If you’re the Fine Bros, well you make a strangely NOTCORPORAREREALLYIMNOTCORPORATE ITSGOODFORTHECOMMUNITY PAYMEPAYMEHONESTIOWNYOU video about licensing something that people have done since, well YouTube started – namely reaction videos. 283,000+ dislikes and counting, isn’t that some kind of record in like, 3 days?
Well so what? The parodies like these will come out, we’ll laugh at them, and forget it right?
Well, until it actually transpires that the owners of TEENS REACT™, ELDERS REACT™ probably ALIENS REACT™ TOTALLY NON CORPORATE LAWYERS REACT™ etc. seemed to have shut down a channel which inspired by their first Kids React, created Seniors React – and Fine Bros not only shut them down with DMCAs, they then later created Elders React – yes they ripped off someone inspired by them? Not. Cool. (and I say that as a former fan). Classic predatory corporate behaviour. And they say that they own the format and that ‘beat by beat’ copies were taken down? So they own even formats they haven’t even done yet? Strange idea of copyright and trademarking…
Talking of which – they are apparently trying to trademark the word react when used in YouTube videos? Is that for real? Certainly they’ve trademarked the others, and apparently enforce them. I have no problem with that, well unless your definition of originality is so loose that you think that Ellen ripped you off or Buzzfeed, when it’s basically ‘Kids Say The Darndest Things’ or 7up/14up etc, it’s not new – and as others have pointed out, they seem to liberally use other people’s content in their viral video reactions? And a formerly 14 million subscriber empire is NOT a small indie. Sorry.
This is why Fine Bros subscription numbers are in freefall. Oh. dear. You just Streisanded YOURSELF bros. Maybe you should do a REACT video about it? Edit: they did, but it doesn’t cover the Seniors React case at all, where they ripped off THEIR format! And also, it seems a little, well disingenuous to have to take their ‘word’ they won’t go after other reaction videos, you know since they already HAVE and all?
Interestingly it’s now made the BBC including the criticisms of their claims and the past issues, looks like they are finally being called out by the Internet. (original article about this via Jez Biggs)
Also more here, with links to their deleted posts calling people to go harass Ellen! They really like to delete negative comments, btw.