Internet In an Uproar Over Trademark Regulation as Fine Brothers Surrender
By Daily Bell Staff - February 03, 2016

Indeed, maintaining the policies that enforce intellectual property rights is one of the few issues today that we can say truly has bipartisan support–politicians, legislators and pundits on both sides of the political aisle recognize that in order to keep our industries competitive, encourage innovation and make potentially life-saving advancements in the field of health care, we must protect the incentives that drive researchers–and the companies and capital that back them–to continue to reinvest in the pursuit of new medicines and new solutions. – Forbes

We're not pundits but we don't agree with the above statement from Forbes in an article written back in late 2013 and entitled, "Intellectual Property Rights Matter."

They matter, all right, like a punch in the nose or a smack in the head. We'll explain in a moment, using what just happened to the (two) Fine brothers of YouTube fame as an example …

But first some serious if rarely asked questions.

Why should governments pursue people who "steal" your work? Who defines the term "steal"? Is it really stealing to lift a sentence or two from something you've written, especially since you've probably done the same thing from time to time?

And why should government use taxpayer dollars to pursue your nemesis? After all, you're the one who is benefiting, so isn't that YOUR responsibility? Maybe this logic sounds strange, but that's only because we live in a time when every authority is granted to the state.

For tens of thousands of years, people likely solved civil and criminal difficulties by themselves or perhaps with the help of a private third party. In Ireland, for instance, English common law existed side-by-side with older, tribal laws that utilized custom to decide quarrels and criminality.

Irish law relied on custom. English common law, which won out, relied increasingly on judicial centralization dominated by authority emanating from kingship.

Additionally, common law involved setting precedents that other judges would observe in the future. So eventually a "supreme court" ended up making law that was binding on the rest of the system.

Today, of course, the judicial system that has evolved from English common law is celebrated as a mighty achievement of modern civilization. Certainly, in the US, the six million individuals suffering from varying degrees of incarceration – the most anywhere in the world – might differ.

The US in particular has perfected a system of "justice" in which prisoners often find themselves incarcerated in penal institutions operated by for-profit private entities. These entities, in fact, may have contracts with the municipality that demands the town, city or state maintain prisons at a certain level of population.

Perhaps this explains why in the US especially there are so many miscarriages of justice and why DNA testing has led to the release of so many prisoners over the past decade. There have been notable releases of prisoners from death row, especially.

The modern, Western judicial system has really been in place only for about 100 years. The passport system and Interpol's global mandate have also only been generated in the past century. In other words, we are living through unprecedented times when it comes to the unimpeded, widening gyre of state authority.

It didn't used to be like this. People settled their own disputes. And this was especially true of what today we call intellectual property "rights."

They are not "rights," of course, so much as mandated privileges that legislators have decided you are entitled to. Like so many judicially mandated privileges, trademarks, copyrights and patents are all being increasingly, predictably abused.

Modern statutes are always evolving – but evolution is not necessarily an advantage. Precedent justice is obviously a boon to lawyers and judges but not so much to the average citizen who has to negotiate expanding legal complexities.

The most recent eruption of the system's inflating, illogical entitlements just occurred on the Internet where the famous YouTube Fine brothers attempted to enforce various forms of licensing of their successful "React" videos. These showed adults and children reacting to various embarrassing, awkward or at least challenging situations.

Basically, it seems, the Fine brothers began sending out cease-and-desist communications to other YouTubers who were also making "react" videos or even, in extreme instances, apparently using the world "react" in the title of the video.

Over the past few days the YouTube blogosphere exploded. YouTube creators who were the victim of legal communications from the Fine brothers or who simply found the Fine brothers' actions overly aggressive released irate and antagonistic videos. The Fine brothers' YouTube channels began bleeding subscribers, up to 250,000 of them or more.

And finally the Fine brothers surrendered, releasing the following statement:

We're here to apologize.

We realize 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.

We have decided to do the following:

1. Rescind all of our "React" trademarks and applications.

2. Discontinue the React World program.

3. Release all past Content ID claims.

The Fine brothers got hammered. Punched in the kisser. But what happened to them is unusual. For the most part intellectual property rights continue to expand in scope, buttressed by the authority of the state and the evolution of precedents.

What differentiates successful societies from unsuccessful ones is not the impartial application of "law" but the intangible reverence for the utility of custom and culture. Every man's civilization is exactly one person wide. Governmental attempts to adjudicate fairness and to create "rights" that are not inherent eventually result in civil chaos.

