Popular YouTubers Stop Trying To Trademark ‘Reacts,’ Apologise

Popular YouTubers Stop Trying To Trademark ‘Reacts,’ Apologise

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.

Over on Medium, The Fine Brothers wrote the following about their short-lived “Reacts” trademark:


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.

Image Credit: Variety


  • Did they take back the trolling they influenced their fans to inflict on others like Ellen? Or the takedowns they did to other content creators?
    Not trying to be snarky. Genuinely curious.

    • I know they’ve sort of taken back what they did to other content creators. More if they apologised for this behavior.

    • As it said they’re releasing all content-ID flags they did in the past. I’m assuming ones that were blatantly ripoffs will stay flagged though.

    • I think this has been the most damning evidence that has come out of this. However misguided you may or may not think their takedown actions have been, the fact that they essentially tried to weaponise their fambase to attack the social media of someone else shows incredible arrogance and disregard, regardless who the target was. This is the sort of thing no apology can wash away.

      • Couldn’t agree more. The internet can be awful enough. Weaponising their fanbase is an incredibly apt description of what they did. There’s a snarky part of me that wants to point it out in every story that mentions them.

  • Now we just need someone else to trademark all these ‘Reacts’, keep quiet about it, and in 30 days sue these knobbers into oblivion

  • So wait a minute, isn’t this why publishers are overbearing and heavy-handed when it comes to Youtube?

    Because of unscrupulous and unregulated ne’er do wells these people seem to have attracted?

  • I’m clearly in the minority, but I find this whole culture of fame via YouTube as classless and sickeningly narcissistic.
    Unboxing videos, are the worst but it all falls into the same mould.
    The way I read this is, these guys were in danger of losing views and likes so they back flipped immediately and pandered to the internet. Because losing viewers is worse than cancer to kinds of people. And I can’t express how troubling this is to me. We live in. A society where people are branding themselves and effectively become their own PR in a never ending , self serving battle to have 15 minutes of fame. Who cares about the cost..

    • Well subscribers are literally money, so I’m guessing it’s more about that than fame directly. I’m not saying fame isn’t a factor but I’m always going to assume money is the prime motivator for these sort of decisions. It’s really no different to how it’s always been.

    • There really is some good stuff on YouTube, it’s finding it through all the rubbish. There’s also some serious cash to made, these guys had +14mil subscribers, thats a lot from advertising revenue. It is all narcissistic, that’s not something new, it always has been.

    • I find this whole culture of fame via YouTube as classless and sickeningly narcissistic.As opposed to obtaining fame by producing music or film? I understand that there are people who make bank off relatively low-effort productions like filming reactions to content produced by someone else, or commentating over playing a video game and this annoys me to an extent, but there are a lot of good content producers out there and your comment tars them all with a pretty broad brush. I assume this wasn’t your intent? I could condemn all TV stars for sharing a platform with the Kardashians, but I wouldn’t do that.

  • I think we should trademark Let’s Play… oh wait…

    Wasn’t this “React” thing a direct response to Sony’s attempt to trademark “Let’s Play”?

    • Dont think it was a response to that… a few popular youtubers have been looking at other business models to expand like coops, affiliate programs or community channels… which can work well. The fact they went after a trademark and did this a week or two after the Lets Play trademark debacle shows they were out of touch or just ignorant.

    • Nope, just an ill-timed announcement following Sony’s attempted trademark going over like a lead balloon.

    • You likely won’t see that because it seems that they’re trying to scrub this ‘incident’ from their Youtube presence entirely.

      Both the React-World announcement video and the Update video posted later have now been removed.

    • Both their YouTube channels are currently ground zero with anything posted likely to garner just vitirol.

    • I think a written ‘apology’ (they didn’t actually even apologise here) is much better for these guys. They do not come across well in front of a camera. That update video they did after the original announcement was just cringe-worthy, they just came across as pandering, condescending, insincere, over acting idiots with all their eye-rolling, sighing and throwing of hands the air… ‘we’re sooorrrrry we used confusing words’.

  • Pft… they just trying to get those thousands of subscribers back. Damage like that is hard to undo, no matter how much you pretend you didn’t mean it

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