An anonymous reader writes: There are three constants in life: death, taxes and the "lofi hip hop radio -- beats to relax/study to" YouTube stream. That is, until YouTube falsely hit the Lofi Girl channel with a DMCA takedown, bringing the beloved streams offline for the first time in over 2 years. With over 668 million views, the stream was one of YouTube's most popular places for people to go when they wanted to listen to calming, yet engaging music while studying or working. Listeners sometimes used the stream's live chat like an anonymized, distant study group, reminding each other to take breaks and drink water. So when the stream suddenly stopped, fans were worried.

[...] 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, while others created fan art. 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. Because Lofi Girl has the proper rights to the music, YouTube determined that the account is not in violation of copyright laws. The platform responded to Lofi Girl on Twitter Monday, saying that the missing livestream videos should be reinstated in 24 to 48 hours.

If past precedent holds true, Lofi Girl's next stream will have to start again from the beginning, rather than as a continuation of the existing 2-year-long stream. In 2020, the channel faced a similar problem when an accidental suspension ended its 13,000-hour stream. In that case, YouTube also owned up to its mistakes and reinstated the account, but the same issues have apparently returned. [...] Today, in YouTube's reply to Lofi Girl, the company said that the takedown requests were "abusive," meaning that they were leveraged as an attack against the channel, rather than out of actual concern for copyright violations. This behavior is incredibly common, but platforms have struggled to determine when these reports are legitimate and when they're unsubstantiated.

"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.

"We're shocked and disappointed to see that there's still not any kind of protection or manual review of these false claims," Lofi Girl wrote on Twitter. "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."