Whether you love them or hate them, there’s no denying it: reaction videos are for some reason one of the most popular formats on YouTube right now. And while they’ve been a thing for even longer than the YouTube community has existed, it’s safe to say that the Fine Bros have definitely played their part in popularising the video style.
With all of their different strands of “Kids/Teens/Adults/Elders/YouTubers/etc React” videos, the internet has begrudgingly accepted that Benny and Rafi Fine have the monopoly on reaction video popularity. And now, they’re taking it global.
In a new announcement from the brothers, they revealed their plans for “React World”, a new initiative supposedly designed to bring the Fine Bros reaction video brand worldwide. People all over the globe can sign up to license the Fine Bros Entertainment trademarks, and be provided the resources to post their own reaction videos; meaning independent creators can make reaction videos that are better fitted to their language or cultural specifics, all under the React World umbrella.
Edit: The Fine Bros have since removed the original announcement video; find out the latest details here
As positive as this project sounds on the surface, the video takes a slightly more sinister turn; Rafi goes on to mention that part of the motivation behind creating React World was due to them “having their shows and formats blatantly stolen by companies and people”.
“We implore you not to support those companies and channels,” he pleads to the audience. “When you notice someone ripping someone’s format off, don’t stand for it.”
“By licensing our formats and trademarks, everyone will know that you’re doing this legally with our company’s guidance”.
But what is the “format” they’re talking about, exactly? People reacting to things? As popular as their videos are, this style isn’t theirs to claim. YouTubers, brands, and TV shows alike have been making reaction videos years before any of their series debuted. Nevertheless, the Fine Bros have a history of going after anyone who seems to be releasing videos that are in any way similar to theirs.
In a kneejerk reaction, the greater internet has turned on the Fine Bros, with the announcement video receiving a disproportionate amount of dislikes and many a negative comment (which this very elaborate Reddit thread on the video has shown they’ve been deleting). Benny and Rafi have been doing some damage control after backlash, promising that they can’t and won’t copyright the concept of reaction videos.
However, this guarantee might not last forever. The Internet has done some digging to find out just exactly what “trademarks” Fine Bros Entertainment have sought to own; and discovered that as well as claiming the titles for all their current series (meaning you can’t use words like “kids react” in a video title anymore), Benny and Rafi are literally gunning for the word “REACT”.
So what does this mean for the future of reaction videos? We are definitely all for the idea of enabling people worldwide to create awesome videos, whether or not they’re reactions. And we definitely appreciate the hard work the Fine Bros have put into popularising the video style. But when you want to put an actual trademark on a word like “react”, we can’t help it when only one thing springs to mind.