Joe Satriani Accuses Coldplay Of Plagiarism

Joe Satriani has sued British band Coldplay, accusing the Grammy-nominated stars of plagiarizing one of his songs.

Joe Satriani Accuses Coldplay Of Plagiarism
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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. Coldplay, whose soaring atmospheric tunes are often compared to those of Irish rock band U2, received seven Grammy nominations on Wednesday, second only to rapper Lil Wayne. Among its mentions were nominations in the key record and song of the year categories for "Viva La Vida," which comes from the band's chart-topping album "Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends." The song is credited to the band's four members, singer Chris Martin; bass player Guy Berryman; guitarist Johnny Buckland; and drummer Will Champion. The title was inspired by a painting by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. The Satriani track comes from his album "Is There Love In Space?" Further comment from Satriani's attorney, or reaction from Coldplay's management was not immediately available. Thanks for the report to Reuters.com.

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    Strausser33
    the beat is the same but seriously its nothing to sue about.....people sample other people who come up wit similar ideas anyways.....number one dont ever compare coldplay to U2 bc u2 doesnt suck dude coldplay i listened to some sht personally its shitty
    TestMan6
    Satrini is ok I don't love his stuff Coldplay is retarded Satrini wins the loser of the year award for trying to say they copied him.
    ze monsta
    Fucking brilliant! rofl, I hope it gets proven. Coldplay are pretentious fools, and Satriani seems like a genuine bloke.
    limefan913
    If it weren't for that main melody, I doubt Satriani would have done anything. He's not that type of guy. Time signature isn't worth the legal money, nor are tempo, chord progression and probably even rhythm. But you throw all those in on top of the melody, ding. That being said, I still love Viva La Vida, and I'm still a total Satch fanboy (looks over at the JS1200 in my room).
    blajano
    Disaster Area42 wrote: Having listen to both songs,I can say yes there are similarities.However there is no way Satriani would be able to win a court battle over a few notes. Otherwise The members of Lynyrd Skynyrd would have already torn Kid Rock apart for his crap single
    1+ Kid rock is just awful Anyway, why is satch suing -now-? He could have easily done by may, when the demo was released... I love satchs stuff, love g3. but satch, you can go **** yourself.
    Aetius
    You guys seem to forget a few facts.. Coldplay use the SAME time signature, the SAME chord progression, the SAME syncopated rhythm, the SAME main theme. That's like 90% of a composition. Satriani isn't stupid, he's a music theory master and very well knows whether some things are generic or not. And I think it's pretty obvious there are too many similarities between the two songs for it to be "coincidence". Satriani as a music expert would know this. Give the man credit where it's due, he's influenced far more musicians than coldplay have. Show some respect for this man. Unlike Chris Martin, he's a very humble man.
    Disaster Area42
    Having listen to both songs,I can say yes there are similarities.However there is no way Satriani would be able to win a court battle over a few notes. Otherwise The members of Lynyrd Skynyrd would have already torn Kid Rock apart for his crap single
    JimBonJovi
    kalamari wrote: I didn't think it possible, but this argument is just as insufferable as the songs in question
    Agreed. Just let it be.
    kalamari
    I didn't think it possible, but this argument is just as insufferable as the songs in question
    Luc1feR
    AshTrayz wrote: The blues is incorporated into many songs. You don't see blues bands suing other blues bands for similiar sounding melodies. Music isn't property.
    So then i can steal whatever song and say that i wrote it ? The point is you must give credit where credit is due. If i sample someone or steal the melody and don't give writing credits i will get sued. Don't you think that Abba would sue Madonnna for Hung up if she didn't give credits (and royalties) I think its quite scary to hear some of this arguments. Put yourself in his shoes. If you write a song, then someone steals the melody and don't give you credits for writing it and makes a ton of money of it as well. But on the other hand everyone on this board are maybe shitting money and don't want to get the attention they deserve
    ctfod
    Gormanilius wrote: CTFOD wrote: Only about the first bar of each song sound similar. I know that this being a guitar website, I'll get flamed to hell for this but, this is just another reason for me to dislike Joe Satriani. "Some1 took sme notes frm me?!!1! onoes!!11!1" Then you obviosly not listen to the remainder of both songs. When Martin starts singing, it sounds EXACTLY the same as the riff from Joe's Song.
