The Fine Brothers have had a bit of a rough weekend and the PR nightmare isn’t slowing down at all. The pair have one of the biggest channels on YouTube and are responsible for several series of ‘reaction’ style videos showing people of different ages reacting to things like Netflix or old-school internet and in an effort to take the next step, the channel decided to try and trademark the word ‘React’- which hasn’t gone down well at all.
It all started last week when the Fine Brothers announced ‘React World’ a new company program set up to allow other content creators to buy a ‘license’ in order to use the ‘React’ name or a specific ‘React’ series for their own channel. The Fine Bros already have approved trademarks for things like ‘adults react’, ‘kids react’ and ‘celebrities react’ but the trademark for the sole word ‘react’ is still under debate. The new licensing program, as well as the ownership of these trademarks, would essentially allow The Fine Brothers to copyright bully channels on YouTube that create reaction videos under fair use without buying their license.
Before the React World announcement, The Fine Bros YouTube channel had 14.1 million subscribers and since then, that number has depleted to 13.88 million at the time of writing and that number keeps lowering and lowering every second, as you can see by the real-time counter, HERE.
To try and do some damage control, The Fine Bros published an update video over the weekend in which they state that they ‘do not own the genre’ of reaction videos. Unfortunately, actions speak louder than words and the channel has already issued copyright takedown notices against other channels that post reaction videos merely for having the word ‘react’ in the title.
As video game attorney, Ryan Morrison pointed out on Reddit, The Fine Bros already have a sense of entitlement when it comes to reaction videos and have been bullying smaller channels for years. At one point in time, there was a channel called ‘SeniorsReact’, which was shut down following copyright strikes prior to The Fine Bros launching their own ‘Elders React’ series.
KitGuru Says: One thing is clear, it seems people on the Internet don’t want to let The Fine Bros monopolize the ‘reaction’ genre on YouTube and I don’t really blame them. The Fine Bros channel has already lost well over 200,000 subscribers in the last couple of days alone so it is clear that they are going to need to do something in response.