Robot 6

Anonymous turns V for Vendetta’s Guy Fawkes mask into a bestseller

Anonymous protesters wearing Guy Fawkes masks (photo by Vincent Diamante)

Infamous for its protests against the Church of Scientology and website attacks on Sony, Visa and, most recently, Bay Area Rapid Transit, the loose-knit hacker group Anonymous is perhaps best known for a single image that’s become a symbol of its anarchic movement: The V for Vendetta-inspired Guy Fawkes mask worn by its members in public protests.

However, as The New York Times notes this morning, each of those masks purchased by the largely anti-government, anti-corporation activists puts money in the coffers of Time Warner, one of the world’s largest media conglomerates. The parent company of DC Comics, which published the Alan Moore-David Lloyd miniseries in the United States, and Warner Bros., which released the film adaptation in 2006, owns the rights to the image, and receives a licensing fee for each mask sold.

And there are a lot sold, thanks largely to the Anonymous movement. Rubie’s Costumes, the New York company that produces the masks, sells more than 100,000 a year; by comparison, it sells only about 5,000 of each of its other masks.

But it wasn’t until recently that Rubie’s knew why Guy Fawkes was a bestseller. “We just thought people liked the V for Vendetta movie,” Rubie’s executive Howard Beige tells the newspaper. “Then one morning I saw a picture of these protesters wearing the mask in an online news article. I quickly showed my sales manager.”



Its sad that so many people associate the mask with that terrible movie, but I think its great that one of the great works of comic book fiction has had such an impact on modern culture, even if it is by proxy.

I think it’s freaking hilarious that self-described anti-corporate anarch-activists are pouring money into the coffers of one of the world’s biggest conglomerates so they can have the proper tribal costume.

Now that they’re aware of your self-righteous scorn, perhaps they’ll start stealing the masks instead.

Should we hold our breath for black market mask manufacturing facilities popping up?

“Infamous for its protests against the Church of Scientology…”

You meant to say “famous.” Anonymous is recognized around the world as the good guys, the heros that are doing the job that law enforcement and governments are supposed to be doing, much like Wiikileaks, in fact.

The only people who think that Anonymous are “infamous” are crimnial enterprises, corrupt government, fascists, war criminals, corporate traitors, Bay Area Rapid Transit police murderers and the like.

Well, them and the people whose email inboxes they flooded with pictures of the car wreck that killed their daughter.

nyaa, they r not infamous, we know them here in philippines,

Stupid article…Anything we buy goes into the corporate coffers. I don’t think they’re going to revert to hunter / gather status just to make what would be a very ineffectual anti-consumer statement. Instead buy the mask, let them have what amounts to a tiny amount of profit (for something like Time Warner anyway), then use it against them.The symbolic power of the mask greatly outweighs the gain Time Warner is going to see from it’s sales.I mean, did you ever stop to consider the irony of a company selling a mask that might come to reprsent their demise? I love how the idiots who write this stuff fail to grasp the big picture time after time.

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