If you’re regularly on YouTube, you might’ve heard of Lofi Girl. Beloved by plenty of college students or just anyone wanting some chill music, the channel formerly known as ChilledCow has a livestream of ‘lofi hip hop radio’ with tens of thousands of live viewers on it at any one time. However, on 10 July, the lofi radio was suddenly taken down, apparently due to a copyright strike issued by a local music label called FMC Music Sdn Bhd Malaysia.
As Lofi Girl points out in their tweet, they had received a copyright takedown notice on their livestream video, putting an end to then over two years of continuous music they had been putting out. This would of course turn out to be a false copyright claim as Lofi Girl only uses music released via the ChilledCow music label or with permission from the artist. The copyright notice not only took down the livestream, but also hurt the channel as it gained a copyright strike; a channel with multiple copyright strikes would have their account disabled by YouTube.
Thankfully for Lofi Girl, YouTube eventually got back to them a day later with some good news. They had replied to Lofi Girl’s tweet, and explained that they’ve confirmed the copyright takedown requests were indeed abusive and terminated the account of FMC Music Sdn Bhd in return. They’ve also removed the copyright strike and reinstated their livestream as a video. YouTube apologised to Lofi Girl too over the incident.
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
Things ended up a bit differently for FMC Music though. Following Lofi Girl’s tweet explaining why their livestream went down, FMC Music would find themselves on the receiving end of backlash from the community. Their social media channels were full of angry comments over the false copyright takedown notice and plenty of users left them negative reviews on Google too.
According to Malaysiakini, they’ve since claimed that they were hacked, and that they had no reason to file a copyright claim anyway as they typically only deal with Malay pop songs. Apparently, the copyright claim was filed during the weekend when there were no staff at work, and that they too only found out about the matter when they got back into the office on Tuesday and saw that their channel had been hacked. They’ve also reported the incident to Google.
Overall, it’s certainly scary for content creators to see that false copyright claims like these can still take down even the biggest of channels out there, especially considering YouTube’s actions of suspending their creators first prior to actually investigating these claims. Lofi Girl perhaps got lucky as it’s a pretty big channel and a staple of YouTube culture now, but many smaller channels who don’t have such a privilege may suddenly have a loss of revenue due to these false claims. As Lofi Girl says:
“We’re shocked and disappointed to see that there’s still not any kind of protection of 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 on Twitter
We’ve since reached out to FMC Music Sdn Bhd for more details on the matter, along with more evidence on their claims that they were hacked. In the meantime, if you’d like to listen to some lofi instrumental hip hip music, you know just where to go to.