Hacker Group Anonymous Earns Time Warner Licensing Fees

Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserv/Ronald Grant/Everett Collection

At public protests, members of the group wear masks of 17th century Englishman Guy Fawkes, who tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament, but Time Warner owns the rights to the image used in the 2006 Warner Bros. film “V for Vendetta.”

NEW YORK – Anonymous, the hacker group that has taken on global corporations, the Iranian government and Scientology, is making entertainment giant Time Warner money in the form of licensing fees, the New York Times reported.
During public protests and appearances, members of the group wear masks of 17th century Englishman Guy Fawkes,  who tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament.

It is the same mask worn by an anarchist challenging an authoritarian regime in V for Vendetta, the 2006 movie from TW’s Warner Bros. studio. Since TW owns the rights to the image, it is paid a licensing fee with the sale of each mask, the Times said.

The paper didn’t detail the amounts that Time Warner and Warner Bros. may earn. The paper said Warner Bros. declined to comment.

But the sales add to the $28 billion in revenue that TW made last year. The Vendetta mask is the top-selling mask on Amazon.com, beating out masks of Batman, Harry Potter and Darth Vader, the Times said.

“We sell over 100,000 of these masks a year, and it’s by far the best-selling mask that we sell,” Howard Beige, executive vp of Rubie’s Costume, a New York costume company that produces the mask, told the Times. “In comparison, we usually only sell 5,000 or so of our other masks.” The mask typically sells for about $6, he added.