YouTube restores Lofi Girl account after false copyright claims

A popular YouTube account with smooth hip-hop beats is back online today after two popular live radio streams (the oldest of which has been running continuously for two years) were removed from the platform due to false copyright claims. In a tweet, the owner of the Lofi Girl channel – who has been streaming relaxing ambient music since 2017 – announced that the streams have done so after a break of almost 48 hours.

The origin of the DMCA claims comes from FMC Music, a Malaysian record label. After YouTube received a counterclaim from the creators of Lofi Girl, YouTube manually reviewed FMC’s complaint and concluded that the record company had no ownership of the music.

“Confirmed the takedown requests were abusive and terminated the requester’s account 😔 We’ve resolved the strikes and restored your videos – it can sometimes take 24-48 hours for everything to go back to normal! I’m sorry this happened and thanks for your patience while we worked this out.” wrote YouTube on Twitter, in response to Lofi Girl’s request Monday to resume streams.

But FMC Music claims to be a victim of this affair too. A spokesperson for the label’s local news site Malaysiakini that hackers broke into his YouTube account to claim copyright infringement. The record label said it reported the incident to Google. His YouTube account is now back online.

The relatively unknown record label was hit hard by online abuse over the weekend, as fans of Lofi Girl flocked to its social media channels demanding to know why it had submitted the fake claim. Most Lofi Girl fans, mostly Gen-Z and younger millennials, rely on the music to learn, relax or meditate.

Ironically, Lofi Girl also has a sizable Malaysian fan base who were also quite unhappy at the channel’s removal. In a Reddit on r/Malaysia titled “Who the heck is FMC Music Sdn Bhd Malaysia and why did they copy Strike Lofi Girl?” one distraught fan urged others to “make some noise” on the record label’s social media.

“For context, I learned while listening to Lofi Girl before both of her streams were shut down by a particular FMC Music Sdn Bhd Malaysia. Now their live streams are inaccessible in Malaysia. What gives them the right to delete the best channel on YouTube,” the user wrote.

Malicious copyright strikes are hardly a recent incident on YouTube. Game developer Bungie decided to bring a developer there after allegedly filing nearly 100 fake copyright claims. Lofi Girl noted that an accidental deactivation in 2020 also took the account offline, and called for a stricter DMCA claims review process at YouTube. “This event has shed light on a fundamental issue on the platform: It’s 2022 and there are countless smaller creators out there, many of whom are involved in this discussion, who continue to rant daily from these false claims, both in videos and are also affected in live streams”, Lofi girls in a tweet.

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https://www.engadget.com/youtube-restores-lofi-girl-fake-dmca-claims-202140482.html?src=rss YouTube restores Lofi Girl account after false copyright claims

Russell Falcon

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