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YouTube Creators Try to Copyright “React,” Internet Reacts as the Internet Does to Copyrights

The Fine Brothers, the minds behind the “Reacts” series of YouTube videos, just tried to file a copyright on the word “react” as it pertains to videos of people reacting to, uh, things. The response to their move has been mostly negative, as one would expect from anybody trying to copyright such a broad definition of a word.

You’ve likely seen The Fine Brothers before, you just may not have been aware of it. They’re the minds behind the “Reacts” series of YouTube videos in which they have teens, adults, and older folk react to whatever might be grabbing headlines at the time. Their wildly popular video series has spawned plenty of other “reacts” videos from competing creators, so their need to protect their source makes a little sense.

But to go about it like this… ? Just seems like it’s kind of a heavy response, doesn’t it?

As of right now, their “announcement” video (above), wherein they share news of their copyright, sits at just about 2.2 million views with 265,000+ dislikes. Ouch. Unhappy with the response, they posted an “update” video trying to explain that they were only aiming to protect their “specific series, not the overall genre of reaction videos.”

The reactions to this video in the comments are still overwhelmingly negative.

This comes a few weeks after Sony tried to copyright the term “Let’s Play,” and copped major negative feedback from folks around the world. It’s unclear what damage, if any, this move has caused to Fine Brothers Entertainment. It’s entirely possible they’ll go right back to business as usual within the week, and yet it’s equally possible that they could be on their way out the door. The internet and the fame it doles out can be fickle, and sometimes all it takes is one mistake for it to spit you out.

Anyway, you can go ahead and brace yourselves for a whole flood of “Reacts to Reacts” videos for a while. That mine just opened for business.

(via Kotaku)

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Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (thebolditalic.com), and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters (spinningplatters.com). She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.