Youtube sensations The Fine Brothers stir massive internet controversy


Chloe Ruffennach, Staff writer

On February 1st, 2016 YouTube stars The Fine Brothers announced that they would be trademarking the word “react” relating to videos posted under or relating to that term.

The Fine Brothers are best known for being YouTube sensations and for their React videos in which various age groups provide initial reactions and responses to specific elements of pop culture. Some of these viral videos include “Teens React to Nirvana” and “Elders React to Star Wars: the Force Awakens”.

The Fine Brothers’ videos are known to circulate around the internet and generally be very well received, but it wasn’t until February 1st that the YouTube stars started to truly make headlines. Social media was in chaos over their announcement to copyright the term “react”.

Their copyrighting of the term would mean that any other YouTuber, despite wealth or audience, who submitted a video reacting to any product or event, would have to run the idea past The Fine Brother’s management, otherwise they could potentially be subject to a lawsuit.

After many took to social media sites to voice their anger, The Fine Brothers then issued an apology statement. In their statement posted to, The Find Brothers said, “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.”

The post went on to describe the company decisions they’ve decided to enforce going forward given the conflict by stating “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.”

Many social media users voiced their opinions on a decision that they felt gave the Fine Brothers too much influence. Even other YouTuber’s like Philip DeFranco commented on the controversy by saying that this trademark would provide The Fine Brothers with “too much power” in both his February 2nd and February 3rd videos discussing the matter.

For the most part, even despite the Fine Brothers finally concluding to cancel all “React” trademarks, many are still angered that the idea was even a serious consideration. Many even went so far as to unsubscribe from The Fine Brothers’ YouTube page, almost as if in protest. Over the past few days the Fine Brothers have lost several hundred thousand subscribers, and the numbers continue to plummet.

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