Politics

Anti-Corporate 'Anonymous' Masks Turn Profit for Time Warner Inc.

| by Michael Allen

Some of the profits from the Guy Fawkes masks frequently worn by members of the anti-corporate hacktivist group "Anonymous" go to Time Warner Inc.

Time Warner Inc. owns the rights to the mask because the 2006 film 'V for Vendetta’ was produced by Warner Brothers, a subsidiary of the corporation. Time Warner is paid a licensing fee with the sale of each mask.

In the film, the mask is worn by a vigilante fighting against a totalitarian government in the future.  It is based on Guy Fawkes, who was a 17th century Englishman who tried to assassinate King James I of England by blowing up the House of Lords with gunpowder.

'Anonymous' members adopted the mask as an unofficial symbol of the movement during worldwide protests against the Church of Scientology in 2008. The Guy Fawkes mask has been associated with "Anonymous" ever since and frequently worn by protesters.

The New York Times reported that the mask has become one of the most popular masks in the U.S. and the top-selling mask on Amazon.com. Rubie’s Costumes, the New York company that produces the masks, sells more than 100,000 Guy Fawkes masks a year.

“It’s a symbol of what Anonymous stands for, of fighting evil governments,” said a Guy Fawkes-masked man protesting San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit’s decision to cut off cell service to stop a previous protest. "You can get a mask and join the fight, too! But I heard the costume store is sold out until Friday."