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September 23, 2023 7:28 AM   Subscribe

Devin Stone (AKA LegalEagle) posted an excellent video about fair use and reaction streamers: xQc Is Stealing Content (and So Are Most Reaction Streamers).
posted by Pendragon (18 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I think the most fascinating thing about this is how the companies hosting these reaction videos know exactly how much copyright infringement they're not just letting slide but actively funding to the tune of millions of dollars on their own platforms, compared to how immediately and rabidly they'll shut down or sue people the moment their own revenue streams might be threatened. To my profits, everything! To my liabilties, the law.
posted by mhoye at 8:02 AM on September 23

A possibly generational thing where I just cannot fathom the appeal of this entire genre of people pulling stupid faces and making idiot noises whilst pretending to watch things. My kids will watch these, I am just left utterly confused as to why.
posted by Artw at 8:13 AM on September 23 [18 favorites]

I hate how much the Internet has confused people about fair use. No it doesn't matter how much of it you used. No it doesn't matter if you're not making profit off of it. Fair use is a claim to make once you're already being sued. It's not something you can claim ahead of time.
posted by downtohisturtles at 10:04 AM on September 23 [3 favorites]

OK I am just gonna say that I watch a lot of reaction videos, here is why: I liked the thing. I want to see other people seeing the thing for the first time and liking it too! I lack people at home with whom I can share the things I like, so this is a good substitute for me.
posted by HypotheticalWoman at 11:04 AM on September 23 [4 favorites]

A reaction video to a reaction video.
posted by 3.2.3 at 11:12 AM on September 23 [1 favorite]

Anyone know how reaction streams became so popular? Two girls one cup?
posted by jeffburdges at 12:04 PM on September 23 [3 favorites]

I assume reaction videos are popular because TikTok makes them so easy to make. It’s basically a core function of the platform. They existed on YouTube before, but I don’t think they were so common.
posted by Just the one swan, actually at 12:12 PM on September 23 [1 favorite]

My overall theory is that it's parasocial contact. Reaction videos are hanging out and watching your favorite things with friends when you don't have any friends.
posted by LeRoienJaune at 1:02 PM on September 23 [6 favorites]

When Mandalorian came out, there were "meta reaction videos" where it's just compilations of MULTIPLE people reacting to the same segment edited onscreen together or in sequence. They had to block / blur / mirror the video being reacted to, but at least it's actually mostly reactions.
posted by kschang at 1:11 PM on September 23

watching your favorite things with friends when you don't have any friends.

*waves* You got me, but you could have couched it in kinder terms. :)
posted by Literaryhero at 2:40 PM on September 23 [3 favorites]

I like three types of music reactions: lyrical analysis, rap bar breakdown and vocal technique explanations. Most of the music theory analysis reactions are way beyond my understanding. People jumping on chairs and being cute are not entertaining.
posted by mightshould at 3:31 PM on September 23

Watching someone discover something is half the point of the 10K.
posted by Mitheral at 4:30 PM on September 23 [1 favorite]

You won't believe what happens when Weird Al Reacts to New Drake Video!
posted by Theiform at 5:27 PM on September 23

Ok but please don’t take down Deep Fake Not Obi Wan Kenobi reaction videos where a retired Obi Wan lives with a room mate in California, the force ghost of Qui-Gon and Anakin’s are regrown into a new Anakin in a bathtub with Bacta and hair conditioner. I’m more invested in the running subplot of this reaction series than I am in anything Disney has done.
posted by interogative mood at 7:35 PM on September 23 [1 favorite]

Metafilter: watching your favorite things with friends when you don't have any friends
posted by jeffburdges at 7:56 PM on September 23 [1 favorite]

Anyone know how reaction streams became so popular?

I don’t know that it needs to be more complicated than the fact that people are social critters. We’re wired to pay attention to other people and how they react to stuff (on a population level, there is of course a ton of variation on the individual level).
posted by Gygesringtone at 8:25 PM on September 23

A possibly generational thing

I myself was once confused, but then I chewed it over a bit. you may be old enough that you could only ever had a communal watch situation, or a communal video game situation, in real space, in real time.

But let's plays / streaming makes sense to me when I consider most of my pre-internet video game time as a kid was spent watching someone else play the video game. A lot of my communal video watching time was not something I myself MC'd. It was already passive in the late 80's. Hell, in some ways all of this is still much more interactive compared with communal sports viewing, in that you can pause a video and turn on your own copy of the game, even

Some of this is that i didn't need to be the one with the controller, the other bit is that, if 7 kids are playing street fighter, you're already not going to be playing street fighter, and just watching most of the time. Let's pause to consider the arcade situations, man, you couldn't even get 7 kids around the console.

I also remember one summer when our friend group edited together 5 seasons of the Simpsons without commercials or intros/outros on to Long Play VHS tapes; we had 15 people who all had to pee, but couldn't tear themselves away from the non-stop jokes.

When the tape ended, there was a rush for the bathroom, much like a football game.
Also, people still watch baseball games. i mean. I would go to hang with my grandad but it required some intense focus on my part, zen like, even.

What the video-enabled internet posits is, what if you could technologically increase the number of people hanging out playing the game from 7 to 1,000? Your time with the controller essentially approaches zero, and you may as well just be watching people watch the TV. The depth of your friendship, also gets thinner, I suppose if that is all you did, I'm sure that is not what kids do--they likely have chat and texting going on at the same time. And since it's asynchronous, actually you can pause the communal situation and go to the bathroom yourself, without a break or missing things.

It is a bit weirder to me that we have scaled up the hanging out, it got taylorized and monitized and capitalized, and there are now attorneys due to the amount of money involved. --there's got to be property rights disputes if there's so much money involved, right?

This industrialization of friendship is much weirder to me than large amounts of people sitting and watching stuff. We've been sitting and watching stuff in large numbers for a while.
Baseball abides.
posted by eustatic at 10:44 AM on September 24 [1 favorite]

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