The Fine Bros Thread


#1

I don’t know about you guys but this makes me pretty angry with what they are trying to do. Trademarking the word REACT to hold it over others heads…seems scummy to me. Almost as bad as raising the cost of medicines for profits, remember what happened to that guy? I’m sure they will get knocked down by the community of youtube for this, but c’mon it’s kinda ridiculous to think you can trademark something that has been public domain for years. Reaction videos have been around since I can remember and these two guys want to own it. Voice your opinions below!


#2

I watched the video. This has nothing to do with a broad trademark of the word react (which of course is impossible). They’re licensing their content format. This is how shows like Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? or Deal or No Deal get made in other countries. They touch on that in this video, too. They created a great format with their x Reacts shows and now they want to expand the franchise.

I don’t see anything wrong with that. Why is that a problem?


#3


#4


#5

I think you’re misunderstanding what a registered trademark is.

Based on your images, they’ve applied for a service mark where “REACT” is used for “providing an on-going series of programs and webisodes via the Internet in the…”

Trademarks are limited in scope in order to provide reasonably adequate information to the consumer that what they’re buying (or viewing) is what they think it is. That doesn’t mean they own the term “REACT”. It means that if you start a YouTube show where kids react to videos and edit together funny reactions and you call it “Kids React” they’ll probably sue you. If your show is reasonably indistinguishable from their trademark where a consumer would be confused, they’ll probably win.

There are many things named REACT, they’re not the first company to trademark it. In fact, my work owns a trademark for it, too.


#6

Still means that they want to profit share with anyone who does reaction videos and have legal grounds to remove any similar unauthorized content. Call me an idealist, but YouTube ought to be a market that is driven by quality of content. These guys probably do alright on YouTube already, and just want to squeeze a little more money out of the rest of the community for zero effort.

Whether they are successful or not, whether this kind of action is legal or not, my opinion is that this type of thing is morally abhorrent.


#7

It’s morally abhorrent to come up with a great concept and want to participate in profit from copycats? Should everything people produce be free game or just video works? Should I be able to create a new Tomb Raider game?


#8

Is this reactionary over blatent copycats? I think the issue is how generic the claim is. I think you could classify reaction videos on YouTube as a genre? Should someone hold the trademark rights to comedy films? Sitcoms?

What is the test for what does and doesn’t fall inside their trademark brand? Seems like some people have already had videos taken down for uploading “X reacts to fine bros trademark crap”. Is that fair? What about all those reaction videos to a likeable character in a popular tv show getting poked? A YouTube stream of someone reacting to jump scares in a video game? Would they need to obtain the license for those?

DMCA takedowns can be abused so much. YouTube has always had a policy of shoot first, ask questions later in response to them. Most people can’t fight back against a claim.


#9

The courts decide. The test is whether consumers are being mislead. It’s subjective, which is why we rely on the courts. Registering a trademark only serves to inform that “hey, we are doing this and we are calling it this.”

That doesn’t give you anything automatically. It’s up to you, the trademark holder, to bring suit as you see fit if you feel someone is infringing on your trademark. At that point, it’s then up to the courts to decide if the two are actually similar enough to warrant action (like changing the name or damages from confused consumers).


#10

I’m very much with @Vocino on this one.


#11

I don’t really care about this issue. But, I can see how this would be upsetting to people who make similar videos. This is not a case of protecting consumers from being sold a mystery drink labled Coca-cola, and more like Coca-cola swinging their weight to collect fees on any other people who want to sell soda.

The true test of intention is whether or not Fine Bros start issuing takedowns for reaction videos in general, and not just limit to protecting a particular defined and obvious format.


#12

and more like Coca-cola swinging their weight to collect fees on any other people who want to sell soda using the brand power they worked to establish.

In simple terms: I couldn’t care less if someone set up some servers, created a forum, invited all their friends, and started getting people interested in their own little gaming community.

When they call it strats1.co then there’s a very clear issue since I spend my hard earned money and time on this.


#13

Which is why I said, I would be interested to see if they use their trademark to takedown “gaming communities” or only “strats1”, and how much damage will they do before a court ever gets to make that distinction. YouTube won’t, and Fine Bros lawyers will be happy to tell content creators their generous version of it.


#14

The problem I have with what they are trying to do is taking something they didn’t come up with on their own, saying they made it and it is theirs and trying to impose their will on others. It’s like trying to trademark “LOL”. If they trademarked or got a copyright on their specific format they use then that’s ok I suppose. But they would have to clearly define what makes their format unique to others so there is a clear difference that can be measured against. Just saying hey, I trademarked cat videos. Any videos with cats posted without my permission have to be taken down or pay me a percentage of your profits (licensing). It’s ridiculous. I just hate scummy people that try this kind of thing.


