Two YouTube streams by popular channel Lofi Girl were taken down this past weekend due to a copyright strike that appeared to have been launched by a Malaysian label. YouTube later reversed the takedown, calling the takedown requests “abusive”.
Two streams from the channel – “lofi hip hop radio – beats to relax/study to” and “beats to sleep/chill to” – were removed by Youtube earlier on Sunday (July 10). According to screengrabs shared by Lofi Girl on Twitter, the strikes originated from an account going by “FMC Music Sdn Bhd Malaysia”, which is also the name of a Malaysian label and publisher largely known for issuing pop music.
“The lofi radios have been taken down because of false copyright strikes, hopefully @YouTubeCreators @YouTube will sort this quickly…” Lofi Girl tweeted about the situation.
— Lofi Girl (@lofigirl) July 10, 2022
In an apologetic reply to the tweet, YouTube said it had “confirmed the takedown requests were abusive” and said it had “resolved” the channel’s copyright strikes and “reinstated” the videos. Though the videos are not yet accessible at time of writing, YouTube also said that “it can sometimes take 24-48 hours for everything to be back to normal”, and that it had terminated the claimant’s account.
confirmed 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 ❤️🩹
— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) July 11, 2022
It is unclear if the “abusive” copyright strike was launched by the actual label FMC Music, which still has its YouTube channel up and running at time of writing, or an account impersonating the label. NME has reached out to FMC Music for comment.
Regardless, FMC Music’s Facebook page has since come under fire by Internet commenters. “Imagine trying to take down a company larger than you and has a bigger internet following than you. That copyright strike kinda got awkward for you,” one commenter wrote. “Falsely copyright claim things that aren’t yours? Very professional,” another said.
After YouTube reinstated the Lo-Fi Girl streams, the channel shared a Twitter thread of thoughts on the takedown and specifically what it called the “underlying problem” of false copyright strikes on YouTube.
“We’re shocked and disappointed to see that there’s still not any kind of protection or manual review of these false claims. At the end of the day, it was entirely out of our control, and the sad part is that there was no way to appeal beforehand/prevent it from happening,” Lofi Girl wrote.
“More importantly, 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.”
Upon its takedown, the more popular stream, “lofi hip hop radio – beats to relax/study to” had notched a total of 20,843 hours of streaming and received a total of over 668million views. The second stream, “beats to sleep/chill to’, recorded a lesser 129million views over its runtime but was streamed for an impressive 20,772 hours.
Created by French musician Dmitri in 2015 under the original alias of “ChilledCow”, the account was similarly removed over erroneous copyright strikes in 2020. The stream rebranded to its current moniker in 2021.
In 2017, Studio Ghibli also filed a copyright claim against the channel for using a looping GIF of Shizuku Tsukishima, a character from Hayao Miyazaki’s classic 1995 film, Whisper of the Heart. The decision led to the stream’s swap to its current iconic illustration.