Last week The Fine Brothers drew mass internet hate after they announced they wanted to let other YouTubers monetise and licence its “React” format shows. Tonight, they’re taking all of it back.
We’re here to apologise.
We realise 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.
The videos with the original announcement, and the consequent update on that announcement, have now been taken down. Makes sense, too: the Fine Brothers, and their REACTS channel, have been haemorrhaging subscribers for the last week, with many popular YouTubers heavily criticising the original announcement. It was a lot of bad press! Now at least The Fine Brothers seem to be owning up to some of what people found wrong with their absurd plan, which attempted to put some ownership on the idea of people reacting to stuff on video. Which, like, almost every single YouTube channel at some point.