Next Up For Anonymous: Make Time Warner Rich?

Neon

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Masked Protesters Aid Time Warner’s Bottom Line

SAN FRANCISCO — Anonymous, the hacker group, has jostled with the Iranian government and the Church of Scientology and has briefly shut down the Web sites of Visa, MasterCard and other global corporations.

When members appear in public to protest censorship and what they view as corruption, they don a plastic mask of Guy Fawkes, the 17th-century Englishman who tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament.

Stark white, with blushed pink cheeks, a wide grin and a thin black mustache and goatee, 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.


The hackers wear the mask when they protest outside of Scientology buildings. And they wore it during a short-lived protest this month in San Francisco of the Bay Area Rapid Transit’s decision to cut off cell service to thwart an earlier protest inside train stations.

“It’s a symbol of what Anonymous stands for, of fighting evil governments,” said one of the mask-wearers at that protest. The Anonymous member declined to share his name, noting that the entire concept of the mask was to remain anonymous. “You can get a mask and join the fight, too! But I heard the costume store is sold out until Friday,” he said.

Indeed, with the help of Anonymous, the 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. It is the top-selling mask on Amazon.com, beating out masks of Batman, Harry Potter and Darth Vader.

“We sell over 100,000 of these masks a year, and it’s by far the best-selling mask that we sell,” said Howard Beige, executive vice president of Rubie’s Costume, a New York costume company that produces the mask. “In comparison, we usually only sell 5,000 or so of our other masks.” The Vendetta mask, which sells for about $6 at many retailers, is made in Mexico or China, Mr. Beige said.


Mr. Beige said he did not know why the mask was so popular until recently. “We just thought people liked the ‘V for Vendetta’ movie. Then one morning I saw a picture of these protesters wearing the mask in an online news article,” he said. “I quickly showed my sales manager.”

Guy Fawkes is not well known in the United States, except perhaps through the movie. But in Britain, the foiling of his antigovernment plot — he was put to death — is celebrated as a holiday, Nov. 5 or Guy Fawkes Day, and is commemorated with bonfires and fireworks.

Although the Time Warner-owned image of Guy Fawkes appeared in 2006, it did not take on its new life until much later. That occurred after members of an online message board known as 4Chan showed a crudely drawn stick figure known as “Epic Fail Guy” peering into a trash can and reappearing wearing the mask.

Then in 2008, Anonymous embraced it, explained Gabriella Coleman, an assistant professor at New York University’s department of media, culture and communication. “Thousands of members came out from behind their computer and went into the streets to protest the Church of Scientology,” she said. “Anonymous knew if they were going to meet in a visibly public space for the first time, they needed to conceal their identity. They inevitably chose the ‘V for Vendetta’ mask to do this.”

“It had a chilling effect. There were literally thousands of people standing silently in front of the Church of Scientology wearing the same Guy Fawkes mask,” Ms. Coleman said. “The photos and videos that appeared in the news from the protests cemented the mask as the symbol of Anonymous.”

Warner Brothers did not respond to a request for comment on the mask’s newfound popularity as a tool of protesters.

Alan Moore, the author of the graphic novel on which the movie is based, could not be reached for comment, but in a 2008 interview with Entertainment Weekly, he expressed how proud he was of the mask’s role in the protests of the Church of Scientology.

“That pleased me,” he said. “That gave me a warm little glow.”
 
Jan 9, 2006
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“It had a chilling effect. There were literally thousands of people standing silently in front of the Church of Scientology wearing the same Guy Fawkes mask,” Ms. Coleman said. “The photos and videos that appeared in the news from the protests cemented the mask as the symbol of Anonymous.”
Thousands? Really?

 

d0uche_n0zzle

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#7
They haven't made the masks in question illegal to own or wear.

That's why, you fascist.
 
Dec 9, 2004
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#8
They haven't made the masks in question illegal to own or wear.

That's why, you fascist.
right but if you admit to a crime and them show up in public claiming to be part of the group that committed said crime shouldn't you then be arrested? If I robbed a bank and then days later walked down the street telling everyone that I was part of the group that robbed the bank wouldn't I be arrested?

I'm just saying, it would be a way to put a scare into these guys.


And if it isn't obvious yet, I don't really follow this stuff.
 

