Last week, The Fine Brother, the creators behind one of the most popular YouTube channels on the internet reaped a whirlwind of online fury from fans and fellow creators alike.
If you’ve never heard of them, The Fine Brothers are the duo behind the ‘React’ series which shows viewers reacting to movies, games, internet memes – basically anything that causes their mouths to fall open.
These viewers – along with a lot of a lot of fellow YouTube content creators – descended on The Fine Brothers last week in a storm of criticism.
The reason for this was because The Fine Brother announced their intentions to try and trademark the word ‘react’. The pair announced an initiative called ‘React World’, which would allow content creators to use the ‘react’ assets in their creation of react videos – for a nominal fee.
Since ‘react’ videos are made by tons of people on the internet, the notion that The Fine Brothers were attempting to trademark it caused a massive, negative reaction. Alongside the usual stream of abuse, nasty comments and flaming, The Fine Brothers saw around a million subscribers ditch their channel completely.
All of this seems to have had an effect because the pair have released a statement apologising to their fans and announcing they’re no longer seeking the trademark.
Posted on Medium, the apology reads:
We’re here to apologize (sic).
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.**