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The Courts Youtube Your Rights Online

Fine Brothers File For Trademark On Word "React" 204

DewDude writes: You've probably seen them on YouTube: Fine Brothers are the two behind the video series Teens React, Kids React, and Elders React. Well, the two seem to feel they somehow invented this whole thing and have now filed for a very broad trademark. The USPTO filing says the trademark will be published tomorrow and looking at the filing; it is literally for the word "react" and simply shows a screenshot of their YouTube page. They have also apparently gotten approval for "Parents React," "Celebrities React," and "Parents React"; as well as filed applications for things such as "Do They Know It," "Lyric Breakdown," "People v. Technology," and "Try Not To Smile Or Laugh."
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Fine Brothers File For Trademark On Word "React"

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  • by PsychoSlashDot ( 207849 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @09:25PM (#51418347)
    I'd like to trademark "fuck off and die", then use it liberally in these cases.
  • Badges? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Sowelu ( 713889 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @09:27PM (#51418361)

    ...They said "Parents React" twice. I guess they really like parents reacting.

    • Re:Badges? (Score:5, Funny)

      by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @11:40PM (#51418977) Journal
      I thought the same thing but if you look closely the second version drops the trailing comma.

      "Parents React," "Celebrities React," and "Parents React";

      • That's where commas go in a list like this. I don't know why; I think...

        "Parents React", "Celebrities React", and "Parents React"

        ...looks more right.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          AFAIK, in US English, the punctuation should be inside the quotation marks, while in British English (and Norwegian, yay) the punctuation should be outside.

          • by jc42 ( 318812 )

            AFAIK, in US English, the punctuation should be inside the quotation marks, while in British English (and Norwegian, yay) the punctuation should be outside.

            Also, all programming languages would put such commas outside the quotes, unless you want each quoted string to contain the comma as its final character, but then you'd need another comma after the quotes to have the correct syntax for a list of quoted strings that each end in commas.

            Of course, programming languages are required to follow sensible and logical rules, unlike English, where the rules are just made up on the fly by anyone with access to a pen or keyboard (or touch screen, for the last couple

  • "Mr. Express, I represent the Fine Brothers, and I'm filing a suit against you for copyright infringement..."

    • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @10:39PM (#51418725)
      Copyright != Trademark. Understanding the difference is crucial to understanding the issue.
      • Then someone better tell YouTube because they're already issuing DMCA take downs on videos using the word React. What's that stand for again? Digital Millennium Copyright Act? Huh, wonder where people get the phrase "Copyright takedown"? No idea.

      • by gsslay ( 807818 )

        For god sake someone upvote this parent post.

        The amount of internet whining regarding this trivial issue is ridiculous. They have Trademarked "Reacts". That has nothing at all to do with copyright laws. Yet all the self-declared internet lawyers are out bitching about the imagined copyright issues this raises.

        Now whether you think they should have been allowed this trademark is another matter. But it doesn't mean they claim copyright over other people's videos.

  • Bad Editing. "They have also apparently gotten approval for "Parents React," "Celebrities React," and "Parents React""
  • Goatse React.
  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @09:31PM (#51418399)

    Acronym for Radio Emergency Associated Communication Teams []. Any other use would cause confusion.

  • Never mind... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by creimer ( 824291 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @09:32PM (#51418413) Homepage

    That the trademark office had 300+ applications for the word "react" on file. Eli the Computer Guy did a fine a video on this controversy. []

  • This trademark BS has gone to far!

    And with bad laws like the TPTA and others any can say if you don't pay for my trademark we can shut you down.

  • Makes me want to trademark the letter E online and I be a nice guy only $0.0002 per use.

    • Makes me want to trademark the letter E online and I be a nice guy only $0.0002 per use.

      I put forth an opinion such that this will annoy many but is not fool proof, as workarounds for no cost, though not trivial, I (and my cohabitants of this world) can action to avoid such costs.

  • by TsuruchiBrian ( 2731979 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @09:35PM (#51418433)
    But I've already trademarked "fine" and "brother"...
  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @10:16PM (#51418637)

    they have only one reason to get these: automated takedown notices on youtube. what they are trying to do is not make money off the trademark but rather prevent anyone else from using them in their video title by using automated enforcement. the ideal result is that anyone searching youtube for a reactionary video will only get results of videos they have posted. they are in effect trademarking search terms.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No, it's worse than that. They want to pay a license fee for use of their trademark, otherwise they'll see to it that the video is taken down. They're basically looking to extort people for using something that is utterly generic ("X reacts to Y").

  • by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @10:30PM (#51418689)
    On youtube, facebook, and comedy and meme sites the two are getting utterly destroyed. For example, one member said that one of the fine brothers' meth addict looking eyes couldn't be shown on youtube because Steve Buscemi has prior art. The real problem people see is first, they're "franchising" out something they don't own in the first place (a video format as opposed to their actual brand name) while secondly potentially preparing to sue everyone who reacts to viral videos in a similar way to their common format. Well guess what, anyone and everyone can make a "let's play" and it's a similar format because in the US you can't patent or trademark or copyright general presentation formats.
    • by waspleg ( 316038 )

      You're right but since YouTube aka Google can do whatever the fuck they want their site and it's the biggest one on the internet that effectively means stomping on a bunch of people's freedom.

