Guitarist Joe Satriani's law suit against Coldplay for the plagiarism of their 2008 hit 'Viva La Vida', which he claimed had "substantial original portions" lifted from his 2004 hit 'If I Could Fly', has been dismissed from court.
Satriani filed a claim against the band in December 2008 and told website Music Radar: "The second I heard it, I knew it was 'If I Could Fly'." Coldplay completely denied the allegtions and in a band statement said: "If there are any similarities between our two pieces of music, they are entirely coincidental, and just as surprising to us as to him."
Both artists have refused to comment so far but News.justia have reported that the case was dismissed from California Central Distric Court on September 14 'upon stipulation' which suggests that some sort of out of court settlement was made between the two parties.
Cat Stevens also accused the group of plagiarising parts of his song 'Foreigner Sweet' but "forgave" the band by saying that they probably didn't mean to do it and little known Brooklyn band Creaky Boards also claimed Martin had taken the melody for 'Viva La Vida' from their track 'The Songs I Didn't Write'.
There has been a lot of talk and bickering on the subject and it brings to light interesting arguments for and against the case.
For Joe Satriani to take a band of Coldplay's stature this far with court proceedings is a bold move, even if you are a guitar legend. The fact of the matter is this: Yes, there are staggeringly similar sections to each of the songs that are mentioned above, but with a world as musically broad, and a world that is musically huge how can this case be allowed to get so far?
I'm no Coldplay fan and have never so much as entertained the idea of buying their music but the idea that a band this size might think they can get away with stealing songs from Joe Satriani is frankly obsurd.
Music is something that will constantly repeat itself for the rest of our human existence, there will always be songs that sound alike, have the same groove, comparible melodies and are just so fucking similar that thievery will always be suspected. It's a thuggery that has been going on for decades now, and the fact that Satriani has had the balls to get Chris Martin and co into court shows that he was pretty certain that this band had ripped him off, which is just bizarre. Although of course these cases have been won in the past, Velvet Revolver being a fairly recent example.
But just imagine if Rolan Bolan tried to take Oasis down over the 'Cigarettes And Alcohol' riff, or Iggy decided that 'Are You Gonna Be My Girl' was in fact crossing a line that shouldn't be crossed, if Oasis decided to take action on the fact that 'Boulevard Of Broken Dreams' is actually 'Wonderwall's' retarded American cousin, it would be carnage and band wars would be fought.
Bands and artists would be terrified of releasing songs with parallel sounds and vibes with something that may or may not have been invented, basically it comes down to the idea that "I've made something so good that it must have been done before," It's just fucking stupid and any band that can convince a record label to release their stuff these days probably aren't robbing people's songs, just taking their influence and putting it down in their own style, even if it is a little similar.
If bands were not so heavily influenced to those that have preceded them then we would have missed out on some terriffic bands but this will sometimes cross over to a point where one artist feels this influence or particular song is edging a little too close to their own, Joe Satriani in this case, although I personally feel Coldplay's intro sits in a league with the opening credits to Chris Lilley's Aussie mocumentary, Summer Heights High.
Make up your own mind...
Viva La Vida