Between economic dysfunction and regulatory ruin, Western societies are increasingly dysfunctional. Certainly one can make a (non-anarchical) argument for intellectual property rights. But in the current day, excess and exaggeration are the norm.

We often suggest that the best way to survive in an increasingly intemperate world is to concentrate on enlarging one's own prospects and prosperity. Public entanglements in the modern era are likely to lead to increasingly unfortunate results.

Conclusion: Stay out of the court system, civil and criminal, and organize your life for maximum privacy and personal freedom. Increasingly public remedies are not the solution.

You don’t have to play by the rules of the corrupt politicians, manipulative media, and brainwashed peers.

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  • Lance Elliott

    Creative issues and compensation should be strictly monitored with a more benevolent oversight by parties with nothing to lose, but their reputations if they are found to be corrupt. Then we need a society that will punish their lapses.

  • concerndcitizen

    In the future, many things will self regulate. Laws will be mainly around killing. Matters of personal or corporate property will be resolved privately without the intervention of the state.

  • autonomous

    “We often suggest that the best way to survive in an increasingly
    intemperate world is to concentrate on enlarging one’s own prospects and
    To coin a phrase (patent pending), You’re damned if you do; damned if you don’t. If someone steals an idea from you,you can 1) let it slide, 2) take them to court, or 2) take the law into your own hands. If you let it slide, you run the almost certain risk of seeing the practice escalate. If you take it to court, you encourage the depredation of society further by the court system. If you take the third option, you run the risk of descending into into a wild west culture. Which is the lesser evil? The third is largely a creation of Hollywood, but the first is that of country music. The second is what is, and thus more nearly obvious (obviously evil to libertarians, obviously good to judges, lawyers and lawsuit winners.) Well? Go ahead, punk, and make my day.

  • Praetor

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! On the other hand, BS. Intellectual property assumes that there is some intellect behind the created property. Take the guy that thought up the chip and how much profit he garnered from that property. Then think of the guy who sold I-phones using the chip and died a multi-billionaire, because he ‘bought’ the intellectual property rights. Regulatory demonacracy needs to fall. DB is correct public remedies and demonstrations are no solution. The only solution total collapse!!!

    • medicis

      Total collapse (and all that means) would be terrible. But the greater terror would be for the luciferian system currently oppressing men and women to continue.

  • desertspeaks

    what the fine brothers NEVER MENTIONED “and which I sent an email to them about” was their REACT video’s, were nothing more than a RIP OFF of candid camera and art linkletter.. which I pointed out is also a crime of intellectual property theft and I told them they SHOULD be sued for their infringment!!
    Oddly, they never replied.. I sent this email on February 1st, 2016..

  • Bruce C.

    The statements I most agree with in this piece are in the conclusion: “Stay out of the court system, civil and criminal, and organize your life for maximum privacy and personal freedom. Increasingly public remedies are not the solution.”

    There was a time when people were more or less on the same page culturally and tended to moderate themselves based upon known laws and sometimes even personal standards of decency. Now people will do anything with the attitude that “you” won’t do anything about it. It now costs a lot of money to protect oneself from litigation or enforce one’s legal “rights” or to obtain justice/law-enforcement. It’s not practical any more so it’s lost it purpose.

  • L Garou

    I can hear the old press gangs, drumming in the distance.
    Nowadays, they sound like police sirens..

  • lulu

    Copyrights and patents have unfortunately, like so many other things, become a cause for profiteering. There is no more community or common good in the larger world. I too disagree with Forbes. Their noton that only profit motivates may be true yet if so then how unfortunate. This in so many ways is more destructive than helpful as per the example given as the excuse for no research in developing antibiotics against super bugs.

  • PB

    The Fine Brothers. That name says all you need to know.

  • 2bvictorius

    Perhaps one may manage to exist among the savages without being eaten, but the odds are too great to estimate accurately.
    To amass enough personal wealth to stay out of the public arena ,( called life), one must first be a very big part of what he is attempting to escape from, and unless one attains far greater wealth than anyone else on the planet, he will always be living in fear with the threat of servitude. Anyone who retreats from the fields of battle to seek isolation is building his own prison where liberty is of no benefit.

    Avoiding the personal responsibility of fighting for all that individual liberty adds to ones life is the only poison that can and will eventually destroy mankind.

