks to the DMCA years ago, copyright protection is already pretty easy to handle. Identity theft isn’t as clear to people. To be guilty of identity theft someone doesn’t have to assume your identity and then commit a crime. Just attempting to pretend to be someone else falls well within the legal definition of identity theft, and it’s a crime at the federal level. It’s also a felony within each state, so it can be prosecuted either way, or sometimes both.

In North Carolina (where I live) it’s a class G felony, but becomes a class F felony if the victim were to get arrested or detained as a result of it. It’s also subject to restitution per Article 81C of Chapter 15A of our General Statutes. Whether or not the perpetrator lives in NC doesn’t matter. I do, so it falls under our jurisdiction to prosecute on a state level, even after a federal case is enacted.

One thing George Bush DID do right was sign into effect the Identity Theft Penalty Act, which makes the penalties on a federal level much nastier, often resulting in $100,000 fines and a minimum ten years in federal prison.

As far as copyright is concerned, on ALL of my websites, as well as my Facebook page, my copyright claim is laid out pretty clearly. In short copyright protection extends to include

  • Any media I’ve ever uploaded, per the DMCA, which means anything I write, any picture I post, or any video I upload, and any portions thereof.

That’s not just applicable to me. It’s the same protection afforded everyone in this digital age. Most people just aren’t aware of it. The mere act of publishing this blog post, under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, means it’s copyrighted the moment it hits the web.

So yes, in case this doesn’t spell it out clearly, using a person’s face, stealing their photos, or even quoting their written passages en-masse, are copyright violations. Anything someone puts on the web can be LINKED to without infringement because you’re taking the viewer/reader back to the source, but actually copying the material without express written permission is a crime.

Specifically, there IS  a federal copyright filed, so every still image taken from the video(s) falls under the legal definition of misappropriating the likeness because it’s a derivative work.

Do I dislike all the fan pages?

Of course not. That’s crazy. However, again, this comes down to advice from my legal team. It’s all about the “what-if” scenarios and protecting myself against the worst-case scenarios. If I were to agree to let sites A, B, and C use my images, posts, videos, or whatever and then try to file suit against the guy who posted those pictures above, the defense could argue that I’ve given express permission by failure to oppose, and therefore I can’t choose who I do and don’t try to take down.

Their argument is simply “If it’s ok for them, then it’s ok for us too, judge.” You and I would probably think that’s a stupid argument, but it’s one that would work. So in order to take down the ones that REALLY DO mean my family harm, I have to unilaterally attempt to shut down the others as well.

 To those who say “Give up”

I’ve had criticism from some on Facebook and other places who encourage me to  “Just give up. You can’t possibly win this.” Well guys, I don’t agree. We, as a people, have decided to give up on a lot of stuff in the last few years. Our kids, our rights, our legal protections, etc. I generally don’t make it a habit of letting that kind of thing go, and neither should you. One of my beliefs is that if you don’t exercise a right or a freedom often, then you don’t notice when they take it away from you.

I wear a sidearm most everywhere I go, because it’s my right to do so. I tell people who ask my religious beliefs, because thankfully in this country, it’s still my right to do so. And now I’m trying to protect my copyright and my reputation for the sake of my families safety because… it’s my right to do so. Some won’t like it and some will claim I’m doing it for monetary gain or some other nonsense. These are the same people who think I’m rich or think it was all a hoax, so I’m not concerned with them anyway, really. Most months I barely get the bills paid and NO ONE would put themselves through all this for a hoax. Trust me. I’ve been there.

So, at the end of the day, I have to say Thanks to all of you who really do support me and my family through all this. I just have to also ask that you show your support through the proper means. Stealing my pictures, videos, and even mass-copying my blog posts isn’t the way to do it. If you’d like to link to anything I’ve uploaded, please feel free to do it. And share it with me. I love to read the blogs and posts from other people. Just don’t misappropriate the content illegally. Ok?

Those who stand for nothing, fall for anything. – Alexander Hamilton. 1978


16 thoughts on “Fan Pages

  1. Jamie Wagner Padula · Gilbert AZ

    Tommy I had to post here…I know you wonder why all these people are following you and if I can talk for some of them I will…the biggest reason someone like me, married, five kids, waitress at IHOP, middle class, catholic raised, lives in AZ, has been following you since the very begining, is because your a regular guy who had an extra ordinary thing happen. Your living your life just like everyone else and this “video” happens and your whole life has changed because of it. We are watching how an ordinary guy and his family are dealing with the presures of fame and the media. Its amazing how you have navagated all this! I cant even amagin if I was in the same situation how I would have dealt with everything. You are teaching all you “fans” some life lessons every day with your posts. I love it and I cant get off your page for one day. I’m hooked. Keep up the good work….jamie.