    Yeah, the first bar of it does. Also, I think it's pretty pathetic to sue someone for "any and all profits" over a couple of notes and a chord progression. Maybe Burzum should sue Bullet for my Valentine because the intro to 'Hand of Blood' is similar to 'War'?
    AshTrayz
    The blues is incorporated into many songs. You don't see blues bands suing other blues bands for similiar sounding melodies. Music isn't property.
    NiK-117
    the melody is too simple for it to matter really. i can't really get my head around bringing the law into music. there's like 12 ****ing notes of course the order at which they're played is going to be the same sometimes. but i suppose its poor form if coldplay did steal it, but then again, its poor form for satch to sue over a little melody from one of his maaaaanny songs. but say someone 'wrote' the sweet child o mine riff and genuinely hadn't heard sweet child o mine, i wonder how that would go down.....(i thought i wrote love will tear us apart....i was mortified when i heard it) so....by what everyone is saying, it boils down to... stealing is wrong, even music, but dont be a bitch if someone writes something similar to you.
    Mezzo4te
    ze monsta wrote: Fucking brilliant! rofl, I hope it gets proven. Coldplay are pretentious fools, and Satriani seems like a genuine bloke. I would classify generic wanky instrumental guitar music as pretentious. Not that pretention is bad..only for english people they hate it.
    Jau_Peacecraft
    Necro-cide wrote: It's a ****ing melody/chord sequence. I'm sorry, but **** me, there's only gonna be a certain amount that could possibly be written, it's hard to write songs, 'cause everything has been done before, and if people are gonna start sueing you for writing something ****in' similar to theirs then pretty soon there's gonna be no more ****in' songs left to write. Fuck me, i love both these guys, but this is ridiculous.
    This, + the fact that not all musicians are master in music theory, so it's even harder to not sound like something previously done before.
    Necro-cide
    It's a ****ing melody/chord sequence. I'm sorry, but **** me, there's only gonna be a certain amount that could possibly be written, it's hard to write songs, 'cause everything has been done before, and if people are gonna start sueing you for writing something ****in' similar to theirs then pretty soon there's gonna be no more ****in' songs left to write. Fuck me, i love both these guys, but this is ridiculous.
    Andrew Tanner
    it is indeed a very simple melody sequence, theres probably nothing in it. satriani is being silly, chris martin dosnt half act like an idiot in that video though...
    Gormanilius
    Minderbinder wrote: Why would Coldplay, being immensly popular and sucessful thus far, feel the need the plagerise one song? They wouldn't. This law suit is pointless.
    well thats stupid. basically ur saying that because this coldplay song is famous, that joe shouldnt sue them for theft?
    Gormanilius
    pinksalmon wrote: I'm not much of a fan of either band. I listened as hard as I could and only hear some brief moments of similarity but nothing that sounds completely ripped off. To anyone saying this isn't a cash grab and he's just trying to protect his intellectual rights where was he 6 months ago when the album dropped. In this day and age someone from coldplays label would have warned them long ago if they thought it was a rip off before risking millions. Like it or not coldplay is an extremely popular band that no label exec would take the chance of ripping off a song and possibly losing millions. just didn't like his music before, instrumental rock is retarded to me, but now I think of him as a straight up ass. Hopefully he loses and has to pay a butt load of legal fees and he can be an example to all the other idiots who want to sue over a chord progression played similarly
    why dont you listen. its more than a chord progression. its the melody as well.
    Hyperboy111
    and this article came out yesterday? this whole debate, or whatever you'd call it, has been around since last year, sometime when it was snowy.
    DrShreddington
    Im not sure where I stand on this, its definitely the same sounding, but its a very simple composition. It could very well be intentional riff stealing, but that seems like the kind of riff I sometimes write completely coincidentally.
    Luc1feR
    Also you who say he should talk to them first, does anyone know that he hasn't tried that ? Why would Coldplay not listen to Satriani ? Because they don't play same music ? I listen to Slipknot and play blues so it don't really matter.
    sukeyscorer
    http://www.metalsucks.net/2008/12/05/did... e-satriani/ how can you not hear it? total rip off! i have even less respect for coldplay than before. i think its the way they write stuff on their hands, its like, jesus if you really believe in it, then get it tattooed on your head or something! i hope joe wins.
