The term ‘react’ and the genre of reaction videos on the internet have been around since the early days of YouTube, the popular channel ‘TheFineBros‘ or ‘The React Channel‘ as it’s now known, were the main pioneers for the use of this video format as a regular YouTube series, however the nature of ‘reacting’ is common in society and it’s use in media is very common, programs such as ‘The Ellen Degeneres Show‘ frequently use a ‘reacting to videos and other kinds of media’ type format.
However in early 2016, TheFineBros (Rafi and Benny Fine), were involved in one of the most epic fails of the year. They uploaded a new YouTube video (which has since been taken down but has been re-uploaded by various channels) announcing a new video licensing system they were planning on introducing in the weeks following the video, a system where content creators had permission to use the ‘react video format’ and the react video titles, as well as a supply of resources including graphics and audio effects to use in the videos in exchange for the react channel brand to be applied to all videos and TheFineBros to receive remuneration for each video. This also included basically trademarking the word ‘react’, as TheFineBros were filing law suits and suing people who made reaction videos, which was a disaster as the term ‘react’ is so widely used. The situation can be explained in further detail by another YouTuber h3h3Productions:
The internet went into a meltdown after TheFineBros made their announcement, flooding social media with memes (what we seem to do best after a big internet event), resulting in TheFineBros losing thousands of YouTube subscribers.
It makes you wonder why TheFineBros didn’t just use a Creative Commons like strategy to allow other people to use their react format. It’s obvious they were only concerned about maintaining power and making money, which is starting to sound a lot like the larger corporations who own the majority of content in the world, which is what we don’t what YouTube to be all about.
Foxx, C 2016, ‘Fine Brothers spark fury with YouTube trademark attempt’, BBC News, 1 Februrary, viewed 24 April, <http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-35459805>.