  2. I would point out that copying and quoting part of what someone has written on a public forum may fall under FAIR USE and may not be illegal as you seem to suggest above. This is true of words, photos and probably video. If you are using it under the FAIR USE provision, written permission may not be required.

    • Dan,
      I’m going to quote the federal government on this one, just to avoid headaches.

      “Section 107 of the copyright code (Title 17)contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:

      1) The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes.
      2) The nature of the copyrighted work
      3) The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
      4) The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work
      The distinction between fair use and infringement may be unclear and not easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.”

      Further, I’m going to reference the Standford University copyright law library. They seem to have about the easiest-to-understand definition of fair use that I think most people will understand.

      Fair Use falls into two main categories:
      1) Commentary and Criticism
      2) Parody.

      Generally accepted examples of the first are: (I believe the second is self-explanatory)

      -quoting lines from a song/movie/person in a review.
      -summarizing and quoting in a news report.
      -copying a few paragraphs for use in by a student/teacher in a lesson.
      -copying a portion for legal use in a court case.

      So, while you could take a scene from my video clip and use it in a commentary to show a point, you cannot embed it as part of your video and monetize it without a written release from me or my law firm, unless you are actually claiming it to be news in which case you fall under the journalistic integrity guidelines that “news” is held to, in which case you then fall under danger of libel or slander, depending on how you state your opinion.

      You can take a picture of me and comment something like “Man, that guys looks like a redneck” but you can NOT take an image from my video or my Facebook wall, or anywhere else, and make it your profile picture on Facebook, or even post it in your own Facebook gallery if it’s a derivative likeness (Meaning it was taken from a copyrighted work.)

      You could copy or reference portions of my posts from Facebook or the blog on your own, but you can’t copy the entire work, or even a majority of it, for the purpose of simply inflating your own blog traffic. That’s not fair use either.

      I hope that clears it up.

      • And since we brought up fair use, which is TITLE 17 USC § 107, I’ll also mention TITLE 17 USC § 106A, which describes the rights of certain authors to attribution and integrity.
        (Attribution means giving them credit and integrity means just that)

        In short, 106A in sectio (a) conveys the following:
        (a) Rights of Attribution and Integrity.— Subject to section 107 and independent of the exclusive rights provided in section 106, the author of a work of visual art—
        (1) shall have the right—

        (A) to claim authorship of that work, and
        (which I do and have been for the past 14 years)

        (B) to prevent the use of his or her name as the author of any work of visual art which he or she did not create;
        (which means I have the right to say “Hey, that’s not my work and you can’t put my name on it.”)

        (2) shall have the right to prevent the use of his or her name as the author of the work of visual art in the event of a distortion, mutilation, or other modification of the work which would be prejudicial to his or her honor or reputation; and
        (which means I get to take down all those retarded meme images on Facebook if makes me look bad)

        (3) subject to the limitations set forth in section 113 (d), shall have the right—
        (A) to prevent any intentional distortion, mutilation, or other modification of that work which would be prejudicial to his or her honor or reputation, and any intentional distortion, mutilation, or modification of that work is a violation of that right, and
        (which I’m doing right now by posting this and making clear my intent)

        (B) to prevent any destruction of a work of recognized stature, and any intentional or grossly negligent destruction of that work is a violation of that right.
        (which really doesn’t apply to me for most of what I publish.)

  3. Give em hell Tommy!! Don’t let the trolls and vultures get to you. In fact that is one of the reasons I’m a fan, you don’t take crap, and if someone is stupid enough to try, you don’t stop kicking their proverbial butts. Metaphorically of course..
    I initially learned about you through the video, and I must say, I loved it!! Since then I’ve become a fan of your writing.. I like your style, humor, and grace.. I’ve come to admire the man beyond the video.. Hard working family man.. I can identify with that..
    Keep up the good work, I enjoy watching the trolls piss you off.. Quite a thing of beauty actually… Lol.. It amazes me that you try and reason with the obvious detractors. Showing ( patience to infinity and beyond
    , to borrow a line) respect that in my honest opinion they don’t deserve.
    You are a good man. I love your values, and wish more Americans subscribed to your beliefs.. This country would be a much better place.
    Never quit! Never surrender!! Give ’em Hell Tommy!!

