Fine Bros. Cancel Licensing Plan After YouTube Backlash
The digital media duo lost subscribers after announcing plans to trademark and license their React video franchise.
Digital producer Fine Brothers Entertainment has canceled plans to trademark and license its React video franchise following a backlash from the YouTube community.
Last week, Fine Bros. founders Benny and Rafi Fine announced that they would license 11 of their shows and trademarks — including versions of React such as Kids React and React Gaming — to creators and would create a new YouTube channel called React World where those videos would be published.
But fans of the Fine Bros. reacted swiftly, arguing that the duo did not invent the reaction video format that they were attempting to license to other creators. Over the course of several days the brothers, who boast more than 20 million YouTube subscribers across their various channels, lost many of those followers.
The Fine Bros. responded, explaining that "we do not own the idea of reaction videos nor would we shut down anyone making reaction-based content ... but React World is an opportunity to localize versions of our specific series."
But on Monday night they decided to cancel the initiative entirely, posting on Medium that "we realize we built a system that could easily be used for wrong. We are fixing that."
They added that they are rescinding all of their React trademarks and applications, discontinuing the React World program and releasing all past copyright claims through YouTube's Content ID system.
"This has been a hard week," they continued. "Our plan is to keep making great content with the help of our amazing staff."
The Fine Bros. have since removed all videos and social media posts about the React World initiative.