      As long as they're serving these bullshit automated DCMA takedowns and providing basically 0 recourse for those effected they're not much better than any other despotism.

  • Thought Ownership (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Art3x ( 973401 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @10:44PM (#51418751)

    Intellectual Property, translated from Latinate words to Anglo-Saxon ones, is Thought Ownership. Then the absurdity is clear.

    Of all the I.P. laws --- patent, copyright, and trademark --- trademark to me made the most sense. I don't want another company calling itself Apple Computer. Trademark, then, is just like namespacing, just common sense.

    But here I see that even that can be abused. It just goes to show that any law in the category of intellectual property should be sharply restricted, dealt with as if it had a big radioactivity symbol on it.

    As for patents, they should just be completely obliterated. I have never seen a patent where I said, if we didn't grant this patent, we would never have got this thing invented. The inventor would have been too scared.

    As for copyright, I can't yet say it should be obliterated. But the current terms are way too long. 30 years tops.

    As for trademark, like I said, it just helps fight confusion, but still it should be dealt with with the utmost contempt for the requester. It would be better to hold off on granting one, and see what happens, than to grant too many. This is nothing but abuse by the Fine Brothers to unfairly stomp out competition.

    • Patents were introduced so that people would publish the idea rather then keep it secret for ever - It does not do this

      Copyright was introduced so that people could make money out of an idea they had to reveal in order to use - It does not do this in most cases

      Trademarks were to stop people passing off an inferior copy and damaging an established brand - It still does this but not when it is not established or a known brand

  • by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @10:56PM (#51418811)
    Calling Dr Howard, Dr Fine, Dr Howard
  • Stupid Youtube (Score:5, Insightful)

    by p0p0 ( 1841106 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @11:02PM (#51418833)
    The problem is content producers on Youtube are actually losing money because their title has the word "REACT" in it and the contentID that automates detection of infringing videos are tagging these videos so the creators are losing their ad revenue and getting strikes against their account.
    Another problem is that these guys have millions of subscribers so their a big revenue stream for Youtube so they have of course sided with the Fine Brothers.
    The Fine Brothers didn't create this kind of content. They are nowhere near the first to use it but they are still basically taking ownership of other people's ideas.

    I've subscribed to uploaders who've had these problems and Youtube is notoriously difficult to deal with because you have to prove you're not stealing, instead of the accuser having to make a proper case.

    Just today I saw a video of a quad-copter being attacked by a hawk, and it was uploaded by the original owner but the video was flagged by some Korean news agency as theirs even though they had no relation to the video aside from using it in their broadcast. The big stinker is that the uploader was donating the ad revenue to a charity and so they've lost out on a couple grand already.
    The system Youtube is using is very flawed but they don't seem to care about the grief and frustration they are causing users.

    The most satisfying thing is a live stream of the Fine Bros current number of subscribers and the number just kept plummeting by 20-30 every few seconds.
    • Re:Stupid Youtube (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @08:55AM (#51420405)

      You are so right. I am a volunteer fire fighter and posted a training video of my team putting out a fire at a training facility. I was contacted by youtube and informed that the music in the video was a violation and the video was removed.

      The only sound in the video? The roar of the fire and the spray of the water being made by, you guessed it, the live fire and then water coming out of the hose nozzle!

      Filled out their form explaining that there was no music in the video only the naturally occurring sound of fire and water. Guess what happened? I bet you did, youtube didn't care and never responded and my video never went back up!

  • by rssrss ( 686344 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @11:17PM (#51418903)

    Words that are merely descriptive may not be trade marked. 15 U.S. Code  1052 (e).

  • What about "Slash dot react"?
    Caution here... "Let's get ready to fumble" next sunday.

  • Rescinding (Score:5, Informative)

    by iONiUM ( 530420 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @12:41AM (#51419149) Journal

    The fine brothers were losing like 200k subscribers a day over this, it was very unpopular. It appears they are rescinding their attempt: their post about it []

  • It is Over (Score:5, Informative)

    by snkline ( 542610 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @12:42AM (#51419151)
    Fine Bros have backed down. []
  • Why are submissions reviewed and approved so incredibly slowly? This story is already practically over, [] except to see what the fallout is (that is, how many people accept the apology).

    I'm not blaming the new owners, it has been like this for years. It's obviously not for dupe prevention, that's for damn sure.

  • Whenever someone files a frivolous patent or trademark, you get to punch him in the face until his nose is inverted.

    That should make the problem one that solves itself pretty fucking quickly.

  • I think Larry needs a slapping from Moe..

  • I uploaded a video to Youtube a decade ago. Now, it's being taken down due to a supposed copyright violation. However, Youtube won't tell me what it is I am infringing, the email claims I have to log into my "channel" to find out what the issue is.

    I do not even have a "channel" -- and I can't even remember what name/password combination I used to upload the video, because it was a FREAKING decade ago!

    I faxed them for more information and they basically sent back a letter that matches their original email. I

  • All your trademarks are belong to us...

    Seriously though why doesn't someone just do some automation on the Oxford English dictionary to stop this stupid system.

  • Everything must be owned- every word, every phrase, every idea. Nothing can be unclaimed, everything must be owned.

  • Sue aggressively or loose your rights. Either they will sue people into the ground and lose any love of the public, or don't sue them and loose their trademark rights..

  • Does this mean I can't use React JS anymore?

My mother is a fish. - William Faulkner