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YouTube stars u-turn on trademark after heavy criticism from online community

A popular YouTube channel has u-turned on its attempts to trademark a commonly used video format after coming under heavy criticism from fans.

Fine Brothers

The Fine Brothers- Rafi and Benny- rescinded their trademark application for their “reaction videos” series which show people responding to online clips.

Their trademark application included the terms “Kids React”, “Teens React” and “YouTubers React” as well as the word “react” itself.

Plans to license the format to other video-makers resulted in backlash from the YouTube community, in part due to the popularity of the term “reaction” which is used by many YouTube users, and cost the duo hundreds of thousands of subscribers.

After resending the trademark they issued an apology in a blog post saying: “We realise we built a system that could easily be used for wrong. We are fixing that.”

They responded to criticism that license agreements might be used to "theoretically give companies the power to police and control online video” and admitted that this was a "valid concern".

One YouTuber who expressed concern over The Fine Brothers’ move was Jon, from Many a True Nerd.

He told the BBC that the u-turn did not come as a surprise because the “risk to their business was too great to ignore."

Jon added: "I think this movement and its consequences represent that YouTube as a community is quite determined to stay a free and open platform, and that makes me optimistic for the future."

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