Party Rooster

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#9
“We sell over 100,000 of these masks a year, and it’s by far the best-selling mask that we sell,"....

....The Vendetta mask, which sells for about $6 at many retailers,
So they've sold $600,000 worth of these masks, of which Time Warner only gets a piece of. Wish I would have known this before today so I could have bought lots of shares of TW stock in anticipation of the price going through the roof after this latest news.
 
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#10
right but if you admit to a crime and them show up in public claiming to be part of the group that committed said crime shouldn't you then be arrested? If I robbed a bank and then days later walked down the street telling everyone that I was part of the group that robbed the bank wouldn't I be arrested?

I'm just saying, it would be a way to put a scare into these guys.


And if it isn't obvious yet, I don't really follow this stuff.
No, because Anonymous "doesn't exist", that's the beauty of the concept. Some random guy who knows a lot of other random guys sends out a press release that "Anonymous" is going to fuck up xxxxx. They sign with "Expect us, We are Anonymous, We Are Legion, We do not forgive, we do not forget" or something to that effect, but there is no "Anonymous".

There's no ID cards, registration lists, nothing. There is no way to declare yourself a member of Anonymous, nor is there any recognition for being a part of said Anonymous. They are, quite literally, Anonymous.

So you can't arrest people by association for protesting in masks, because there would be no way to prove any association with any internet crimes committed by Anonymous, since in reality, Anonymous doesn't exist. The people in the masks in public are typically just fans of the group's movement anyway, and you can't really arrest someone for being a fan of someone who robs banks, which would be a closer analogy to the one you posed.

The people on the street 99.999% of the time are just fans who enjoy what Anon's doing, and even if one of the elite hackers who actually do the heavy lifting went out to one of these things, he would be sheltered by the masses of people wearing masks just like him -- and don't you think that hackers who're talented enough to bring down PSN, Visa, (That internet security firm I can't remember at the moment), and the Government of Iran are pretty good at hiding their own tracks?

They typically have over 9000 internets behind 7 proxies, come at them bro!(Inside jokes for those that know Anon..._

Make sense?

(I'm very long-winded today, fyi, I'm in the middle of selling a few major deals so I'm in over-explain like an ass hole mode. Enjoy)
 
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So they've sold $600,000 worth of these masks, of which Time Warner only gets a piece of. Wish I would have known this before today so I could have bought lots of shares of TW stock in anticipation of the price going through the roof after this latest news.
That part made me laugh too... What a nonsensical story. The part about "So a portion of Anonymous's dealings adds to their $28 billion in profits" was absurd. Yeah, .0000001% ass hole. I'm sure a few of Anon use Time Warner cable modems too, you wanna try to win a Pulitzer on that fun fact, ass hole?
 

Neon

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So they've sold $600,000 worth of these masks, of which Time Warner only gets a piece of. Wish I would have known this before today so I could have bought lots of shares of TW stock in anticipation of the price going through the roof after this latest news.
That part made me laugh too... What a nonsensical story. The part about "So a portion of Anonymous's dealings adds to their $28 billion in profits" was absurd. Yeah, .0000001% ass hole. I'm sure a few of Anon use Time Warner cable modems too, you wanna try to win a Pulitzer on that fun fact, ass hole?
I didn't really see that as the point of the article. Just another case of a bunch of people who think they are fighting the system while buying masks that make money for an uber media corporation.
 
Jun 2, 2005
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I didn't really see that as the point of the article. Just another case of a bunch of people who think they are fighting the system while buying masks that make money for an uber media corporation.
They're computer hackers man... It's not like they're going to go buy an injection molding machine to make the masks themselves. Honestly, the people who buy the masks aren't even really what you should consider "Anonymous". They're fans. It's like wearing your favorite team's ball cap.

Either way, it's a non-story riddled with meaningless stats attempting to make you believe that this "fight the man" group is basically funding "the man", and it's simply not the case.
 

Neon

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They're computer hackers man... It's not like they're going to go buy an injection molding machine to make the masks themselves. Honestly, the people who buy the masks aren't even really what you should consider "Anonymous". They're fans. It's like wearing your favorite team's ball cap.

