STOCKTON, CA – Gamma Phi Beta at the University of the Pacific is being sued by electro-pop group Galantis for using their music in recruitment, bid day, and philanthropy videos. The chapter used the popular songs “Runaway (U and I),” “Peanut Butter Jelly,” and “No Money” in their promotional videos, which were all uploaded to YouTube within a month of each other.
“We don’t know why we’re being singled out,” said Zaxlee Morris, PR chair of Gamma Phi Beta. “A lot of sororities use Galantis songs in their videos. In fact, I’ve seen over twenty recruitment videos that used ‘[Runaway] U and I’ at this school alone, and those chapters are not getting sued for it.” There’s no debating that a lot of sororities use the same songs in their videos, but most chapters escape legal trouble by crediting the artist or turning off monetization for the video. Gamma Phi Beta chose to leave ads on all three videos, which meant they could potentially make money from people clicking the ads on the page.
“It’s tasteless, really,” said Michael Nilsen, one of the many lawyers representing Galantis. Nilsen also went on to explain how common the stealing of music is among sorority women. “Every day we get calls that another sorority has used one of Galantis’s songs, and it’s always one of those three. Is there some requirement that sororities can only use one of three songs? It’s just wasting our time at this point.”
While the women of Gamma Phi Beta are mourning the loss of their perfectly-crafted recruitment video, which was taken down for copyright infringement last Sunday, other Greek students don’t have quite the same reaction. “I just don’t get the big deal, those songs suck anyway,” said Pete Remington, a member of Delta Chi. “They should thank Galantis for suing, maybe it’ll teach them to make more original videos. I’ve seen way too many videos of girls jumping up and down to that ‘Peanut Butter Jelly’ song, and I’m just sick of it.”
While Galantis is a popular choice for PR videos, chapters need to be more careful when they use copyrighted music. “We’ve credited Galantis and took down ads on the Bid Day and Philanthropy videos, so hopefully the case gets dropped. We’d really like to be able to put our recruitment video back up,” said Morris. “It would be unfortunate if we lost all the money we use for T-shirts, brunch, glitter, socials, and next year’s recruitment video. We’ll be using royalty-free music in the rest of our videos.”