    Luc1feR
    I really don't see the big thing here. They do sound alike, and it is a very big part of the song. But i really hate people bashning Satch for being ripped off. Maybe i should take a Beatles song and change the lyrics and take all writing credits myself. And also if it was Coldplay suing Satriani would they be the bad guys then ?
    pinksalmon
    I'm not much of a fan of either band. I listened as hard as I could and only hear some brief moments of similarity but nothing that sounds completely ripped off. To anyone saying this isn't a cash grab and he's just trying to protect his intellectual rights where was he 6 months ago when the album dropped. In this day and age someone from coldplays label would have warned them long ago if they thought it was a rip off before risking millions. Like it or not coldplay is an extremely popular band that no label exec would take the chance of ripping off a song and possibly losing millions. just didn't like his music before, instrumental rock is retarded to me, but now I think of him as a straight up ass. Hopefully he loses and has to pay a butt load of legal fees and he can be an example to all the other idiots who want to sue over a chord progression played similarly
    Zyzzvya
    I think everyone who's got a song that sounds even similar to Coldplay should file a class action against them. Not for money, for recognition. Maybe if people realised what a bunch of ripoff artists Coldplay are they'd be a bit more hesitiant to throw awards at them in lieu of better musicians.
    gallagher2006
    Who the hell is Joe Satriani? Seriously, I doubt Coldplay have even heard of him. It's a simple little melody in Eb major, anyone could have made it up. This guy is just pissed because Coldplay got a number 1 and he's playing guitar solos for a living. If anything, pure coincidence
    Mezzo4te
    I would classify generic wanky instrumental guitar music as pretentious. Not that pretention is bad..only for english people they hate it.
    Deep*Kick
    MrDinkleberry wrote: Isn't that some bullshit. 3 different songs with the same melody!??!!? That shit happens all the damn time. Satch is a piece of shit for suing over it.
    They share more than the same melody, and if Satch and his lawyer believe coldplay have copied material from his song then he is well within his rights to sue. It doesn't make him a piece of shit. I'm sure Satch has a better ear than you for his own music.
    timsterII
    whitebluesboy wrote: On a side note, does anyone else think Satch looks like a humanized version of Voldemort?
    I thought I was the only one. o_o Honestly, a lot of songs are quite similar nowadays. You can't say you made this melody up and someone copied it because someone else probably did as well.
    RUSTDOGG666
    this doesn't surprise me. coldplay is horrible. they have to steal riffs and stay away from their own to write any good music. maybe thats why I sort of liked that song even though I don't think they're a good band cause they stole it from an excellent musician. oh yeah I really hope Poison is reading this article then they can sue Green Day. If you listen to Every Rose Has It's Thorn and Time Of Your Life its the exact same chords in almost the exact pattern just strummed differently. Can we see an article come up here soon on a court scene about that? I will also say that people steal from everyone. theres only so many things you can do on a guitar before your only option is to take something already written and change it around a little bit to make it your own and hope no one notices. then when you run out of options on that the only thing left is cover band. so I guess I'm kinda on the fence about this. Joe is right for suing because Coldplay shouldn't have done that yet at the same time theres only so many original riffs you can do before it starts sounding like something already done. in this case both sides can have a good point.
    Gmurcielago14
    I think its just coincidence. It seems a tad *****-ish to sue them over it. Its not similar enough to compensate a lawsuit, but thats just me. Im sure I'd be pissed too if I found a song with the same melody as one of mine.
    BrickIsRed
    Sorry Joe, I don't hear any significant similarity. Good luck sueing Coldplay though.
    Mondo Generator
    Thing is: Viva La Vida is an awesome song, so it doesn't matter to me. I used to like Satch a lot, but I have lost some respect for him now.
    ratedpg
    It's a pretty simple progression I honestly don't think it's plagiarism. Watch
    If only Pachelbel could come back and sue everyone for stealing his progression.
    STE 969
    Useful links:
    Frances Limon - Joe copied this solo?