Either way, it's a non-story riddled with meaningless stats attempting to make you believe that this "fight the man" group is basically funding "the man", and it's simply not the case.
Yeah, that's what I meant. The people who wear those masks in public are not the "real" anonymous - more like dumb kids who want to be part of something. I just got a kick out of it. No biggy.
 

Falldog

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I don't feel like reading, could someone please highlight the important bits?

Yeah, that's what I meant. The people who wear those masks in public are not the "real" anonymous - more like dumb kids who want to be part of something. I just got a kick out of it. No biggy.
When Bush fell, one man was left to pick up the pieces. In 2011 NeonTaster becomes, The Decider.
 

Falldog

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You're arbitrarily deciding who and what another group is without any logical basis.
 

Party Rooster

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I didn't really see that as the point of the article. Just another case of a bunch of people who think they are fighting the system while buying masks that make money for an uber media corporation.
Well, the title was "Make Time Warner Rich." I was reading expecting to see that sales of V For Vendetta DVD's and other merch had gone through the roof and maybe even they were considering making a reboot of the movie. Thought I'd see figures in the billions, was just disappointed.
 

Neon

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Well, the title was "Make Time Warner Rich." I was reading expecting to see that sales of V For Vendetta DVD's and other merch had gone through the roof and maybe even they were considering making a reboot of the movie. Thought I'd see figures in the billions, was just disappointed.
Meh. Couldn't think of something clever at the time. And I put a question mark there, so I guess the answer would be "no." :D
 

Norm Stansfield

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Mar 17, 2009
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#21
They're computer hackers man... It's not like they're going to go buy an injection molding machine to make the masks themselves.
It's not about actually making the masks. Anyone could make some fucking masks, for the same amount of money it cost to buy these ones. The problem is they have no design of their own. This is about being so devoid of originality or meaning for your cause that you can't even come up with your own symbolism. It reminds me of black rappers who attack the establishment by flaunting expensive status symbols in our faces.

People who do this don't just have zero self esteem, they lack an identity. They define themselves as anti-'the first thing they see', and then use stolen symbols to express their aimless hatred.

Theft (especially theft of ideas) is the admission that the other guy is better than you: he came up with something you want but are too pathetic to create yourself. It defeats their entire shitty message in one act of mindless hypocrisy.
 

Falldog

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It's not about actually making the masks. Anyone could make some fucking masks, for the same amount of money it cost to buy these ones. The problem is they have no design of their own. This is about being so devoid of originality or meaning for your cause that you can't even come up with your own symbolism. It reminds me of black rappers who attack the establishment by flaunting expensive status symbols in our faces.

People who do this don't just have zero self esteem, they lack an identity. They define themselves as anti-'the first thing they see', and then use stolen symbols to express their aimless hatred.

Theft (especially theft of ideas) is the admission that the other guy is better than you: he came up with something you want but are too pathetic to create yourself. It defeats their entire shitty message in one act of mindless hypocrisy.
:haha7:
 
Jun 2, 2005
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Dallas
#23
It's not about actually making the masks. Anyone could make some fucking masks, for the same amount of money it cost to buy these ones. The problem is they have no design of their own. This is about being so devoid of originality or meaning for your cause that you can't even come up with your own symbolism. It reminds me of black rappers who attack the establishment by flaunting expensive status symbols in our faces.

People who do this don't just have zero self esteem, they lack an identity. They define themselves as anti-'the first thing they see', and then use stolen symbols to express their aimless hatred.

Theft (especially theft of ideas) is the admission that the other guy is better than you: he came up with something you want but are too pathetic to create yourself. It defeats their entire shitty message in one act of mindless hypocrisy.
I'm not defending Anonymous, I'm just pointing out how stupid and misleading the article is.

Though, it's obvious you don't really understand what the real hackers are working towards... The stupid shit like DDoSing Facebook and taking down the Playstation Network weren't really "Anonymous" so much as fan boys of the group who are exactly what you describe.
 

Falldog

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#24
Norm seems like one of those guys who walks up to a bunch of chaps and jumps into the middle of their conversation as though he were an expert in the field, only to skuttle away before any have a chance to correct him.
 

TheDrip

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#25
They're the web version of a bratty child. They've also got horrid taste in movies. Though I find it humorous they basically have a mascot whose disguise is as one of history's most notorious failures.