#15

Who do I have to share profits with to make a let’s play video, or a review, or top 10? Oooooo, if I could trademark top ten format I’d be rollin. Pretty sure this is a crazy thing to claim as your own and expect payment for, people have been making reaction videos over a decade, they’ve been doing it like 5 years. I think the idea of letting others use their SPECIFIC format and put their name on it to get exposure for their content is great! I’m pretty sure that’s not the only impact it will have on the youtube community though.

that being said, this is funny


#16

Yes, this is exactly what a trademark is. I explained that above in an earlier reply. (Note that “copyright” is something completely different, though)

Not sure where my earlier posts are getting lost in translation. This is not what they are doing and this is not what trademark is.

They are not trademarking the word “React” nor are they trademarking reaction videos.

A trademark, trade mark, or trade-mark is a recognizable sign, design, or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others.

(Emphasis mine)

You are free to create all the reaction style videos you want. Just don’t make them look like they’re part of “x React” brand owned by Fine Brothers Entertainment.


#17

So wait…how are those video formats theirs in the first place?

because they were the first to trademark the format of, “Camera capturing a person looking at a screen with PiP showing content”?

Sure they put a ton of hard work into showing people reacting to things and got paid thusly. They don’t have a brand and if formatting can be trademarked:

is the news trademarked?
is “Pick the right suitcase” trademarked?
is variety television trademarked?
is last person standing style gameshows trademarked?

How is this any different?

Exactly this, has someone trademarked the format of: “Player talking over gameplay while content is displayed”? Because if not then we may want to get a trademark on that!


The subject is obfuscated in a ton of crap. The fine bros don’t seem very upstanding as they allegedly took the formatting from someone else in the first place. They did make it popular and, again, they got paid for doing it. Thankfully they seemed to have pissed in a ton of cheerios on this and people are coming out of the wood-work to oppose it.

http://ryanmorrisonlaw.com/attorneys-react-the-fine-bros-react-trademark/


Hate quoting reddit as a source:

https://www.reddit.com/r/videos/comments/43fdw3/seniors_react_originally_posted_apr_3_2012_was/czhsl4v

This video was taken from: http://web.archive.org/web/20120406235634/http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99bwWcZ2Eg8&gl=US&hl=en#

As You can see in the related videos they made at least 3 others (This was the only one I could find)
SENIORS REACT - LMFAO, SENIORS REACT - Epic Meal Time, SENIORS REACT - Julian Smith all by stillcosmo. Their twitter has them releasing many more videos after this one.

Which have all been remove It would be great if we could find a dmca page or something to tell us they where claimed as some other reddit users have pointed out.

TimeLine (WIP)

May 1, 2012 FineBros announce "Seniors React"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAGOBlOgO0o

May 15, 2012 Seniors React Retweeted

Udie Chima ‏@OodlesOfUdo 15 May 2012

@thefinebros There can only be one original! Funny ass episode this week @SENIORSREACT http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxYMyaRBm70&feature=g-u-u#TheRealSeniorsReact

May 22, 2012 Tweet from Seniors React.

Seniors React
‏@SENIORSREACT

Check out today’s episode! SENIORS REACT - Fine Bros (New Series Announcement): http://youtu.be/RVgTfhK3irQ

Seniors React twitter then became inactive.

May 24, 2012 FineBros Relese first video titled “Elders React

This isn’t the first time and won’t be the last time they abuse systems to gain ground on their own product.

If I haven’t made it clear yet, I hope their goal goes up in smoke.


#18

I did some digging into the controversy yesterday and the thing that interests me is how many people are coming forward claiming they’ve been a victim of The Fine Brothers or their MCN (Fullscreen) claiming or taking down videos (r/videos is ripe with examples, of late). It seems there’s a lot of concern that once they have the legal justification they’re going to up the bullying on things that people already feel fall within Fair Use. Aside from the above examples already listed by other people, they and/or their MCN have called out and asked their followers/subscribers to go after The Ellen Show, BuzzFeed, and h3h3 in the past (to name a few big names); I’m not saying they’re right or wrong on this, but the fact that they and their MCN have shown a willingness and propensity to go out there and take videos down and contest other content creators, I can see why people are apprehensive bout this move.

I thought this was a pretty decent representation of both sides:


#19

Did they come up with it though, or did they just make it popular?


#20

It doesn’t matter. You can design sneakers, just don’t design sneakers with anything that remotely resembles this on them:

From what @Auth is saying, it seems like they’re trademark trolling, which is a different issue. In the tech industry, we deal with it from patent holders all the time.

The problem is that people don’t fight it in court, they just settle. That doesn’t make the trademark law less clear though.