    Joe and Coldplay - seperate, then overdub
    Both versions overdub - sounds pretty cool
    viva la viva - coldplay
    if i could fly - joe satriani
    LOSTintheOZONE
    Jau_Peacecraft wrote: Satriani just lost my respect, what an idiot. He would've been better off making a sarcastic announcement concerning how Coldplay ripped off of him. At least then, he'd probably would've gotten dialogue started, & i wouldn't be surprised if Coldplay & joe eventually met up to discuss things outside of court. What a fuc*ing child; you don't see David Bowie bitching & whining about people stealing chord progressions from his songs, do you? Nope, he's too busy working his ass off (despite a recent heart attack). BTW, remember the Bruce Springsteen article on how he plagarized from the guy from who wrote 876-5309? No? Does it matter anyways? (Supposedly, Bruce ripped it off in the song "Radio Nowhere" off of Magic; I couldn't tell the difference despite being a composer myself). Intellectual property does not exist, sorry folks. Get over it, get off your ass, & start dealing with the future. Or, you could do what every other Tom Dick & Harry is doing, which is reinforcing the primitive concept of a monopoly over a vague concept such as an "idea", or "melody" (literal composition elements in notation excluded, but I doubt joe will get that technical & properly word his argument), further the law soup & red tape surrounding making music, of all things, & continue to fuel the RIAA way of doing things: extorting everyone & their grandma until you've managed to coerce your way back into the market by making people buy into your bullshit. I could easily list a bunch of ****ing coincidences in music that, if they were recently discovered in this nanny state, over-reactionary, pacified age, would probably never see the light of day due to court proceedings & all sorts of heinous crap. BTW, The Metal Gear Solid 2 Theme Song rips off of some random Russian composer, which no one knew about until a year or two ago when someone called into a radio show. Didn't know that? Ask yourself, does that really matter to you? UG readers need to read more Lawarence Lessig if they want an inkling of what's going on with "intellectual property", & how increasingly futile it will be as the markets are always evolving towards what is more efficient, despite the state intervention & lawyer brigade screwing things up. Then they should read some economics (don't worry, wikipedia is sufficient to prevent total ignorance), & the criticisms of intellectual property itself. Or, you could just sit around in your mom's basement & bitch about :insert band name here: sucking, while not realizing how utterly useless your liberal arts degree will be when you finally get it. Anyways, so what? Joe should be thanking Coldplay; he just got free publicity, free bitching space, free attention to his music, free sympathy, probably about 50 new fans who are downloading his sh*t off of waffles.fm, demonoid, or piratebay, & probably will see some amount of compensation from the band (who will probably do the grown up thing & just keep silent & pay this pest away), & proceed to spend that money on even more self-indulgent equipment for his guitars.
    You try making a living from music and having another band make money off what you wrote. to others. the main melody is practicaly note for note.
    STE 969
    On the other hand to my previous posts, the same solo melody Joe S uses, is in fact identical to the solo in Frances Limon, which was released 2 years earlier, in 2002... Maybe there is more to this than you all know..?
    STE 969
    I also think the reason for the delay of lawful action is because Coldplay milked the song so damn much. If Coldplay just used the song as a little tune on an album, just to fill a space, then i wouild not be happy, but now fuming either. The fact is, they won awards for something Joe S wrote, and even released singles. This is plagiarism
    STE 969
    You need to understand that this is a rumour from the media. for all you know, Joe probably just noticed that Coldplay used a melody from a song Joe S put alot of effort into, and Joe was beckoned by his lawyers to persue the case. In my opnion you cannot copywright music or a melody, but your not proving to be much of an artist or composer if you use somebody elses work.
    Multiplayerjon
    +1 on tht above comment... Kid Rock just wants to be "Famous" it's kinda funny how he said to get all of his songs illegaly... bad influencer xD
    whitebluesboy
    Bucketheadroolz wrote: guys 52 is not even old. Thats half of a hundred. But all the classic rock musicians are 60 ish and people like robert plant complain that they cant perform like they used to. Satch puts on one hell of a show and he's not much younger
    If you were a singer you would know that can't be helped. As you get older your body naturally slowly deteriorates and your vocal chords can't maintain the stress they used even with regularly maintaining and exercising your voice and living a healthy lifestyle. On a side note, does anyone else think Satch looks like a humanized version of Voldemort?
    Karlboy
    Perhaps Satch just figured this out when the nominations were put through... Either way. Satch is really the only musician I truly idolize, and if he takes down Coldplay, that idolization will increase tenfold...
    darrenjables
    henza_x wrote: Holy shit, joe satriani is 52???
    HOLY SHIT!! I know! I'm agreeing with limefan913. You just don't "accidentally" use the same chord progression, and the same melody.