NEWS: Satch sues Coldplay

Joe Satriani is suing Coldplay due to the similarity between his song ‘If I Could Fly’ from the ‘Is There Love In Space?’ album, and Coldplay’s ‘Viva La Vida.’ Read the whole article here, but the following is an excerpt:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Rock guitarist Joe Satriani has sued British band Coldplay, accusing the Grammy-nominated stars of plagiarizing one of his songs.

Satriani’s copyright infringement suit, filed on Thursday in Los Angeles federal court, claims the Coldplay song “Viva La Vida” incorporates “substantial original portions” of his 2004 instrumental “If I Could Fly.”

The 52-year-old guitar virtuoso is seeking a jury trial, damages and “any and all profits” attributable to the alleged copyright infringement.

I’m often skeptical when claims like this come up (remember when someone claimed Metallica stole the Enter Sandman riff?) but just this week Gary Moore was sued over ‘Still Got The Blues’ even though the song he was alleged to have copied was not even available on record when he did his song. And while there are a million blues-rock songs that sound like each other (not to mention the dozen or so I-V-VI-IV songs released each week), this isn’t the most conventional chord progression or most likely melody and phrasing to stumble across.

So what do you think? Honest coincidence? Dishonest copycatting? Or did someone from Coldplay hear the Satch song, and later on the same melody and chords filtered into their own songwriting subconsciously?

6 Replies to “NEWS: Satch sues Coldplay”

  1. Even if it was an honest coincidence they are going to have a hard time trying to prove it, it sounds pretty blatant to me!

  2. It seems that if this goes through then any artist could sue others for some serious dough.

    come on, coldplay sitting around listening to satriani records and taking notes? I don’t think so…

  3. I think it's a horrible waste of Satch's energy & focus. Completely different genres and approaches. Only the lawyers will gain. This will also call attention to Satch's catalog of classic melody lines as well as a possible ugly counter suit from CP. Lawyers will win.

    If another shredder were copping Joe's tune in a similar production context, it would make sense to go after them.

    But in this case, he should focus on creating music for Satriani & prog-metal fans. The Coldplay fan base doesn't represent any hidden potential for Satch. It's all about building and maintaining a following with your art.

    Instead of looking forward to future litigation hi-lites in this case, let's focus on Chickenfoot instead. I'm very excited about Chickenfoot and how that project can bring Satch a broader audience of MUSIC fans.

    The litigation stuff is disappointing and will detract from his PR more than gain him marketshare. Only the attorneys will win.

    Joe: "Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar" fz

  4. It does seem a bit out of character for Joe, but the Coldplay song is so similar that I’m not particularly surprised. Although the timing – right after the Coldplay song was nominated for a Grammy – is interesting to say the least.

  5. Strategery Peter, Strategery! In my heart, I hope that Satch takes CP to the friggin’ cleaners, but they’re big enough to lawyer-up and complicate it into a mess. Maybe Joe’s Long Island goomba’s could go break some kneecaps. I did NOT write that. Hey, who re-edited my comment just now. Peter, change your Google password!!

  6. Hahaha! I can see it now.
    “Hey uh, Coldplay… it’d be a shame if your fingers were broke and you couldn’t play no more… just sayin’ is all…”

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