  4. Mr. Jordan,
    Thank you, well written, once again.
    Thank you, especially, for pointing out that when we choose to not stand up for our rights, they will be taken away – and often, without our knowledge or concern until we want to put them to use – and then it’s too late. 🙁

    On a slightly different note – my husband posted a photo this morning of two men holding signs…one read “Gun sellers are accomplices of crimes” and the other read “Spoons made me fat”.

    The direction our country has been heading in the last few decades, I’m afraid things are going to get far worse before they get better, but I’m thankful for the people who are knowledgeable about our Constitution and Laws of the Land and who will speak out to protect our freedom and educate others. Thank you again.

  5. I do beleive this is probably a war that you are not gonna win at as long as you stay in the “lime light” of this wonderful world of technology and social media we live in. I am not one to ever say give up without a fight, but I do think you are up against something way bigger than yourself, and it would not be something I would risk my family for. I dont say this with any thing but kindness. I have a certain amount of respect for you and your family, in the fact that you do stand up for what you believe and what is right. You are so right about how we have given up so many rights over the years, however there is a certain level of privacy that is given up as soon as we enter any of our personal information on a computer. I think if we want our privacy back, we need to get offline and really pick and choose who we communicate with. I am not saying at all what you did was wrong or anything like that, I am just saying that if we want our privacy we need to not give out so much information. I like reading your posts and looking at your pictures, as I value what you have to say, I loved the photos and updates of the foal as I work in the veterinary industry and have a great interest in stuff like that, however neither of us know who each other are, as is the situation with most of your fb fans or subscribers. There are some real wackos out there and they dont care who they hurt, I know you know this and realize the reality of it, but if you truly want to keep your family safe, I would be more choosey who i allowed to view my information. I wish you well and pray that your family stays safe.

  6. I reported all the links you put up today. I had not seen them until today. I looked at a few of them and even though I do not know you and you do not know me, I could tell that wasn’t you just by the grammer and sentence structure alone !! I have been following your blog enough to say that was not you. I hope you and yours have a very nice day.

  7. Thank you for taking the time to carefully and thoroughly explain why those “fan” pages need to be removed. I am only sorry that such an explanation is necessary in the first place. This bit really drives the point home:

    “We, as a people, have decided to give up on a lot of stuff in the last few years. Our kids, our rights, our legal protections, etc. I generally don’t make it a habit of letting that kind of thing go, and neither should you. One of my beliefs is that if you don’t exercise a right or a freedom often, then you don’t notice when they take it away from you.”

    Regardless of what anyone might think of the actions that brought you such an unexpected level of attention, those words need to be read and heeded by more people.

  8. Hi Mr Jordan, When this all started I was and still am on your side as far as what you did on FB to show your daughter that she wasn’t going to get away with disrespecting you.
    But, it seems to me that because of your Fb discipline methods, you opened up a whole wide world of new problems for you and your family. So, maybe, posting on FB wasn’t such a smart idea after all. I thought this all would have died down by now, but people go crazy with things like this.
    I hate to think to what extreme some person or persons may go to, to harm you or your family. If this keeps up you may have to get the FBI involved to shut down those web sites.
    Blessings and prayers to you and your family.
    Stay safe.

    • Lynda,
      Again, there is a lesson to be learned, even from that. “Be careful what you post online. It CAN follow you FOREVER.” 😉

  9. Mr. Jordan,
    I agree that what your daughter did was completely immature and highly disrespectful. Its just that kind of sorry state that teens are in today’s world. But putting a bullet through her laptop added to taking a vdeo of it and posting it online, seems like a tad too much. After all, the reason why you were you so angry with your daughter was ’cause she misused the internet freedom given to her and humiliated you guys online. But by humiliating her online, don’t you feel that you’re maybe, stooping to her level? I mean, there’s really no difference between the actions, right? I am a person who believes VERY firmly that family matters should stay WITHIN the family. That’s the main reason I hate ‘Jerry Springer’. Advertising your dirty laundry for the whole world to gawk at, is not even remotely respectable in my opinion. I know that your daughter did not care to keep her issues with you, inside the family. But if you do the same thing, then what do you think is the difference between a 15 yr-old and an adult? But let me assure you that I also admire the guts it must’ve taken you to do something like this and I’m glad you’re not one of those parents who let their kids walk all over them and bad-mouth them. So, hats off to you for that!

    • You’re absolutely right. After all this happened I made that point myself… I wanted her to learn that what you post online can follow you forever, and what did I do??? — post something online that’s DEFINITELY going to follow me forever. Lesson learned for all of us… myself included.

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