01 September 2011

The irony of wearing a Guy Fawkes mask

Stark white with blushed pink cheeks and a wide grin, the mask resonates with the hackers because it was worn by a rogue anarchist challenging an authoritarian government in "V for Vendetta," the movie produced in 2006 by Warner Brothers.

What few people seem to know, though, is that Time Warner, one of the largest media companies in the world and parent of Warner Brothers, owns the rights to the image and is paid a licensing fee with the sale of each mask...

Indeed, with the help of Anonymous, the $6 mask has become one of the most popular disguises and -- in a small way -- has added to the $28 billion in revenue Time Warner accumulated last year. 
Via the StarTribune.  Photo credit: Jacquelyn Martin, Associated Press.

Addendum October 2011:  The BBC has just posted a long report entitled "V for Vendetta masks: Who's behind them?"


  1. what about the comic book? it wasn't just a movie

  2. A comic book published by DC comics. DC Comics is entirely owned by TimeWarner. That's why any DC comic's only chance or production is exclusively through Warner Brothers.

  3. It's like buying a Che shirt; nothing says you are an anti-establishment, anti-corporate, anti-capitalist champion of liberty like going shopping to buy your latest rebellion shiekh.

  4. I'd be really surprised that most of these Chinese produced masks that many are buying online are actually paying royalties to Time Warner... Some are homemade as well. Just like always sometimes things are not always the way someone says they are...

  5. It's a tad obscene that Time-Warner, Disney, et. al. "OWN" so many thing they did not create.

  6. Was V anti-business or anti-state? I thought it was the latter.

  7. There's nothing ironic about this, Time Warner isn't the government... As an anarchist, I've got nothing against voluntary trade.

  8. > Barbwire said...
    > It's a tad obscene that
    > Time-Warner, Disney, et.
    > al. "OWN" so many thing
    > they did not create.

    How much of the stuff YOU "own" did you "create"?

    You could make the mask yourself to avoid paying royalties, but then it would still just be a copy of someone else's idea.

  9. If you guys would read the link you would see that the irony referred to is the fact that the masks are being worn not to protests against government, but to protests against multinational corporations.

  10. Mia Culpa Minnesotan; your post did explicitly connect the masks and anti-capitalist protests per se, and I didn't follow the link.

    It is odd though that the actual title of the article "Anti-establishment mask adds to corporation's coffers" doesn't mention anti-business protests either, but rather "Anti-establishment" which I take to mean the State, not private enterprise.

    This is of course not to imply that the two aren't in bed with each other, which unfortunately they often are.

    Perhaps a less ambiguous title would have been "The irony of socialists wearing a Guy Fawkes mask"

  11. ...correction...your post did NOT explicitly connect the masks and anti-capitalist protests...

  12. Guy Fawkes was anti-protestant - he wanted re-establish the catholic church. Read a real book - not comics.

  13. Even if Time-Warner do not get a percentage on the majority of the masks, Ebay and Amazon will!

    If you're into the Guy Fawkes mask thing, make them yourselves, please!


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