GF Mask: Copyrighted? Or Public Domain?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Trev6, May 18, 2009.

  1. Trev6 Member

    GF Mask: Copyrighted? Or Public Domain?

    Guy Fawkes Night is a long tradition, I know. But is the mask as we know it, as it was used in V for Vendetta, a copyrighted symbol? Does WB own that likeness, or is it considered public domain?

  2. Kuusi Member

    Re: GF Mask: Copyrighted? Or Public Domain?

    WB indeed owns the rights for the GF mask but the thing is that we are not using it for profit or selling the mask to other anons, once you buy the mask, the mask is yours and you can do whatever you want with you (fap on it, break it, blow it up etc.) if WB did not want to use it they will not sell it or manufacture the mask what so ever and keep it to themselves.
  3. Havok Member

    Re: GF Mask: Copyrighted? Or Public Domain?

    Even if WB could stop our use of GF masks, why would they?

    Chanology has sold tons of GF masks, probably more than Halloween ever did.
  4. Trev6 Member

    Re: GF Mask: Copyrighted? Or Public Domain?

    Yes, I know, this just impacts an idea for a local project. Guess it's a no-go, unless its small enough to slip under WB's legal radar.
  5. Re: GF Mask: Copyrighted? Or Public Domain?

    The Guy Fawkes mask has been around a long time before DC/Vertigo made a comic with a Fawkes-masked-hero/antihero, which was later turned made into a movie by WB.

    Saying you can't use the mask's image in popular media is like saying you can't use the Statue of Liberty's image because it was in Ghostbusters II.

    If in doubt, have someone DRAW a Guy Fawkes mask and use that or do it old-school: make one out of paper-mache.

    I blame Disney for this bullshit and confusion.
  6. moreanonymous Member

    Re: GF Mask: Copyrighted? Or Public Domain?

    It is copyrighted, but that means you can't make and sell an identical one. Wearing a mask you buy from them is acceptable is almost every situation, and a generic GF mask is public domain.

    • Like Like x 1
  7. Trev6 Member

    Re: GF Mask: Copyrighted? Or Public Domain?

    I think people are getting confused. I am not talking about whether wearing/using the GF mask is a copyright infringement. That would be a very stupid thing to imply, or even bring up.

    I /am/ talking about whether or not selling goods with GF images on them would bring down the unholy wrath of WB's legal team.

    If the image of the GF mask is public domain after all, does anybody have a ling to a GF image that isn't the same as the one used in V?
  8. Anonymous Member

    Re: GF Mask: Copyrighted? Or Public Domain?

    Possibly also under compyright:
    anonymous.gif [IMG] 69db4a10.jpg
  9. Anon777707777 Member

    Re: GF Mask: Copyrighted? Or Public Domain?

    The masks we wear aint the same as the one used in V. protip, look at the eyes, he has slits.

    Arguably different.
  10. Trev6 Member

    Re: GF Mask: Copyrighted? Or Public Domain?

    Helpful fags are helpful.

  11. Anonymous Member

    Re: GF Mask: Copyrighted? Or Public Domain?

    You are planning on selling things ?

  12. NotMike Member

    Re: GF Mask: Copyrighted? Or Public Domain?

    Remix culture & make it your own.
  13. Vir Member

    Re: GF Mask: Copyrighted? Or Public Domain?

    This is an interesting case. WB will not have a claim if the mask gets photographed and used in a magazine covering Anonymous, for example, but if you make a fictional work with the mask in it, it becomes more complicated. There is an opening for parody, and typically in Japan, where you are, there is an even higher latitude for parody works. There could also be made an argument that the mask by now is of such cultural significance that showing somebody in a V mask in a semi-fictional setting could be permissible; if I were making a Hollywood movie, I'd probably talk to my own lawyers and maybe WB's lawyers about it first, but if it's just some small project I might just go forward with it but include disclaimers saying that my work isn't endorsed by anyone.

