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YouTube ends Lofi Girl’s two-year-long music stream over false copyright claim

Metro logo Metro 7/12/2022 Anugraha Sundaravelu
Lo-Fi Girl’s live live chat was like an anonymous, remote study group (Picture: YouTube) © Provided by Metro Lo-Fi Girl’s live live chat was like an anonymous, remote study group (Picture: YouTube)

The internet’s favourite companion ‘Lofi Girl’ disappeared yesterday when YouTube falsely took down the channel for copyright infringement.

The ‘lofi hip hop radio — beats to relax/study to’ YouTube stream has become a staple for students and remote workers over the past two years.

‘This live stream recording is not available,’ reads the blank screen on the YouTube stream.

Yesterday, Lofi Girl addressed the sudden takedown in a tweet, stating that ‘the lofi radios have been taken down because of false copyright strikes’.

In response, fans of Lofi Girl circulated the tag #BringBackLofiGirl to get YouTube’s attention. Some even went as far as to spam and troll FMC Music, the Malaysian label that allegedly issued the false copyright complaint.

With over 668 million views, the stream was one of YouTube’s most popular places for people who wanted to listen to calming music while studying or working.

While YouTube has a number of hours-long calming music streams, Lofi Girl’s live chat was like an anonymous, remote study group where listeners reminded each other to take breaks and drink water. So, fans were understandably upset when this wholesome part of the internet suddenly blacked out.

In its two years of live streaming, Lofi Girl has become an important part of YouTube culture with its own spin-off communities, including a 30,000-member r/LofiGirl subreddit and a 700,000-member Lofi Girl Discord.

The channel’s Studio Ghibli–inspired image of a girl wearing headphones and studying as her cat stares out the window has inspired Halloween costumes and has even been replicated by Will Smith.

Lofi Girl told TechCrunch that all of the channel’s music is released through its record label, Lofi Records, so they have the necessary rights to share it and YouTube decided it was not in violation of copyright laws.

YouTube confirmed that the takedown requests were ‘abusive & terminated the claimants account’.

‘We’ve resolved the strikes + reinstated your vids – it can sometimes take 24-48 hours for everything to be back to normal! so sorry this happened & thx for your patience as we sorted it out,’ said YouTube replying to the tweet.

However, Lofi Girl might have to start over rather than continue the existing 2-year-long stream. In 2020, the channel, Chilled Cow faced a similar problem when an accidental suspension ended its 13,000-hour stream.

‘This event has shone a light on an underlying problem on the platform: It’s 2022, and there are countless smaller creators out there, many of which engaged in this discussion, that continue to be hit daily by these false claims on both videos and livestreams,’ Lofi Girl wrote in a tweet.

While creators like Lofi Girl grapple with the abuse of YouTube’s copyright infringement policies, fans eagerly await the return of their favourite livestream.

‘Besides the music, the live chat helped me a lot in reducing my anxiety before a test or project, talking to strangers in the same situation as me was so much fun and calmed me. Thanks for everything Lofi Girl,’ said one user comment.

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