  • alaska3636

    This reminded me of a recent article in Scientific American:
    Basic Science Can’t Survive Without Government Funding

    “Without government support, most basic scientific research will never happen. This is most clearly true for the kind of pure research that has delivered enormous prestige and great intellectual benefits but no profits, such as the work that brought us the Higgs boson, or the understanding that a supermassive black hole sits at the center of the Milky Way, or the discovery of methane seas on the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan.”


  • Kim Real

    My relative has a patent that was challenged by a infringer the patent office reviewed and ruled the patent stands. Then it was challenged again the patent office did know that the patent office had already rule the patent stands when they ruled that the patent was to be withdrawn. When the patent office Learrned of the pior review board granted the patent. they did not know how to reverse the rule so it still in the patent office.

    The lawyer comment , The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.

    What I take way Yes the system is broken . Reminds me of the humpy dumpy fall of the wall and no body knows how to put it back together again

    And the sad truth no one really care how to learn to put it back together. So we must live with the fact all those in authority are working at the apex of the Peter principle. So to stay safe and keep your sanity never look to the government for any help. Color outside the lines maybe we can avoid being caught up in the system that operates on the Color of law.

  • philipat

    I do have to beg to differ here. You are using what many would regard as being a trivial example to denigrate the whole purpose of Intellectual property. I do subscribe to the view that there would be significantly less innovation without Intellectual property protections for a REASONABLE period (Not what Disney defines as such!). At the end of the day, why bother and why invest in the process of discovery if there is no incentive so to do?

    As for the brothers, frankly I couldn’t give a sh-t, but that is not the point.

    • Why is it that people are so distrustful of market forces? You believe governments have to make laws in order for “discovery” to exist? If you really examine the patent system, for instance, you will find it probably retards as much “discovery” as it supports.

      • philipat

        Perhaps because I live in Asia, Indonesia to be specific. Most folks here buy DVD’s for 75 cents a copy. So if the whole world were the same, why would anyone make movies? It’s not about market forces, it;s about human nature in an uncontrolled/corrrupt environemnt. In Indonesia, Ralph Lauren (Polo) LOST a protracted legal suit against the Indonesian Party who Registered the Trademark ahead of RL so now all the Polo Stores in Indonesia are knock-offs. And the quality is sh*t, which damages the Brand value as visitors buy by mistake. You might see the point if someone in Asia were to start publishing a “Daily Bell” knock-off, or can I assume that you would not have any problem with that?

        I am essentially a Libertarian, but some pragmatism and common sense should be relevant.

        • philipat

          Thank you. I do believe that Daily Bell is adult enough to withstand the scrutiny of serious debate. That is why I have been visiting.

        • The article is pragmatic and does not argue against all intellectual property rights. We state:

          “Certainly one can make a (non-anarchical) argument for intellectual property rights. But in the current day, excess and exaggeration are the norm.”

          But theoretically, anyway, using an ancap model, there is no justification for the state to involve itself in perpetuating YOUR ownership of anything. Such issues should bet settled by YOU with the offending party. Maybe you wouldn’t be so quick to claim a broad gamut of intellectual property rights if you had to do the enforcing rather than the state.

          You state that because DVDs are inexpensive in Indonesia that people in Hollywood are suffering and that if the world bought such inexpensive DVD, Hollywood would shut down. You are making a judgment both about Hollywood and about movies that you cannot possibly make. Plenty of people would like to see Hollywood shut down. And if it were, perhaps MORE movies would be made and produced., Life is not simple, market forces are not predictable and you cannot necessarily foresee the future based on the past.

          • Bruce C.

            I’m not sure I understand your distinction between “the state” and the legal system. When you say “such issues should be settled by YOU” what exactly do you mean? Are you saying there shouldn’t be a legal system because that’s just a proxy for the state (and therefore “you” should handle things as “you” seem fit, etc.), or are you saying that the state should not be used as a proxy for the legal system? Individuals generally have to “settle issues” by using the legal system and that usually requires a lawyer/expenses (I agree that’s one problem with the status quo) but that also tends to keep things less “excessive”, however, I think you’re saying that large enough corporations can solicit the state to do their bidding at relatively little cost and that’s what creates excesses and injustices.

          • We are saying what we said. For thousands of years, people settled disagreements informally, face-to-face or using private third-party negotiators (or chieftains). Only in the past 100 years or so has the current government-oriented legal system emerged full-blown in all its complexity, brutality and corruption. It is partially a product of central banking because until recently, societies didn’t have the wherewithal to rip parents away from their children, often for relatively minor infractions. The current system is bestial and violent on so many levels that one can surely argue that informal, non “state” judicial remedies are preferable to what is in place now.