    If I were making a completely original story, I'd design my own Guy Fawkes mask based on classical art showing Fawkes, but if the story is based on reality, then I might go for the "real" design as used in the movie.

    Let's say I'm making a comic book anthology. If some of the comics inside it can be seen as comic book journalism in the vein of Palestine and Safe Area Gorazde, I would go ahead with using the V mask as shown in the film, because it's a form of journalism. If it was a totally unrelated story, as in a story in a setting where the characters would not know about the movie "V for Vendetta" I would be using an original design. If it's semi-fictional, that is, about Anonymous wearing V masks, I personally would go ahead with it; there are plenty of stories in TV and web comics which are ABOUT Star Wars fans, for example, without Fox or Lucas Arts going after them.

    Since Alan Moore likes Anonymous, WB is happy is long as we buy their original masks, and you don't create any confusion about if WB endorses your work or not, I think you're pretty safe. Just don't start making and selling your own V masks.
  14. Trev6 Member

    Re: GF Mask: Copyrighted? Or Public Domain?


    Actually, no. It's to do with with YouFoundTheComic. Thinking of giving away shirts or some other wearable thing with GF on it at a local comic market, along with Anonymous Comics. Most people over here know nothing about Anon or Guy Fawkes, but I'll bet most local Scilons have been briefed about it. Having people wear GF goods around Tokyo, potentially freaking out Scientology staff, would be a good source of lulz.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Vir Member

    Re: GF Mask: Copyrighted? Or Public Domain?

    OK in this case I would advise against it. Just printing a V mask on a shirt is not transformative enough to be an acceptable use, in my opinion.
    There are plenty of other designs you could use though, which wouldn't tread on other people's copyright and trademark.

    Giving out shirts with V or Laughing man on them is a no-go though.

    What might be done is to buy properly licensed V masks in bulk and selling them or giving them out.
  16. Trev6 Member

    Re: GF Mask: Copyrighted? Or Public Domain?

    You're probably right, though. Scrap that idea, then.

    Actually, I know that the Comike is technically in violation of copyright laws with most of the comics the attendees sell, but the Japanese recording industry operates on the "don't rock the boat" policy (as opposed to the "go for the jugular" policy of the RIAA and Hollywood). As long as they aren't selling in massive quantities, the industry doesn't bother with them.

    So I'm not exactly worried that WB is going to kick over our table for putting a GF mask in JapanAnon Comics. But as for shirts and stuff, yeah... guess we'll pass on that idea.
  17. MrCorduroy Member

    Re: GF Mask: Copyrighted? Or Public Domain?

    Most of the ones you buy (in America, at least) don't have slits but are still film merchandise complete with the "V" sticker on the inside of the mask.
  18. AnonymousMeng Member

    Re: GF Mask: Copyrighted? Or Public Domain?

    that it may :\
  19. GuyFox Member

    Re: GF Mask: Copyrighted? Or Public Domain?

  20. I would say it would go against anonymous principles to let their image be copy-right controlled.
    I'd tend to agree with Chronic, "
    Saying you can't use the mask's image in popular media is like saying you can't use the Statue of Liberty's image because it was in Ghostbusters II."
    I'd say, as long as you don't mass produce and get greedy, you should be fine.
  21. WMAnon Member

    For shirts I would recommend using one of the headless suit graphics. You could also see about guying GF masks in bulk and just giving them out to people.
  22. VonG Member

    Hi Lets Say i made a t shirt Design whit a picture of a person wearing the mask
    and i cell these world wide
    can i get in trouble whit copyright holders?
  23. WMAnon Member


    You absolutely can get in trouble for that. Whether you will is kind of an open question since they haven't aggressively defended the copyright for years now. If you've got your heart set on it, I can recommend a couple of things to improve your chances of not getting in shit. First, make sure whatever you make is a unique piece of art that builds off the original art, not just a copy. Second, be chill with the marketing or donate some of the funds to worthy Anon causes (EFF, FreeAnons, WWP, etc.) That will actually help you in a Fair Use argument. Third, don't be a dick about it if they come after you.
    • Like Like x 1
  24. Anonymous Member

    Joined today.
  25. Anonymous Member

    • Like Like x 1
  26. What if you made just one shirt on a custom shirt webiste and just wore it, didnt sell it.
    Brother wanted one of his own but wanted his name right above it. If you pay for it and never sell it does it still violate copyright?
  27. Anonymous Member

    Depends on different countries, different jurisdictions.

