React World Saga Part 3: The Fine Bros Are Sorry
2 February 2016, 11:59
It's been a rough week for the Fine Bros. Following the internet-wide sh*tstorm that arose after their big "React World" announcement - which included a meteoric drop in over 300,000 subscribers - Benny and Rafi Fine have thrown in the towel. In a new statement posted to Medium, the Fine Bros have announced that they will be ceasing development on React World and rescinding all their trademarks.
A message from us. https://t.co/MmR2ngVK1c …— FBE (@FBE) February 2, 2016
"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," admit the Fines. "and though we can assert our intentions are pure, there’s no way to prove them."
"React World" was supposed to be a new initiative that would provide independent creators access to the vaguely-described "Fine Bros format" of reaction videos. However, in preparation for licensing said format, the Fines had registered trademarks for terms like "Kids React", "Adults React", "Try Not To Smile Or Laugh", and most controversially, just "React".
The fact that they would have to act on enforcing these trademarks by taking down infringing video content, coupled with Benny and Rafi's reputation of going after anyone they consider to be "ripping off their format", led the online community to believe their goal was to monopolise the entire concept of reaction videos. And after almost a week of internet-wide criticism and haemorrhaging subscribers across all their channels, The Fines have backed down.
Not only are they releasing their trademarks and scrapping React World, but they will also be releasing past Content ID claims they have filed on similar videos. Benny and Rafi have also deleted both their React World announcement video, and the widely unpopular "Update" video posted this weekend.
"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," they conclude in their statement.
Here's hoping that React World was a genuine misunderstanding, and not the beginning of some diabolical plan like the internet would have us believe...