          • Bruce C.

            Yes, I know what you mean. Many different “systems” have been tried throughout recorded history and some of the old ways are being recognized as preferable. It will be interesting and maybe even unprecedented for people someday to actually choose systems that might be considered “less advanced” or not “modern” than the last/current fiasco. As you often point out societies, etc. tend to just get bigger and more complex and more centralized and there seems to be no going back, and that’s probably true until the leviathan implodes.

      • Samarami

        We have to train ourselves to trust market forces — to want to be free and to achieve liberty for ourselves and our families, friends and neighbors. Although it should be, it is not (eerily enough) something that manifests itself by logic and observation. As you outline in a following comment, this authoritarian incursion by monopoly government is merely 100 years in the making (the history may in fact exceed that by a few centuries), but that’s longer than any of us can remember. 100 years is adequate to soundly condition the masses into believing that monopoly force is what is required to bring order to society — and that there is no other way BUT by monopoly force (under the “jurisdiction” of psychopaths).

        Although we “should” be capable of seeing the fallacy of this thinking by looking around at the egregious and deadly wars put on by agents of government, it is not that easy. Insanity is the social norm. Sam

        Insanity is the social norm. Sam

      • Randy

        EXACTLY!!! The patent system creates work for lieyers and gives a reward incentive to certain people for a limited amount of time, but other than that, I see no real benefit to it! Just look at pharmaceutical poisons (drugs) lately. Maybe it’s a good thing that not every company is able to crank out as much of them as they may want to, because we get enough deaths from the ones that ARE pumped out now! The side effects can be even WORSE than what they are trying to treat sometimes.
        How can Monsanto and other companies say that their GMOs are identical to Nature in every way, and so therefore are not harmful to us in any way, but then out of the OTHER side of their mouth, they claim that their plants are unique and thus deserving of being patented?? You can’t have it both ways there! Either the GMOs are Frankenstuffs or they are not. GMOs are not food by any stretch of the imagination, they are just very subtle poisons, but deadly nonetheless. And so they deserve to be protected by laws? This has to be the height of insanity, giving protection to a deadly product, but then again, maybe it’s a good thing there too! Do you want EVERY tomato grown to be a mouthful of body toxins, just because they’re promised to be cheaper to grow??

  • Samarami

    “…Every man’s civilization is exactly one person wide…”

    Exactly. I’m not the only sovereign state in the “…family-of-nations…”


  • Dolph Longedgreens

    I am not aware of who the Fine brothers are and I generally find Youtube content tedious. However, you may want to have a look at this: is infinitely more useful to me. I consider it the cutting edge. They have been shut down numerous times, but always come back. Although online copyright enforcement is ridiculous, there are still other options. It is as simple as signing up for a bulletproof hosting service.

  • Randy

    And here’s the way to stay out of the totally corrupted legal system: What is the EXACT AMOUNT of fraud that ANY man or woman has the right to commit? What is the EXACT AMOUNT of fraud that ANY man or woman has an actual obligation to endure? What is the BASIC PREMISE that is being operated off of, in the instant case? Anyone who thinks that they can find any real justice in the legal system except by pure happenstance, is severely deluding themselves or dumbed down and brainwashed beyond salvage! This is why TTMQ are such an anathema to the lieyers of the world! Make your own test of their power sometime by asking as many lieyers as you can stomach for a simple answer to them. Not one in a thousand will do so, because their entire livelihood depends upon people NOT knowing about those questions and asking them.

    The legal system cannot and must not ever be caught violating its own rules, regulations and procedures, because then the scam is exposed and people will see that they have no reason to let themselves be ripped off by ANYBODY, no matter how lofty their title may sound or how many badges are pinned to their chest. But, if you like being screwed over by the legal system, go right ahead and be my guest!! Just don’t try to make me an unwilling partner to your perverted ideas and parties, that’s all.

    These “intellectual property rights” are just an abstract, a figment of someone’s imagination, nothing really solid that can be measured. If you really don’t want someone else to copy your own words or ideas, then keep your mouth shut and don’t write anything down! I write many articles and have never sought any kind of copyright protections for ANY of them! Why is that? Because I WANT others to mimic my thoughts, ideas, mental creations! I WANT them spread as far and wide as possible, from one corner of the Earth to all of the others! I implore people to repeat what I say because it will lead to a greater freedom and peace for us all. I never fool myself into thinking that it will happen otherwise. Knowledge does no good if it is kept to oneself.