It has been a really rough week for the Fine Bros.
In the midst of a huge online backlash that’s been going since last week and cost them tens of thousands of YouTube subscribers, the Fine Brothers have hastily retreated from their announced React World channel, canceling all of their “React” trademarks and applications and releasing their past copyright claims on other people’s reaction videos.
“We’re here to apologize,” they said in an announcement on Medium - with the comments section wisely hidden from public view - that pretty much cancels their plans for a channel that would collect and monetize fan-made reaction videos from around the world.
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.
Just days ago they were declaring that React World would create a global online community of people making videos that would “live on forever as a time capsule even a hundred years from now” - and today they say React World has been discontinued, at least until they can regain people’s trust that they're not trying to bully small creators and monopolize the entire idea of people reacting to things.
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.