Benny and Rafi Fine, creators of the Fine Brothers Entertainment YouTube, channel have withdrawn their controversial plans to trademark the word "React" in relation to online reaction videos, and set up an initiative that would effectively force video creators to license the concept from them.
Their U-turn comes after a huge uproar from online communities, who slammed the plans. In a message posted on Medium, the Fine brothers said: "We realise we built a system that could easily be used for wrong. We are fixing that.
"The reality that trademarks like these could be used to theoretically give companies (including ours) the power to police and control online video is a valid concern, and though we can assert our intentions are pure, there's no way to prove them."
In the post they state their intention to rescind all 'React' trademark applications, discontinue the React World program and "release all past Content ID claims" that had seen videos being taken down for infringement.
Previously, Fine Bros had released videos (which have since been taken down) explaining their plans, and then later, following some initial outcry, another video which likened the idea to restaurant licensing and Burger King (via Digg).
"You could start [a restaurant] on your own and possibly find huge success, but if you love Burger King and want to be part of that organisation, if you joined you'd be able to get access to things like menu items and recipes and specific logos and promotional support," they said. "It's the same kind of things with React World: you can join... or make your own reaction videos completely without us."
The video only made matters worse, leading to their eventual U-turn and sort-of apology.
"The concerns people have about React World are understandable, and that people see a link between that and our past video takedowns, but those were mistakes from an earlier time," reads that apologetic statement. "It makes perfect sense for people to distrust our motives here, but we are confident that our actions will speak louder than these words moving forward."
The Fine Bros Entertainment YouTube channel has 13.7 million subscribers and creates mostly reaction videos, such as kids, teens, celebrities, YouTubers and elderly people reacting to various pop culture phenomena, including the Harlem Shake (remember that?) Eminem, old games consoles, viral videos and even gay marriage. Their most popular video has over 43 million views.