    In some, if not most western countries, a copyright violation claim must prove damages. This means that whoever had their copyright violated has to prove in a court of law that they lost a ton of money because of the violation.

    Putting it on a custom shirt for a family member? You are not violating a copyright in my country's jurisdiction.
  28. Anonylemmi Member

    Thanks for dredging up this old thread. I needed to watch V again.
    • Like Like x 1

  29. I am in America. So paying 30-40 for a gift with it on it should be ok? I understand making like 60 and selling em for 25 bucks as a violation but I just wanted to be sure.
  30. tinfoilhatter Member

    Is the work original? For example, the guy fawks mask CAN NEVER BE COPY WRITTEN, because it is not original, the original creator died years ago. Furthermore, the copy written material must have been registered first. This is not the same for luchodore masks because those are the property of the respective wrestlers.

    However, this sounds like fair use, as he is using it for comment.

    I am getting my information from a law textbook. I am not a lawyer, and depending on the circumstances this can get very complicated.

    On another note, as per Sonny Bono copyright extension act. i did not realize that he had something to do with copyright law. This is troubling because he was a scilon and the cult is very protective of their trademarks and copy writes. It also makes me wonder if there might be a connection to illegal lobbying. Anyway, its late and i am now rambling like a lunatic. But i hope i have answered your original question.
  31. And i understand you are not lawyers.
  32. Since it would be a gift, i was wondering if finding a mask jpg or png file online would suffice.
    I bought a shirt online with the same design.

    Basically is making the shirt through a custom shirt website online with the design below ok?

  33. Anonylemmi Member

    If it's a one-off, not for sale, I wouldn't worry a bit about it. If you still sweat it, do your own artwork, or have a friend do it.
    • Like Like x 2
  34. mip Member



    • Like Like x 2
  35. tinfoilhatter Member

    I was referring to the "effigy burning mask" for Guy Fawkes not the v for vendetta mask. But hell, that really makes for a great example for how copyright law is flawed. An example i had read was that you can not copyright feuds per say, but you can copyright a drama about a feud.

    So what does this mean about the Guy Fawkes masks we use? Does the mask mean V for vendetta, or does it mean solidarity with Guy Fawkes? According to the commentary inside the V for vendetta graphic novel, they finally decided on a terrorist that wore the guy Fawkes mask, instead of a police like costume or some other living doll person. They realized just how cool the damn things look. My assumption based on this is so long as its just the mask, and not a terrorist or vengeful science experiment wearing the mask, you should be fine.

    My guess (not a lawyer) is that as long as its just the mask, and has no Vs anywhere on it, it should be good.
  36. DeathHamster Member

    It means Epic Fail Guy.
    • Like Like x 1
  37. mip Member


    1p4HsUD.jpg = vendetta_1.jpg = vforvendetta.jpg = guy-fawkes-mask-001.jpg = 20121123-we-are-anonymous.jpg

    Mip, mip mip mip mip, mip mip mip mip mipmip mip mip:



    Mip, mip mip mip:




    • Like Like x 2
  38. mip Member

    • Like Like x 3
  39. Ogsonofgroo Member

    Hah, thinking the same thing.

    As for the questions regarding custom t-shirts with GF images, I are not a lawyer but I don't think WB can be bothered harassing people about it unless there is profit to be lost etc. and if anything, the image has made a shitload of $$ for them and their affiliates, the use of it for protests etc. has spawned an industry making and selling them. Free marketing, why should they get bitchy about it?
    Just my take on it since this got dredged up again.
    • Like Like x 1

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