Lofi Girl: what happened to hip hop music YouTube channel, who is creator Chilled Cow - and will it come back?
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After two years of continuous broadcasting, the creator of the Lofi Girl channel revealed on Sunday (10 July) that its "radios" had been silenced, drawing outrage from followers.
Here is everything you need to know about it.
What is the Lofi Girl channel?
The Lofi Girl channel, known for its anime-inspired thumbnail from which it draws its name, loops soothing hip-hop music as a study and sleep aid.
Dmitri, a French musician, developed Lofi Girl in 2015; he was known as ‘ChilledCow’ on YouTube until switching to Lofi Girl last year.
The channel’s two streams - beats to relax/study to and beats to chill/sleep to - have around 800 million views and 21,000 hours of combined playtime.
When both disappeared, people assumed it signified the end of "a hugely important part of YouTube culture".
One wrote: “Lofi girl has helped me survive so many stressful study times. I loved watching ‘live’ and knowing that many people were also listening too.”
Why was it taken down?
YouTube removed two of its most popular music streams in response to a copyright infringement claim.
The shutdown was the result of an automatically issued copyright strike, which means that someone complained that the channel was broadcasting copyrighted material.
When such infractions are identified, YouTube’s technology automatically removes the video; it is then up to the video author to establish they did not break copyright.
Since then, YouTube has verified that the original claim was "abusive."
When the ban was lifted, Lofi Girl’s owner thanked fans for their support but expressed disappointment that bogus copyright claims were not thoroughly investigated.
"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," they tweeted.
"We put in our best efforts to maintain high-quality live streams around the clock for our audience and ensure they comply with streaming policy, leaving no reason for them to be taken down."
YouTube’s copyright claim system has received several complaints from creators, who feel it favours large corporations and is too readily exploited.
The video hosting site has committed to look into the matter, and according to a study released last year, 2.2 million claims were overturned.
Will Lofi Girl come back?
At the time of writing, Lofi Girl remains unavailable.
But YouTube has said that it could "take 24-48 hours for everything to be back to normal".
“We’ve resolved the strikes + reinstated your vids,” it tweeted, “so sorry this happened & thx for your patience as we sorted it out.”
It also confirmed that the account responsible for the copyright strike had been deactivated.