The Fine Brothers is an incredibly popular YouTube channel with almost 14 million subscribers and gained popularity with a series of “react” videos. The concept is quite simple and revolves around of the idea of filming people’s reactions to viral videos, old technology and film trailers. Unbelievably, brothers Benny and Rafi Fine caused outrage by trying to trademark the word ‘react’. Not only that, they had the nerve to launch content ID claims against people making react style videos without their approval via the ‘React World’ license. Rightfully, people voiced their disgust and couldn’t believe the duo’s egotistical behaviour. Thankfully, after a great deal of media scrutiny and public disdain, the brothers have decided to release an official statement which reads:
We’re here to apologize.
We realize we built a system that could easily be used for wrong. We are fixing that. The reality that trademarks like these could be used to theoretically give companies (including ours) the power to police and control online video is a valid concern, and though we can assert our intentions are pure, there’s no way to prove them.
We have decided to do the following:
1. Rescind all of our “React” trademarks and applications.*
2. Discontinue the React World program.
3. Release all past Content ID claims.**
The concerns people have about React World are understandable, and that people see a link between that and our past video takedowns, but those were mistakes from an earlier time. It makes perfect sense for people to distrust our motives here, but we are confident that our actions will speak louder than these words moving forward.
This has been a hard week. Our plan is to keep making great content with the help of our amazing staff. Thank you for your time and for hearing us out.
Benny and Rafi Fine
*This includes “React,” “Kids React,” “Elders React,” “Lyric Breakdown,” etc. Please note: It takes a while for the databases to update, but the necessary paperwork has been filed.
**Content ID is YouTube’s copyright system that automatically flags content that looks like or sounds like copyrighted content. This mostly flags videos that are direct re-uploads of our videos (which is what the system is built for), but if you know of a video that has been claimed or removed incorrectly, please email us with “false claim” in the subject line.”
Clearly, this is just damage control after seeing the hatred directed at the Fine Brothers. Either they’re stupid for not expecting this or so arrogant that they honestly believed it was possible to trademark a word in the English language.